MSRP
$44,450
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2019 BMW i3 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.3

The 2019 BMW i3 has peppy all-electric acceleration and an about-average driving range for an electric car. It also boasts a comfortable ride and decent handling.

  • "Acceleration is quick, and the i3 displays balanced handling and responsive steering. Braking is also excellent." -- Edmunds
  • The i3's ride is in line with its premium pedigree and serene interior. The experience is one of isolation, with no buzzing, no untoward vibrations, and no sound, at least until the optional range-extending model with its gas-powered engine fires up. The i3's suspension dispenses with cracks, bumps, and expansion strips in the pavement with ease, to the point where it feels too isolated from the road. The light and numb steering, which offers no feedback about the terrain, doesn't help." -- Car and Driver
  • "What might be surprising is the i3's well-tuned handling, courtesy of a nearly 50:50 front/rear weight distribution and BMW's expertise in rear-drive dynamics. This is an engaging EV for less than half the price of a Tesla Model S. Happily, it's also supple and quiet in normal driving, with suitably upscale manners." -- Autotrader

Acceleration and Power

The BMW i3 comes standard with a 170-horsepower electric motor. A 181-horsepower electric motor is optional. Both models deliver quick acceleration from a stop, and there's not much noticeable difference between them. A single-speed transmission is also standard.

With both electric motors, the i3 has a range of 153 miles. Both models can be paired with a gasoline engine that extends the total range to 200 miles, though the all-electric range drops to 126 miles.

  • "Get more forceful with the fun pedal and the i3 can sprint from standstill to 60 mph in a brisk 7.2 seconds. The i3s achieves it in 6.8 seconds. Electric vehicles have virtually instantaneous torque delivery with no interruption from gear changes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With its one-speed direct-drive transmission, the i3 pulls hard, smoothly, and in a linear fashion, all while staying completely silent. No fake engine noises here. It's a relatively quick ride, too. In our testing the i3 delivered a 6.6-second run from zero to 60 mph and the slightly sportier i3s model managed a 6.3-second result." -- Car and Driver
  • "Without the need to shift gears, electric vehicles such as the i3 make for utterly smooth acceleration and braking." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The rear-wheel-drive BMW i3 is easy to maneuver in tight spaces, but it lacks outright athleticism. It also feels floaty at higher speeds. Ride quality is generally good.

  • The quick, responsive steering and a short wheelbase add up to an ultra-tight turning circle and excellent city maneuverability. But these same attributes can make the i3 feel darty on the highway at speed, especially since it can also be susceptible to following grooves in the road." -- Edmunds
  • In common with many BMWs, the i3 deploys rear-wheel drive, which is great for a sporty feel, but not so welcome in slippery conditions. Ride quality, on the other hand, is pleasantly supple." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Steering lacks communication from the road, only hints at classic BMW athleticism." -- Car and Driver
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2019 BMW i3

MSRP: $44,450 - $51,500

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