Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:40 pm

Four years with the i3

Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:20 am

On July 31st, 2014, I drove my i3 REx off the dealer's lot. Its been four years now and I am as happy with the vehicle as the day I purchased it. The only significant expense was new tires. Otherwise, to this point, what ever issue I had or imagined I had, always small, was covered by my BMW dealer. I have a Clipper Creek charge unit in my garage which contributes further to the convenience of owning the i3.

The vehicle is today as it was originally advertised--a city car. That's why I purchased it with one caveat. In Southern California most, as I do, live in suburbs. So I consider it a suburban car. It whisks me from point A to pint B effortlessly and with the power to give me the maneuverability I require on freeways or city streets. The interior has not aged and the seats continue to give my bad back the comfort it needs. I am thinking about trading my i3 REx in for the sports edition but that's something for another day. I have taken one or two longish trips in my i3, but I prefer to revert to the other BMW in our family for long trips. For driving from beach to the Westside of Los Angeles or just from suburb to suburb, the i3 lives up to its advertisement..

I hope everyone has enjoyed the pleasure of owning or leasing their i3 as much as I have. I gave up two Lexus vehicles for the I3 and have never looked back.

Posts: 247
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Four years with the i3

Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:02 am

I picked up my i3 less than a month after you, in August of 2014. Mine is a BEV. I, too, am pretty much as happy with the car now as when I got it. It is damn near the perfect city car for me, and like you, I live in the suburbs. However, my big city, Phoenix, is a bit smaller, and that is perhaps why a BEV is perfect for me, but not you. I can pretty much do a round trip without charging from home to any edge of Phoenix, as I am fairly central in Tempe. I, too, have a Clipper Creek ESVE in my garage, and the few other times it has been charged outside the garage were not really necessary. My travel, touring, and back-up vehicle is a Lexus.

The HUGE highlights of the i3 for me are its extraordinarily fun driving in the city with great acceleration and wonderfully tight turning radius. I love the mostly single pedal driving, the great utility of the hatchback with folding seats, and near zero maintenance and absolute zero gas station visits.

However, I do have some complaints with the car. The sun visors are a bad joke that are virtually worthless for most side window use. The horn is a pathetic joke with a wimpy single tone and terrible start delay. Except for the fact that high-beam headlights are not much needed in city driving, the car could really use some real high-beam headlights! The back seats and back doors are not great, but mostly fit my needs. I am rather disappointed that BMW choose a cool look for the tail gate with an all-glass surface which leaves it way too fragile with respect to a more conventional tailgate structure or plastic cover like the doors, while at the same time hugely expensive to repair for nearly any damage (total tail gate replacement). The climate control is rather bizarre with two degree steps and requiring manual tweaking of (max) fan speed for otherwise automatic temperature control, but at least the AC is completely strong enough for the extreme Phoenix cooling needs and not hard to use once the BWM-unique spells are learned.

To be clear, the greatness of the i3 FAR outweigh it's shortcomings, even if the horn and visors are inexcusable.

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:33 am

Re: Four years with the i3

Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:54 am

Thanks for posting your thoughts after four years of real-world ownership. It's good to know how much you've enjoyed your cars. I am about to pull the trigger and buy a pre-owned i3 as my first-time EV and hope to embark upon as equally rewarding an owner experience.
Wanting to purchase a nearly new BEV with the 94Ah battery, wide screen, rear cam, 19" wheels (428 or 429), sun roof, cloth interior (Atelier or Loft) . . . patiently still looking for that ultimate bargain car, it's got to be out there somewhere!

Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 12:36 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Four years with the i3

Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:37 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I just got mine about 2 months ago and I couldn't be happier! I have a 2015 i3 w/REX and it's been awesome. Drive it just to the edge of range every day with my commute but it works great for me. I have the Chargepoint charger for the house and I've been very happy with it.

I have a 52 mile commute each way, but an altitude difference of 3,200 ft from my house to work. Going to work I go down hill so I only end up using about 30 miles of range (regen most of the way down the hill), but going home I do have to take it easy on the throttle (or I have to turn on the REX) in order to make it home. Certainly a sacrifice I'm willing to make to rarely visit the gas station!
2015 BMW Tera World i3 w/REX Arravani Grey & Black Leather

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