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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2014, 07:18 PM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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Picking up an i3 (extended) test drive tomorrow...

I have an appointment at 10:30 tomorrow to pick up an i3 for an extended test drive. I'm going to drive the heck out of it, take a peek/photograph all of it's bits, and maybe even wash it...



Anything you guys are curious about?



Let me know!

Edit: video of a lap around my neighborhood

Last edited by fjacobs1000; 09-24-2014 at 08:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2014, 09:29 PM
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How much stuff can you cram in it vs. a 5er.

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  #3  
Old 09-22-2014, 12:54 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjacobs1000 View Post
I have an appointment at 10:30 tomorrow to pick up an i3 for an extended test drive. I'm going to drive the heck out of it, take a peek/photograph all of it's bits, and maybe even wash it...

Anything you guys are curious about?

Let me know!
Is it a rental, or is it a free loaner from the dealer?
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2014, 06:29 AM
FastMarkA FastMarkA is offline
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Can you see if the GPS maps include planet Mars? Because the i3 looks like it belongs there.
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2014, 06:53 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjacobs1000 View Post
I have an appointment at 10:30 tomorrow to pick up an i3 for an extended test drive. I'm going to drive the heck out of it, take a peek/photograph all of it's bits, and maybe even wash it...

Anything you guys are curious about?

Let me know!
Whats next? A smart car?
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2014, 08:07 AM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
Is it a rental, or is it a free loaner from the dealer?
I received an email from BMW offering an "Extended Test Drive". I figured, heck yeah, lets see what all the plug-in car hype is about (I've actually test driven one earlier this year as well. And they are quite fun to drive).

The guy that I set up the appointment with offered "two or three days" with the car. I pick it up at 12 noon today, so we'll see what the actual parameters are.

I am in the market for a new car for my wife (No, I am not getting rid of the 550!). We are thinking of doing a 328d Touring. I think we'll order one to our liking and do ED (we had such a great ED trip for our 550). I'm just not sure about the timing...perhaps 2015 fall to get an LCI model (they are planned for a facelift in 2016, right?).

So, all jokes aside, I'll get two drive the snot out of this little car for a couple of days and I'll give you my impression. It's really just a curiosity thing...I like cars. I like new experiences. I figured, why not!

Last edited by fjacobs1000; 09-22-2014 at 08:08 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2014, 10:27 AM
JoeRock550 JoeRock550 is offline
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I think you'll enjoy the novelty of the car for a couple of hours. It has decent acceleration for what it is. Don't look at the width of the tires or you'll be afraid to go around corners.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:37 PM
ae86pwr ae86pwr is offline
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I did the i3 ext test drive last week. It's fun car with skinny tires that 155/175 section width. Acceleration is spaceship like but it understeers like mad.
If you get the REX version then get ready to get the infamous check engine light as the system diagnostic can't find the petrol engine to test. (engine doesn't turn on unless you are down to the last 5% charge)

The J1772 charge port will latch the charger on the car so don't leave your car plugged at a public charging station too long (other EV drivers will get pissy if they can't unplug you when you are full)
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2014, 08:31 AM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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My initial impressions are mostly favorable! The car is built with great technology everywhere. It's pretty well thought out (reminds me a little of a Honda), and its exciting to drive in a somewhat frenetic way.

Styling: there's a lot of "new" and "gadgety" design. The doors are the first thing that you'll likely notice. They are tall and boxy, in a kind of suicide door format - the 'rears' open to the front of the car allowing the passengers in the back to enter somewhat gracefully. dash and steering column will likely be noticed next. The dash is low, and designed to hold stuff. I'm not a huge fan of placing anything on my dash, and I think things will likely rattle around a fair amount, but is is set up in such a way as you can easily do so -- cool reclaimed wood surfaces too! The steering column itself is not too futuristic...I guess its the whole cockpit area. The instrument cluster, like the control screen/nav screen is basically an LED screen. It's well laid out in a combination of digital and analog readouts. the screen shows speed, charging state, miles left in charge...all that basic stuff in a friendly and easy to read layout.

