Time for another car review – and the 2018 BMW i3s with Range Extender is what's on tap!
What a mind bending ride! This BMW is unique in so many ways. Obviously it looks like a mini clowncar but it has some great performance and zip (ask my nieces – they were delighted when I peeled out of the neighborhood like a bat out of hell) It definitely gets a LOT of looks around town. The handling and speed were responsive and fun. Check out the specs & my feedback and decide for yourself.
Time for another car review – and the 2018 BMW i3s with Range Extender is what's on tap! Subscribe at MiaOnTheGo.com for travel, lifestyle, adventure & car review blogs. What a mind bending ride! This BMW is unique in so many ways.
Total with Upgrades: $58,695
- Base price for all-electric BMW i3 starts at $44,450
- Base price with the range-extended i3 has a $48,300 sticker price. That's around $8,000 more than the average starting price of a luxury small car, though it's one of the least expensive luxury hybrid and electric cars.
- The available federal tax credit can save some shoppers $7,500
Engine and Performance
– All-Electric Motor
– BMW 2-cylinder gasoline with Range Extender
– Zero to 60 in 6.8 seconds
Once you get the hang of your driving needs, habits and schedule, you can make this a great ride. Car & Driver had this take on it:
– The i3s whirls out 184 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque compared with the standard model’s 170 horses and 184 lb-ft, thanks to modified motor controls and tapered roller bearings that help its high-rpm performance.
– Range Extender – this model had a gasoline-powered, onboard range extender. It has an EPA-rated combined total of 180 miles—the electric-only range is 97 miles—which still is short of what the Chevrolet Bolt EV can do on a single charge without the aid of onboard hydrocarbons.
– A display on the center screen will show you how efficient you have driven based on the settings you choose, and the range is between 70 and 100 percent.
– Comfort mode, which is a good compromise between the weight and response of Sport and the dull feel of the Eco modes.
– Eco Pro Plus mode will not allow you to go over 56 MPH – we found this out the hard way when we are on the tollway and everyone else around us was going 80 MPH .
– Battery charge time: 5h at 220V, 0.75h at 440V – you can also use the 120V charging cable but make sure to leave enough time to charge it
- Giga World – $1800 – The upgrade packages can be confusing because it combines upgrade wheels with interior packaging choices. This one included: 20″ bmw double spoke wheels (super fancy. Interior trim with light eucalyptus wood trim with giga brown national leather & Carum spec grey wool cloth
- $300 Blue Seatbelt – sounds ridiculous, right? That's until you see how cool you look with that blue color contrast as you drive around. Call me crazy but I liked it and thought it was worth the upgrade if you are going to go that far down the budget road with this BMW.
- Tech & driving Assist Package – $2,500
– On-Street Parking Information uses historical and real-time data to help find a parking spot, and
– Connected Drive Services uses intelligent route planning to manage charging-station stops as well as send route instructions from a smartphone to the car or vice versa, among other features.
– 8.8-inch touch screen
– Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality.
- Park Distance Control – $750 – Not sure why you would need this with how well the car maneuvers and the size of it (especially if you are MASTER at parallel parking like me – bwahaha) but PDC supports the driver during parking and maneuvering. It uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor surroundings and alert the driver of any obstacles in their path.
- Combination of wood, leather & cloth which made it for an interesting look without it being too busy. The materials are an eco-showcase, with more than 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers made from recycled or renewable materials. (that's part of that Giga world package)
- As mentioned above, the blue seat belts really gave it a pop too!
- Surprisingly spacious inside, thanks to the upright cabin, flat floor, and a back seat accessed by a set of rear-hinged doors (suicide-ish doors that, quite frankly, look badass, IMO)
- Rear door access does require the front doors to be open to access the handles. Front passengers will always need to exit first before rear passengers can move in or out. However, the doors do ease entry for passengers and the loading and off-loading of cargo, providing a surprising amount of space when the rear seatbacks are folded flat (as mentioned above)
My overall take: It's fun as a novelty but, the overall reaction and feedback I received during the test drive was “neat, but I wouldn't spend that kind of money” (Even my die hard Beamer fan Mario)
Thank you BMW and Automotive Media Solutions for the opportunity to test drive and give my feedback. As always, all opinions are mine mine mine!
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