In-depth reviews

BMW i3 owner reviews

"The BMW i3 is great fun and nippy around town but it's expensive and those striking looks won't appeal to everyone"

Carbuyer Rating

3.9 out of 5

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Owners Rating

3.4 out of 5

50%of people would recommend this car to a friend.

Owner Rating

  • 4reviews
  • 5reviews
  • 1reviews
  • 1reviews
  • 1reviews

Common Problems

  • Electrics, Engine, Other (1 cases)
  • Other (2 cases)
  • Electrics, Engine (1 cases)
  • Brakes, Electrics (1 cases)
  • Engine (1 cases)

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

i3s 120 AH

Year of registration

2019

Average annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used
Review
Undoubtedly a fun car to drive but in my experience, let down by poor build quality. Most owners don’t seem to have too many issues but mine has suffered from persistent rattles and poor brakes. Replacement pads and discs needed after 4 months of ownership. All sorts of weird and wonderful noises going on that BMW insist are normal, but no, they're not normal but you get nowhere. My missus calls it the noddy car and I can see why, for nearly £40k it’s extremely expensive for what you get and I just can’t recommend it. Ok as a very expensive city car but not enough range for serious driving, especially in winter. It’s being sold, back to ICE until such time as EV’s are available with far better range and aren’t Audi / Jag prices. Charging network in Scotland way better than England where it’s very hit and miss, not user friendly at all and nowhere near simple enough yet. Good riddance.

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

94 REX

Year of registration

2018

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

100000
Review
M £40k top spec BMW i3 has given me nothing but problems and BMW Customer Services are totally unsupportive! It's a real pity because this could be a great car. The i3 has so far spent over 3 weeks being repaired. Drivetrain failures, REX issues, and unending ConnectDrive (App control) problems. We have had a new electric motor, REX repairs, and various firmware updates and still we experience problems. After 5 years, you would think BMW would have got this car right, especially the remote access functionality. When it works, its a great car, probably the best. It's just a shame it's unreliable and we have now lost confidence in it. The dealership has worked so hard to make sure we are looked after. It's just a pity they are let down by BMW central services (Customer Services), who are the worst we have ever experienced. When it's not being repaired, it is a great car. Very easy to drive. Super-quick. Fantastic round town and even the occasional long journey. Sits 2 very comfortably and can carry 4 people for shorter journeys. The ConnectedDrive remote access/control App (when it works and if BMW eventually fix all the bugs), is a superb tool. Such a pity it is been the least reliable car we have owned in over 20 years!
Reliability

1 out of 5

Surely after 5 years, BMW could make this car reliable.
Performance

5 out of 5

Very quick. Very nippy.
Running Cost
I plug it in to Economy 7 charger or Solar and it costs virtually nothing to run - except when it goes wrong.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

i3 Rex

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

100000
Review
A great car, I would agree dont think of this car as a hybrid, it is an EV with an option to extend range using a small petrol generator. I have found that in 20,000 miles of motoring including a few longer trips to the midlands from the South West the petrol usage has been minimal. (24 litres in 12 mths). It is a four seater if needed and there is much more room in the front than you think. The ride is firm but I prefer that personally and the steering is very direct. It is a quick car from a standing start and actually on a B road is fun to drive. It is a fantastic city town car. Build quality is excellent. I would say go to a dealer and borrow one for a weekend, it just makes EVERYTHING else seem old fashioned, sometimes you think there is a problem driving it when you hear an odd noise, then you realise it is coming from another vehicle!

Owner Review

4 out of 5

Version

Rex 2017

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

1000000
Review
This is a great car. Solid BMW quality and with all the exposed carbon fibre and design quirks it gives you a feeling that you're driving something futuristic. The 50kW DC fast charge ability means that you can manage long journeys with a quick 20-30 minute stop every 120 miles or so and the acceleration from a standing start is very quick. The reviewer who complained about the noisy range extender engine has purchased the wrong car, this is not a hybrid, it's a range-anxiety free EV. I've done 5000 miles in mine and used the ReX for about 50 miles in total to see me to the next charge on just a couple of occasions. The ReX is not meant to replace the engine but offer you a back-up. The only downside are the silly thin wheels which offer very little grip if you try to drive it like the hot(ish) hatch that it is. Looking at the way the car is constructed I think these are more about making space for the battery and drive train than saving miles by being more efficient in terms of friction.
Reliability

5 out of 5

BMW, build quality exceptional so no problems yet.
Performance

4 out of 5

Rapid - startlingly quick, but don't throw it into corners or you'll end up in the ditch.
Running Cost

5 out of 5

Cheap - saving me £400 per month on fuel.

