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.