The seats are ok. Everything in the car is designed to be functional, structural and light. The seats show that. They are manually adjusted, and fit pretty well. There is tons of leg room and tons of head room.

The car is quick off of the line. I joked that it seamed like it would be like a golf cart on steroids...that is exactly what it is like. It has very tall, skinny, high profile tires...I'll check the sidewall for the dimensions in a bit. The tires do NOT inspire confidence. The handing is ok, somewhat jerky and a bit skittish at highway speeds - likely due to the tires. The i3 does sit pretty high, and even with the battery sitting as low as it does, it feels like it has a really high center of gravity and shows a fair amount of body roll in turns.

Charging: after an afternoon of running around Boulder (got LOTS of interested looks, walks around the car etc.), a little car pooling and a trip to Costco, I plugged it into a garage outlet for charging. The charger that I have for the car is the "level 1" charger that plugs into a normal outlet. Other options are to charge it at a public charging station, or tu purchase/use the BMW "level 2" charger that is installed in your 'garage'. If I were to own one of these cars, that would be the ONLY way to go. The car was plugged in to charge around 9:00 last night with a range of about 16 miles indicated on the instrument cluster. As of 7:30 this am, the car about 2/3 charged, showing a range of 67 miles and and estimated "full charge" time of 1:20 this afternoon. I'm not impressed with that...It reminds me of my iPhone in that I'm worried about how much battery I have, and where my next outlet is. I think tomorrow I'll try one of the public chargers and see how quickly those pump out a charge.

...Oh, love all the carbon fiber/composite material. Photos later.

edit: photos http://imgur.com/a/NkDWt

Last edited by fjacobs1000; 09-23-2014 at 10:34 PM. Reason: photos
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2014, 09:51 AM
ae86pwr ae86pwr is offline
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Don't forget to set the Charging rate on the vehicle settings to Maximum instead of "reduced" or "low".
The dealer set them on "reduced" charge rate because they are not sure if someone will be using the EVSE incorrectly. It's not recommended to use extension cords with these chargers.

Regular orange cords will heat up.
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2014, 01:10 PM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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I just want to know how zippy it is around town, especially with the little lawnmower motor in the back.
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2014, 05:50 PM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ae86pwr View Post
Don't forget to set the Charging rate on the vehicle settings to Maximum instead of "reduced" or "low".
The dealer set them on "reduced" charge rate because they are not sure if someone will be using the EVSE incorrectly. It's not recommended to use extension cords with these chargers.

Regular orange cords will heat up.
It had already been set to Maximum...
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2014, 05:51 PM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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Photos:
http://imgur.com/a/NkDWt
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2014, 05:54 PM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
I just want to know how zippy it is around town, especially with the little lawnmower motor in the back.
One thing it has going for it is "zip". Not sure I'd call it POWER, but it does have instant and constant torque. It is also very light weight, so...zip, it has!

The "little lawn mower motor" that I think you are referring to is the Range Extender, or "Rex". This little motor does not actually propel the car. Rather it is a little IC motor, running on normal gasoline, who's sole purpose is to power a generator which feeds that battery - which extends the range of the vehicle under electric power.
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2014, 07:49 PM
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Me530 Me530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjacobs1000 View Post
One thing it has going for it is "zip". Not sure I'd call it POWER, but it does have instant and constant torque. It is also very light weight, so...zip, it has!

The "little lawn mower motor" that I think you are referring to is the Range Extender, or "Rex". This little motor does not actually propel the car. Rather it is a little IC motor, running on normal gasoline, who's sole purpose is to power a generator which feeds that battery - which extends the range of the vehicle under electric power.
I think he was wondering about the impact of the added weight of the extra engine.
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2014, 08:07 PM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Me530 View Post
I think he was wondering about the impact of the added weight of the extra engine.

Ah! Of course! Well, this little i3 doesn't have the Rex...so, I won't be able to comment on that specifically. I can, however, tell you that I have driven this car by myself and with my two 15 year old daughters in it...no noticeable difference!