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

Electric

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

Used
Review
The rear door configuration of this car drives me nuts - it is absolutely ridiculous and for this reason alone I would never own another one or recommend it to anyone. You cannot tilt the front seats forward, so there is no access to the rear seats without opening the rear doors, and you cannot open the rear doors without having the front open. A bizarre and difficult process in a car park or tight situation and I think this is a huge design flaw. Also, less important but similarly irritating - the tyres are small and thin and not a standard size. I have now had three punctures in what I would call pretty normal places to be driving, and on each occasion I have been unable to find a tyre centre that stock them - as they are deemed ‘specialist’. Unhelpful and ultimately a pointless differentiator. It is a actually a decent (three/four) star car performance wise - but ultimately completely ruined for me by the design - which seems to have been hijacked by people obsessed with being different for some reason, to the total detriment of producing a practical vehicle.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

96Ah RANGE EXTENDER

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

More than 20,000

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

2000
Review
Superb, silent, cheap to run, fast, comfortable Range extender great on a long run and takes away any anxiety of not finding a charger or a miss charge which has happened to me on a long run. The motor is virtually silent so I don't understand the other review saying it is noisy. Range now nearly 200 miles inc the 9 litres of fuel and I have only used 18 litres of fuel in 8000 miles of motoring. I'm saving well over £200 a month in diesel over my old car

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Year of registration

2014

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

1000
Review
Best buy I ever made. I live 28 miles down the motorway from work so can do the trip within the battery range. Its really quick, silent and very comfortable. Only issue is the range indicator which uses your average driving style, when near home the "fun" drive reduces the calculated range (but not the actual) Sat Nav is also not the best.
Reliability

5 out of 5

Fine so far
Performance

5 out of 5

Very quick, will shame a Golf GTI
Running Cost

5 out of 5

err .. Economy 7

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

REx

Year of registration

2013

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

70
Review
Almost a great car. BUT: The REx engine has many problems, and only BMW can service it at £220 per hour. What's more, BMW customer support and garages are rubbish at diagnosing i3s. The rear doors are stupid if you have child seats, bouncy ride. However, it has great interior space for the footprint

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

Rex

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

200
Review
Really fun to drive. I have owned many high end cars and this is by far the most engaging and pleasurable to drive. The quirky exterior looks may divide opinion but interior and fit and finish is beyond question. It's gorgeously different from anything out there. I get approx 100 mile range at 80mph+ and up to 120 miles at lower speeds on my 50 miles commute each day - I just park up and charge at home in two hours. On longer trips I can just switch on Range extender for another 90 mile range if there's no charger nearby and then keep going - topping up with fuel when needed. It's very rarely used though. I stopped at a rapid charger last month on a long trip and was pleased to find that after just 20 mins I had added 80 miles to the electric range - enough to get me home. I could envisage long tripson electric power only. The acceleration is fantastic up to 40mph - it can beat or hold its own against most other cars out there. My other family car is Audi - but will be swapping it for a high performance electric car next year.
Reliability

4 out of 5

No issues so far after half year driving so cannot comment on reliability. I have assumed (I hope) its high
Performance

5 out of 5

Nippy, silent, crazily responsive steering. High flat torque from start means up to 40mph can hold its own against any boy racer. Regenerative braking means genuine one pedal driving is possible. Hardly ever have to hit brakes - a very different driving style. Downside - Can get a little shimmy on uneven surfaces due to its skinny tyres. Suspension a little hard.
Running Cost

5 out of 5

Costs about 1/4 that of the petrol car equivalent when charging at home. But there are many free chargers around and fortunately one at my workplace. My fuel bills have therefore gone from approx £150 to 200 a month to zero. How about that?!

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

More than 20,000

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used
Review
I have had nothing but problems with this £40k car. Firstly it brakes for no reason due to the collision detection (even when it's turned off) which had nearly caused me to crash multiple times including on motorways or in the snow. The front brakes don't work when it regenerates so in the snow it tries to spin when you want to slow down unless you press both pedals at the same time! Today it left me stranded at a motorway services when it wouldn't charge from 4 different chargers. BMW customer service is terrible and this has been going on for months.

Owner Review

3 out of 5

Version

rex

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

75
Review
Good points: - Brilliant performance from electric engine - 5 stars comfort with panoramic view - Fun to drive Bad points: - 650cc petrol engine is too loud like a lawn mover in the boot - This small petrol engine uses 8 liters petrol on 100 km!!! - Short range. 150 miles only!!!

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

Electric Auto 5dr

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used
Review
The best car I have ever owned. Be careful at the lights - the power of the electric drive will leave other cars for dust - even the mighty M3! I'm saving over £300p/m in fuel alone. Make sure you buy it with the DC Rapid Charge option (quite why BMW UK have refused to follow BMW USA's decision to make that a standard option is beyond me). The only other option you really need is the Pro Nav with its huge widescreen LED!
Reliability

5 out of 5

No problems so far and done over 15k already.
Performance

5 out of 5

It not only shames a Golf GTI, but at the lights, it even beats an M3. Fully Electric model has been tested at 0-60 in 6.5secs. The Rex petrol extended model will have lower performance due to weight. For the same cash as the Rex, you can hire a car for a fraction of the cost.
Running Cost

5 out of 5

Did I mention this car is almost free to run? £1.50 overnight charge to full "tank". Or rapid charge within 15 mins to 80% full on the free motorway services network. The other option is rapid charging on Polar Plus for 9pence per kWh, meaning £2.

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