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BMW i3 I01 (2014 - Current)
The BMW i3 and BMW i8 are the first two cars launch under BMW's new sub brand BMW i. The i3 is an all carbon fiber, all electric vehicle meant for urban mobility.

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  #1  
Old 03-10-2017, 08:53 AM
apollner apollner is offline
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Location: DC
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 95
Mein Auto: i3;previously X6;650i;M5
1st impressions on my 2nd BMW i3

In 2014, just a week after my baby was born I took delivery of another baby, my 2014 BMW i3 BEV! I shared my thoughts on the following posts:

Initial impressions:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...656&highlight=

At 1000 miles:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...701&highlight=

I turned in my i3 in February with less than 9000 miles on it and picked up a 2017 BEV in its place!

In some ways, I was picking up the car I wanted in the first place: capparis white, sport wheels, and a sunroof. Back in 2014, I had the choice of waiting an unknown amount of time or picking up what was on the dealer lot. The dealer had just received a Giga BEV in Andesite Silver without sport wheels or sunroof, so I grabbed it.

I absolutely have loved the car and when the lease was winding down I looked hard for replacement options. I think that for the next few years I will stick with a BEV as I find it an ideal city commuter car. I did consider what options are available, within or outside of the BMW family, and didn't find anything that approached the level of refinement. Yes, the Chevy Bolt is out (in limited numbers) and has a great range, and yes Tesla is going to come out with the Model III (in limited numbers). But nothing that really pulled my away from the i3 experience.

When I special-ordered the 2017 i3 I was a little disappointed by how little had changed in the way of options. I was almost ordering the same car all over again! This is in stark contrast to my purchase of a 540 followed by an M5 or an X6 folowed by an X6 Individual. With these past ICE models I really felt the new experience!

My 2014 i3 could get a little bouncy on uneven roads so I was concerned that the sport wheels might make the ride stiffer and bouncier. To my surprise, they actually help settle the car and give it more stability at all speeds. I've always had this concern with BMW when changing to an equivalent model with sport wheels, but these thoughts are unfounded as I've never been disappointed. They really calibrate the vehicles very well!

Next change was to the batteries. While I would have preferred a doubling of capacity, the additional range of ~50% is welcome! It still doesn't help me travel long distances, but I can now travel longer before needing to stop. And in the winter months I'm getting what was closer to summer range on my previous vehicle. Previously, I often had 50-60 mile range when it got really cold. As most of my commuting is in the city I don't need to charge that often, and I still just plug into an AC outlet at work. When I find myself low, I'll go to the nearest shopping center with free juice. Since inception I have not paid 1 penny to charge!

Let there be light! Back in 2014, I almost didn't order the car because it didn't have a sunroof. I'm not sure what upset me more, to own my first car in decades without one, or the fact that our European counterparts had the option and we did not. I succumbed and rationalized the benefits of not having a sunroof (integrity, weight, etc.). Well, I have to tell you. Having a sunroof is really nice! Even if it's a split one. First, it makes the cabin lighter with a more open feel. Second, it allows you to vent (by tilting) to not get all the buffeting from the side windows. And finally, when it rains the car no longer sounds like buckshot hitting a tin roof!

Other impressions
My 2014 car seems extremely quick off the line whereas the 2017 seems quick but more stately in its acceleration. A recent technical review post stated that the difference in 0 - 60 was negligible (I believe less than 1/2 a second difference). But I feel the difference. The car just doesn't seem to sprint like the old one did off the line. This of course may be attributed to the extra weight from the batteries, sunroof, and sport wheels. I really don't know for sure, but I sense a difference and it makes the car feel slightly muted.

The regenerative braking is also calibrated differently. On my previous car I could easily lift off the accelerator and have the car come to a relatively quick stop. The new car seems to coast much longer and often requires me to apply the brakes to stop, something I rarely ever did previously. I've read on a post that braking can also invoke regeneration, but I'm not so sure as it feels like the real brake from my previous car.

Without even realizing it, my 2017 was ordered with the Dark Oak Wood Trim vs the original Light Eucalyptus Wood Trim. I do like the change, even though it's subtle. Too bad there weren't any significant interior options! I did not want the leather as I find the wool seats with leather inserts exceptionally comfortable in summer and winter due to their breathability.

I was also surprised to find 2 separate charging pod covers, like on my 2014. On that car it made sense as the DCFC was an option. With this car it comes standard. I had seen a picture of an i3 with a single charge pod cover for both sockets and expected that would come with my car. It did not.

Conclusions
I have no regrets in owning my second i3. I definitely like the sportier character my new car projects. I'm happy to have some more range, especially during these critical winter months. Upgrading to new batteries in future i3s I don't believe makes sense or will be desired. I think that additional weight will affect the light and sporty nature of this car. BMW i needs to grow in size and offerings, and 2021 seems like a long way away. I think many disruptive forces will enter the market over the next few years. It will be interesting to see what choices I have when this 30 month lease is up!

Last edited by apollner; 03-15-2017 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Add comment about regenerative braking change
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2017, 06:37 AM
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bocabimmer bocabimmer is offline
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Location: South Florida
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,306
Mein Auto: 2007 E92 328i, 2014 i3
Funny, I went to lease a white one and they sold it out from under me and I ended up with your exact same 2014... I'm quite sad to have my lease end and be turning mine in soon. What's more sad is that my wife doesn't think an i3 will work for us again now that we have a baby on the way.

Can you tell me how your experience was having it with a newborn?
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2014 i3 BEV
2007 328i (E92) - BMW Performance exhaust, short shift kit, handbrake and steering wheel trim - CDV delete - CREE LED corona rings - LED license plate lights
2006 325i (E90) - SOLD - projector headlights, blackline taillights - satin grilles - shadowline trim - style 338 wheels
2000 ML430 - SOLD - heavily modded, I miss that truck
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:14 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Mein Auto: 535ix-drive GT; i3 BEV
The only issue I've heard people talk about with a baby and an i3, is that if you are parallel parking, the door arrangement can be problematic. But, if you have access, putting a child into a seat there is pretty easy, and at least with most seats, there's normally plenty of room to install and remove both the child and the seat.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:33 PM
apollner apollner is offline
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Location: DC
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 95
Mein Auto: i3;previously X6;650i;M5
I've had great success with the Nuna Pipa car seat. It's small and extremely light weight. It also snaps into some strollers via adapters. Now I use the Chico booster for my toddler. It too takes up little space.

I find the eopposite orientation of the rear doors makes it extremely easy to place the child directly into the car seat.

Due to range, we used our first i3 for short, local trips while the ICE SUV for longer or highway driving.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:51 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Location: NH
 
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Mein Auto: 535ix-drive GT; i3 BEV
The only time the door opening arrangement on the i3 is an issue is if you end up parked close to a wall or other car. While that's not that much different than any car (other than one that may have sliding doors), since you have to open the front to open the rear, you might not have much room. But, if that can be avoided, with no B-pillar, the arrangement gives quite easy access to the rear since both doors open to a decent angle.
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