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  #17  
Old 09-23-2014, 10:32 PM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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Originally Posted by FastMarkA View Post
Can you see if the GPS maps include planet Mars? Because the i3 looks like it belongs there.
Though the maps are pretty extensive - almost identical to my 550's maps, I do not see mars.
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2014, 10:38 PM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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How much stuff can you cram in it vs. a 5er.

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not as much...I'm sure there are volume measurements for both. I have not looked them up, nor measured for my self. My seat of the pants assessment is, however, that this is a small car.

My wife did a run to Costco in it, and commented on the lack of space upon her return. On the positive side for this little Bimmer, she was not aware of the rear seat's ability to be folded down...that changes things dramatically. However, I still doubt it is anywhere near the carrying capability of a 5er with it's seats folded down as well.
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2014, 03:59 AM
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K-A K-A is offline
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Don't love its looks but LOVED the drive. Most impressive and "BMW" driving BMW I've driven in a while. Which says a lot as one of the biggest merits of the BMW driving experience is the engine. I wish you can get some real wheels/tires and a super suspension on it.

It's not about the speed, power or even handling. It's just so well balanced and dialed in. Feels like a go kart. You can have the pedal to the floor and take turns, put a smile on your face, nail it at every light, yet not get into irresponsible speeds or look like like a reckless d-bag. That's the classic BMW balance and strategy: Usable power and balance that provides fun exercising of your cars limits without getting into trouble. Compare that to the also impressive 650i GC which just frustrated me as I could never unleash that awesome engine and it wasn't eager to feel as nimble around turns.
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Last edited by K-A; 09-24-2014 at 04:11 AM.
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  #20  
Old 09-24-2014, 12:23 PM
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fjacobs1000 fjacobs1000 is offline
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Here's something cool: the nav will display any charging stations that are nearby. turned out there were a few, and the charging stations at the local grocer (Alfalfa's) was FREE through a partnership with BMW.

Here's a snapshot of an hour's worth of charging at a public charging station (just shy of 1/4 in an hour).
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  #21  
Old 09-26-2014, 12:24 AM
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bredi bredi is offline
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
That's the classic BMW balance and strategy: Usable power and balance that provides fun exercising of your cars limits without getting into trouble.
That is a GREAT description of why I love driving a BMW!
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  #22  
Old 09-26-2014, 09:27 AM
ae86pwr ae86pwr is offline
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If I were to get an i3. The first agenda would be buying another set of rear wheels/tires and mount it up front.

I had 155/175 combo on my smart electric car and it understeered like a pig. I bought a set of rear wheels from Craigslist and now my smart is fun in the canyons ... Happy to sacrifice few miles for handling.
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  #23  
Old 10-01-2014, 06:52 AM
digby digby is offline
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what sort of autonomy could you get from the i3 ??
I have been thinking it might make a good car for the wife who does about 100 kms / day to go to work and back

Regarding wheels & tyres - change them and the energy consumption may shoot up due to weight and rolling resistance - these skinny's are fitted to help minimize rolling loss
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  #24  
Old 10-02-2014, 09:29 PM
God-Follower God-Follower is offline
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Originally Posted by digby View Post
what sort of autonomy could you get from the i3 ??
I have been thinking it might make a good car for the wife who does about 100 kms / day to go to work and back

Regarding wheels & tyres - change them and the energy consumption may shoot up due to weight and rolling resistance - these skinny's are fitted to help minimize rolling loss
We are seeing about 85-90 miles out of our i3 BEV per charge, and that is driving in Portland-fairly hilly area. Stop and go is where it excels, but even on the highway at 70 we are seeing near to 80 miles.

All numbers are with the vehicle in comfort settings, using normal A/C settings.
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  #25  
Old 10-03-2014, 12:36 AM
digby digby is offline
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Bmw announce 190 km autonomy and average customer autonomy of around 160 kms (100 miles) so maybe they are a little optimistic .......

anyway 100 kms per day should be OK but it would need charging every night
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