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i3 Driver
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Unlike most of the posters here, I have a permanent physical disability -- I'm unusually short and I walk with leg braces. So here is a different perspective on the i3.

First the good news -- 99% of the good things I've read turn out to be true. The steering is beautiful. The accelerator extremely responsive and the darn thing hardly needs a brake pedal at all. The regenerative braking is incredible to experience. Ironically, the brakes were also out of this world -- VERY strong braking -- so much so that if you are not careful you will jerk the car to a stop.

Cosmetically, I like the car. Many folks think it's ghastly but I truly love the look of it. Trunk space a bit small but rear seats fold down to offer more room. Rear seating did look a bit tight although I didn't sit back there to test it out. One major drawback with the reverse swing rear doors is that if your only passenger wishes to sit in the back, they must enter on the driver's side because once they are in the back and close the rear door, they will not be able to reach the front door to close it. Not a huge problem, but a bit awkward. Little to no glare on the instrument panels.

Now for my somewhat unique issues -- because I'm short, I must put the seat in the highest position it will go. The good news is the visibility was fantastic. The bad news is getting in and out of the car is as tough as it is in my wife's Toyota Sienna. The car sits high off the ground in the first place and then when you boost the seat, you're in the stratosphere.

The only other issue, again more unique to my situation, is one that I actually anticipated. The accelerator is difficult to depress. I expected this because the accelerator controls acceleration and deceleration and is very sensitive to pressure -- and perhaps for safety reasons -- is very stiff. I wear a leg brace and don't have free ankle motion so I accelerate using more of my leg power than the average person. This drive really gave my leg a work out.

It was enough for me not to make an impulse buy. I will sleep on it and decide if I want the "exercise" that driving this thing will give my leg.

I'd be curious to know if you non-disabled folks notice the accelerator a bit more stiff than the average "gas car".

Overall, the test drive was fun. Even if you don't buy one you owe it to yourself to take one for a spin.
 

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It might be worth looking into hand control throttle adaptations. Should be a piece of cake in a car like this and work great.

Btw, I totally wanted one of these, until I found out it was RWD only. I really wanted AWD or at least FWD as I go to the mountains a lot in the winter. Ended up with a 328xd wagon.


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i3 Driver
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jamolay, hand controls are a new trick this old dog probably couldn't learn. I've driven without them all my driving life. But I appreciate the suggestion. It's funny, my 328xi accelerator is a bit of reach but easier to actually depress.

I couldn't agree with you more about the RWD. The car handled about the same as my AWD 328 and I'm told that it has stability that will serve well in the snow. But I'm skeptical about the winter driving. My old Mercedes was RWD and was an outright hazard on slippery roads. In fact my wife refused to buy a mini-van until she found the only AWD one out there, the Toyota Sienna.


Matt, 328xi owner
 

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Yes, it is true that the accelerator is a bit firmer than in other BMW models. And when you switch to EcoPro, it becomes even firmer, sometimes uncomfortably so. The car is purposely trying to restrict you from accelerating quickly as that drains the battery faster.

I know exactly what you are talking about. Sometimes when you take off it feels like there's some tension in the accelerator. However, what I've found after much driving is that once you're on the road and moving about it doesn't seem to constantly give you that tension. It's like if you "break past" that it realizes that you do want to get going.

The car currently always defaults to Comfort mode when you first start up. I can only imagine they will allow the default setting to change through a software update. However, for people first experiencing the car, it definitely makes sense that they try it in Comfort mode so that they get a sense of the regenerative braking concept, before experiencing EcoPro, let alone EcoPro+ which are definitely a departure from what people are used to.

I think if you have a chance to do some extended driving you'll notice the change.
 

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i3 Driver
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Apollner! I think you nailed it! The vehicle WAS in Eco-pro mode. If I had known that the different modes effect the accelerator I would have asked to do part of the test drive in comfort mode.

This test drive was part of a "sales event" and I'm guessing they were trying to preserve battery -- not good to have the thing shut down on the road during a test drive.

I complained to the "client advisor" about the stiffness of the pedal. I think she's still in learning mode herself or she might have suggested a block or two in comfort mode.

One other odd thing was I could've sworn I heard them say these were European, not American models that we were test driving. Strange.


Matt, 328xi owner
 

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E30,840i,F80 M3comp,640GT
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One other odd thing was I could've sworn I heard them say these were European, not American models that we were test driving. Strange.

Matt, 328xi owner
They were Euro models. The traveling test drive models are European models (note the sunroofs that aren't present on the US models) but the accelerator action should be the same, no?
 
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