RichBChicago
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:19 pm

Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:28 pm

Hi! I'm hoping to tap the insight of the forum after researching for 6+ months on various sites, from Consumer Reports to Edmunds, KBB, etc. -- I'm torn on whether to spend the extra $$$ on a 94ah 2017 i3, as by all reports I see, looks like reliability is better, and I'm quite concerned about battery degradation for a 2014-16 years (after reading a lot on this forum).

What do folks advise? Spend the extra bucks on a 2017 because I'd likely get a car with 20-30k mileage, or less, and lose the Rex with the 94ah battery?

Or, save a bunch to get the 2014-16 Rex model that's more decked out with more options, and use some of the savings to get snow tires, a garage charger, etc.?

Sounds like ensuring I get one with a DC fast charger is a must (there are plenty, it seems, in Chicago and its suburbs). My commute for work varies, and could be up to 50 miles/day (most often 25-30) and I worry about the old models without a a Rex, especially when in Chicago winters I read BEV range is really only 40-45 miles.

I'd love your thoughts -- my biggest goals are to have most peace of mind and sense of reliability for the money!

Thanks so much!

3pete
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:23 pm

If you don't have a specific scenario where you NEED the REX, a 'bigger' battery BEV is probably the better option so long as it can comfortably handle your daily routine. And 50 miles on a 94ah i3 should be no problem in Chicago winters even with some battery degradation as the car ages.

Benefits:
No maintenance on the REX
Heat pump on the BEV is more efficient than resistance heater in REX
Not lugging around 300lbs of motorcycle engine helps efficiency
There may be govt incentives near you that only "pure" EVs qualify for
Never stopping at a gas station again
No emissions checks ever?

Negatives:
No unplanned road-trips/ maybe having to stop at a charging station if something drastically disrupts your normal routine and adds a lot of miles.
Related to what you'd do with the price difference: the i3 isn't great in the snow/ice on the stock rubber, especially if you have the 20" rims which only have summer tires. Snow tires, or all-seasons (both of which are only available on 19" rims) are the safer choice.

I could be wrong, but I think by 2017 all the i3s in the US had DC fast charging so that might help your search...

alohart
Posts: 2163
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:38 am

RichBChicago wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:28 pm
I'm torn on whether to spend the extra $$$ on a 94ah 2017 i3, as by all reports I see, looks like reliability is better, and I'm quite concerned about battery degradation for a 2014-16 years (after reading a lot on this forum).
As the owner of a 2014 BEV with less than 11k miles but with ~20% loss of actual range compared with when it was new, I advise avoiding any 60 Ah i3 (2013-2016) because of many reports of range loss. This doesn't seem to be a problem with 94 Ah i3's.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

BL5
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun May 03, 2020 10:23 am

Re: Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:11 am

I have both a 2015 REx and recently added a 2017 REx also. I can't speak to how much range loss 2015 has, at 40k I don't think its much as I generally get 60-70 miles on EV. The 2017 seems to do much better with 105-115mi of EV.

There's a couple weak links in the fist Gen of i3, mainly the plastic motor counts and AC. I believe BMW ironed out most of these issued in 2016 and put in a much better battery in 2017. I wouldn't buy another 2014-2016, but the sweet spot right now is 2017. 2018 is LCI model, new nav system with LTE, upgraded headlights & bumper covers, adds $6-8k vs 2017. 2019 gets you a 120AH battery pack (44kWh).

The BEV is perfect for city stuff, but you'll want the REx for out of town trips I promise. Also the REx is much quieter and smoother on 2017.
Last edited by BL5 on Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2015 White REx, loaded Tera, ACC
2017 White REx, every option
2018 Tesla P3

RichBChicago
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:19 pm

Re: Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:16 am

Thanks so much, 3Pete and Alohart! Both of your replies do confirm where I was leaning, and what my gut was telling me -- it's worth the extra $ to get a 2017, and go for a 94ah battery (which in the U.S. I've read almost all, but not all 2017 models have), and I won't need a Rex, based on my mileage.

Likewise, based on my current job, which requires random field visits and trips, the 94ah range should work, and I can work in times to stop by a DC charger or other as needed, should that come up. And we have access to a traditional vehicle for any long distance road trips (whenever we do that again!).

I was going go to for the 19" wheels (or just not 20"s) for the very reason I've read that there are no alternative versions of tires, such as all season, or winter/snow tires.

Likewise, based on what I've read, as of 2017 (actually as of 2015 according to Edmunds or KBB) all U.S. i3's have a DC fast charger, so that's a huge plus.

Very excited to take the plunge into an EV! -- This is super helpful for a newbie!

RichBChicago
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:19 pm

Re: Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:20 am

Agree with what you said about the early 2014-15 stuff on the motor mounts and some software updates. I also feel more confident buying a 2017 based on Consumer Reports saying that's the year they'd recommend...though strangely on their reports 2014 and 2015 also rank highly on reliability (I guess strange--good!). -- Still anxious a bit about electronic gremlins and non-driving features going on the blink...but I'm willing to deal with those...for getting a very cool EV!

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5106
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:48 pm

Discharge cycles tend to degrade the battery. One 'full' cycle is from 0 back up to 100%, and ten charges from 90-100% also equal one cycle. So, a larger battery pack over the same number of miles will experience fewer discharge cycles and at least should see a longer useable life.

It really depends on how much range you need and how long you intend to keep the vehicle. In my case, a typical outing is rarely more than 15-miles or so, so even with a significant loss in capacity, it would still be a viable transportation device for me.

It also depends on how cold it gets where you live...temperature, especially with the REx where the only way to get cabin heating/defrosting is via direct resistance heating off of the battery (versus the BEV which has a heat pump that is much more efficient), your usable range will go down during that cold period. If, say, you can recharge at work or your destination, ultimate range may not be as big of a factor.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

gt1
Posts: 352
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:31 pm
Location: Baltimore

Re: Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:50 am

I went from 2015 REX 20" to 2018 BEV 19". Certainly prefer the latter. The software fix for 2014- 16 results in a half a second acceleration cut every time the car hits a bump. 2017s+ have a better traction computer and this annoyance is gone completely. The ACC seems a bit better, although still crappy compared to other designs.

RonEV
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:38 am

Re: Buying a 2017 94ah vs. 2014-15Rex

Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:40 am

One key benefit with the REX (especially in cold weather), you will never see range degradation. My 2015 REX consistently gives me about 50 miles of range (year round, hot or cold, etc), while my battery has started to slow down (especially during winter). If you can afford a big enough battery to handle your commute and winter range reduction, than this point is moot.

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