Why BMW’s i3 is the ideal city car

Believe it or not the BMW i3 was unveiled back in 2013, long before Brexit dominated the news, and the presidency was just a glint in Trump’s eye. But despite that, it still looks and feels like one of the most futuristic cars on the road in the UK.

Design and features

The BMW i3 was one of the first electric cars which, in our opinion, actually looks good. It’s distinctive, and looks futuristic. But it’s under the surface where the i3 really shines – it’s been designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle (unlike most other electric cars) and therefore is a lot more revolutionary than its competitors.

It’s based around a carbon-fibre passenger cell with an aluminium subframe for the suspension, motor and battery pack. This maximised the space inside, while minimising the size outside.

Tooling up for carbon-fibre construction is just the beginning of the i3’s techfest. All i3s get Bluetooth, DAB radio, iDrive Touch, cruise control, BMW Business Navigation, BMW Online, BMW Apps and Advanced BMW ConnectedDrive.
You’ll also get bags of clever connected and remote features. Things like streaming music from the internet and support for sending navigation destinations direct from your phone or laptop to your i3. Or unlocking remotely with a smartphone app.


Thanks to the instant torque from the electric motor, even the i3 Range Extender with its heavy lithium battery and petrol generator will hit 62 mph in 8.1 seconds. That’s impressively swift, and especially useful when darting around in London traffic.

The i3, just like any electric car, is at its best around town. It’s quick, it’s responsive and it’s refined. Even the best combustion cars make noises, shift gears and take critical moments to respond to throttle inputs but the i3 is silent, and quick (yet also relaxing with great visibility).

When we first received the i3 we’d try to charge it at every possible opportunity, and suffered from major range anxiety. But after some time with the vehicle, we quickly became more relaxed, and would let the battery run down to around 10-percent before we plugged it in. That’s where the petrol generator comes in useful – it provides peace of mind.

Read more: T3.com

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