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BMW i3 / i8 / ActiveE
Are you excited about the upcoming BMW i3 or i8? Interested in learning more about the BMW ActiveE? This is the place for you!

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2013, 01:16 AM
Andrew*Debbie's Avatar
Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Location: Anglesey
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,252
Mein Auto: Leaf Tekna
Why we aren't buying an i3

After a 1 hour test drive in an i3 earlier this month, we've decided not to order. We are loyal BMW customers. We've owned five BMWs. Six if you count MINI. We test drove an ActiveE over the summer and liked it. We have driven nearly all of the EVs available in the UK.

Both Debbie and I drove the car and we felt much the same about it.

The i3 tested was entry level trim. Pro navigation and The heated seats / battery pre-heat were the only options. We were told this was the most popular choice for early orders.

We had the car for an hour and were able to drive on city streets and the motor way where I had a chance to cruise at 75mph.


Summary:

Pros

The car drives like a BMW within the limits of the tires. It is responsive and fast. The Pro Navigation is the best I've seen in a car to date. And we've been looking at a lot of cars.

Sound system connected to my iPod nano, my memory stick and Debbie's iPhone easily. Most new cars we've looked at fail this test.*

The base sounds system isn't bad but it is worth getting the upgraded speakers if you listen to a lot of music. The i3 is quiet at city speeds and a good sound system is worth the investment.

The i3 is well suited for city driving. Visibility is mostly good and the turning circle is amazing.

Cons:


The seats were uncomfortable. The ride was harsh and there was a lot of vibration. We like a stiff ride but this was to the point of being uncomfortable. (We currently have a BMW Z4 and MINI with the sport suspension before that) After an hour Debbie was having numbness in her arm.

The back seat is cramped and hard to get into. I caught my trouser leg on a hook in the door sill.
We need enough room in the back for two large dogs. The i3 is marginal for that.

The i3 is ugly both inside and out. The colors don't help. Solid black or body colored roof and hood would help.

Even with leather and wood options the large front part of the dashboard is unattractive. It makes the i3 feel like a much cheaper car than it is.

After seeing the i3 in photos we were prepared for an unattractive car. Seeing an i3 surrounded by beautiful BMWs made an impact. Details like the fake kidney grill STOOD OUT. The two tone colors amplify the unattractive body shape. This car make a statement. I'M DRIVING AN ODD LOOKING EV. Obviously some people like it. Sales have been far better than BMW predicted.

For me, the real surprise was the interior. It was odd and the use of recycled materials cheapened the feel. BMW have done too much to emphasize the eco materials. I know I'm driving an eco car and don't need to be reminded of it.

It just clashed with what I want in a car. Of course I wasn't expecting anything like our Z4. But getting out of a Z4 and into an i3 was a dramatic contrast. The Z4 is beautiful inside and out. The i3 isn't.


Overall the i3 is a better car then Leaf. BUT The i3 is not good value for money in comparison with the Nissan Leaf . The Leaf isn't perfect but it does have some of the features we need that are not available on the i3 and it is substantially less expensive.

Nissan offers 14 days of ICE rentals for 5 per day and free charging at all Nissan dealers. BMW GBs rental plan is very expensive and most dealers don't offer charging yet.


* Out of over a dozen cars checked, the Peugeot 2008 and Nissan LEAF were the only cars besides the i3 that passed our memory stick, iPhone and iPod connectivity test.

==============


After 14 or 15 test drives our final choice came down to an X1 sDrive18d or a Leaf Tekna.

In the end we decided to get a Leaf Tekna. I'll be the first to admit it is a transportation appliance and not a driver's car. Even the top of the line Tekna feels like an economy car. But Nissan has met their design goals well. It doesn't grate on me the way an i3 does. It doesn't shout weird eco car. Yes the handling is terrible, but Leaf encourages a more relaxed approach to getting to point B.




(This post is based a thread I started on mybmwi3)
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The models and equipment (standard and optional) illustrated in this post reflect my misunderstanding of vehicles supplied by BMW AG to the German market. In other EU member states, the truthyness of my posts may vary. Please ignore this post. Subject to change.

Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 12-21-2013 at 07:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2013, 06:03 AM
Keepittrill's Avatar
Keepittrill Keepittrill is offline
My avatar is a selfie LOL
Location: Phoenix
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 4,179
Mein Auto: 2011 M3 DCT
Why we aren't buying an i3

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The fact that it looks like this is why no one should buy it.

Try waiting for the Tesla Model C. They're going after the 3 series.


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2011 M3 DCT

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  #3  
Old 12-21-2013, 07:59 AM
Andrew*Debbie's Avatar
Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
resU deretsigeR
Location: Anglesey
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,252
Mein Auto: Leaf Tekna
The Model C and e-Golf are high on our list of cars to test drive when we get a chance.
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The models and equipment (standard and optional) illustrated in this post reflect my misunderstanding of vehicles supplied by BMW AG to the German market. In other EU member states, the truthyness of my posts may vary. Please ignore this post. Subject to change.
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