Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:43 pm
Location: Perry, GA (Near Macon)

Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:09 pm

In about a month I'll be changing jobs and going from working at home to an 82 mile round trip commute. I'm a longtime BMW owner/enthusiast, but none of my cars would make a good commuter, so I've been looking for ideas for something that would be interesting to drive, modern, reliable, and economical. My first thought was a used 2004-06 3-Series coupe because I can get a fairly decent one for around $5000 and it'll get 25MPG. But then I started looking into an i3 and found this forum - and the amazing deals people are getting on these cars.

So I went to my local dealer and test drove one and started talking about a deal. I really like the car and it ticks all of the boxes on my wish list. It appeals to my inner nerd, and with the range extender will easily make my commute. And I may even be able to convince my new employer to install a charging station. So there's a good chance I'll be able to cover my entire commute solely under electric power.

Without really getting into the negotiation process, the salesman at my dealer discounted the price from the $52,545 MSRP to $37,045. This includes an $8,000 discount and the $7,500 federal credit. From what I've been reading, it makes the most sense to lease the car instead of buying it outright. But I've never leased a car before, preferring to pay cash because I hate the thought of having a car payment. But I talked about some leasing options with the salesman and first deal they offered is for roughly a $9,000 down payment and $168/month for 24 months. From what I've been seeing here, that's an okay deal but I'm sure I can do better.

But before I get too far along in the process I just want to know if there's anyone who has bought or leased an i3 and regrets it. Did it have chronic problems that the dealer couldn't resolve? Did the performance/range fall well short of expectations? I see lots and lots of love for the i3 on this forum, and not much criticism. So I want to know if anyone's had a bad experience and would be willing to share it.

And while I'm on the subject, are there any specific incentives or special deals for Georgia residents that I should know about? I'm a member of the BMW CCA and USAA, which amounts to an automatic $1,000 in savings. But maybe there are additional savings I'm not aware of.

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Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:06 pm

The range available decreases as the weather gets colder, but for your trip with the REx, you should always have plenty. MOisture seems to be able to get into the controls of some REx's and creates an error message, but that does not always happen or cause the vehicle to be incapacitated - it's mostly an annoyance. Most of Georgia probably does not see much snow, but with the all-season tires, and certainly with the 20" summer performance tires, you might want a set of winter tires...with lots of torque at zero RPM, and it can be an issue getting started like any high torque car. The narrow tires do help to preserve traction in nasty weather, but the summer performance tires are problematic if the weather turns nasty or very cold in an emergency situation.

Note that not everyone will qualify for the full $7500 tax credit depending on their income and current tax liabilities. It's NOT a rebate, it's a credit, and not everyone qualifies for the full amount. That credit is only to a purchaser...when you lease, the leasing company does not get that full amount, and they may not credit you with it. Some states do have a rebate, and that's a check back to you.

I have a BEV, and find it a lot of fun. It meets my needs, but that is almost all short trips around town.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:24 am
Location: Bath, UK

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:56 pm

No regrets. We use our ReX for all trips from a few miles to 400 or more. We have more rapid chargers in the UK and gas prices are higher so some decisions are easier.
2015 i3 ReX Solar Orange, Loft interior world. BMW professional, 19" turbine-spoke 429 wheels, DC rapid charging, driving assistant plus.

Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:43 pm
Location: Perry, GA (Near Macon)

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:28 am

Thanks for the additional info!

From what I understand after reading on this forum, is that the $7500 credit will go to BMW if I lease through BMW FS. That's also the way the salesman explained it to me.

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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:30 am

I have a 3 year lease and I got $4500 of the $7500 tax incentive. I was told that since BMW got the full tax credit when they made a lease they were passing it along minus their tax liability. I don't think it applies to a 1 year lease.

If you do your homework on range/temperature and you have a BMW dealer that you trust than you should not have any surprises. It is a new design and the dealer is very important at this point in the i3's history.
Clipper Creek HCS-40P 32a EVSE
2014 REx Arravani Grey Giga all options
2008 Infiniti EX35
2008 smart ForTwo Cabriolet
2000 F-250 Powerstroke
2006 Westfield eleven
1984 Laverda RGS-1000

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Location: NKy. Near the 'nati

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:45 am

GA used to have a $5k rebate. I was told they were phasing this out and it may have already happened. If not, that would certainly tilt toward buying.

If you put big downpayment on a lease, you could potentially lose that $ in a wreck where the i3 is totalled. All BMW leases include "gap protection" which basically pays off the car if it is totalled during the Lease which augers toward putting minimum $ down.

Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:25 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:47 am

Been enjoying the car for little over a month now.

Lots of fun to drive, easy to drive, no problems so far.

Suits my lifestyle perfectly.
I just use it for work daily, and some weekend errands around the city.
Daily commute to and from work is roughly 40kms, and I have chargers at work.
Charge overnight at home, drive off at 100% in the morning, get to work with 80% left, charge full day, drive off at 100% towards home, get to home with 80% left, charge overnight at home...repeat...
I only use the occassional charger at home, and a free L2 charger at work.

Haven't been to a gas station ever since...
- ASUN, 2016 BMW i3 BEV, Arravani Grey, Suite Interior, 20's, since Oct 25, 2015

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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:39 pm

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:49 am

The BEV is my best daily commuter yet.

With your state's mild winter, do you really need the range extender? An 82-mile roundtrip commute should be a breeze for you 10 months out of the year — with mindful technique. And with Georgia's robust (and growing) network of DC fast chargers, there might be a safety net in place that you didn't realize was there. Is the peace of mind (and complexity) the REx brings worth $4K?

I'd check out for locations of the CCS chargers near your route and investigate the possibility of occasional L1 charging at the office before ticking the REX box. Some i3 drivers here rarely use theirs.

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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:28 pm

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:19 am

Sorry to add to the growing list of those who like their i3.

I've just had mine for a week but I can't imagine that I'll ever buy another ICE car. I had driven a CNG in the past though so I don't have range anxiety ever (plus I got a rex).

The suicide doors aren't awesome but otherwise no complaints /regrets.

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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:41 am

Re: Does anyone regret getting an i3?

Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:20 am

With 82 miles round trip, the REX is your only option.
Here's why:
1. The faster you drive the less range you will get. For 82 miles I'm guessing that's mostly highway?
For 40 mph, you can get almost 100 miles per charge...60 mph, around 80 miles per charge, and 80 mph is gonna be somewhere around 60 miles.

2. Battery capacity degrades eventually
You could lose somewhere from 4~15% capacity per year depending on how you use/charge your battery, the temperature, environment factors, etc.

3. Low efficiency during winter time
The colder it gets, the less range you will get as well.

For all that combine......yeah, I would get the range extender for sure... 100% sure that your company is getting that charging station.

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