Car and Driver
“It’s hard to find fault” with BMW’s first electric car. Released last week in Europe and already racking up thousands of pre-orders in the U.S., the i3 combines “revolutionary” construction; quick, assured handling; and a daring interior that’s “a festival of new ideas.” Contra countless doubters, “the i3 doesn’t stray very far at all from what makes most BMWs great; it simply carries those principles into a new realm.”
Then why does the car have such a “vanilla EV feel?” In our testing, this car “lolled through corners” and emitted “a weird, warbling electronic sound” whenever we punched the accelerator. “We expect more of a BMW” and hope it’ll be re-engineered soon. The rest of the package ought to put a scare in Tesla, though. The roomy cabin is “a place of bright, playful fun” and impressively sculpted carbon fiber. This “seriously efficient” car can also go 80 to 100 miles on a full charge, even without its optional range-extending, two-cylinder engine.
“The i3 is in no way a track-ready performance model,” but in city driving, it “simply shines.” It’s quick off a stop and easy to maneuver, and “one of the smoothest, roomiest, and slickest electric vehicles we’ve ever driven.” We think it changes BMW itself, and in the long run, that’s a good thing.