Jkel
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:54 pm

My impressions of my I3 test drive

Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:41 pm

I drove an used 2016 Rex this morning and here my thoughts on the BMW I3.

I forgotten just how small this car is. I was a bit taken aback and almost considered it a waste of my time even being there at the dealership. But after spending some minutes walking around, opening and shutting doors and hoods, I got use to it. And people are right. Inside, it feels much bigger. I think it is due to a light interior and very little room behind the second seat is hidden.

I like the exterior design of the outer car and feel the back doors are very usable. The hatch room in the back is small and thankfully the space expands quite a bit when folding down the second row. I don't care for the carbon plastic interior. This car didn't have the wood accents and I think it would look very nice on this car. Too bad BMW didn't add it to all their I3’s

the first thing I noticed when the dealer pull it out of the garage is that there was absolutely no sound. It was kind of freaky. A quick demo on how to use the drive selection and off we went. The take off at a stand still is very, very good. Much better than most cars. The regenerative pedal is very interesting and instantly liked the feel of it. Very, very cool. The I3 did well going over the bumps and grooves in the road. It was better than my current car. Noise level reduction in the interior is good. The passing quickness on the highway is good. I was able to get around a guy who kept drifting into my lane. Stepped on the pedal and I zoomed ahead; no problem. The Highway drive felt very normal to me. I drove on the highway for about 10 miles off and on and the I3 never felt unstable or wonky. There was no wind so I didn’t get to experience of being pushed around a bit. I caught myself 3 times going way way over the speed limit. This car is sneaky fast. True testament to engineering that the car handles just as well going 70 as 45 miles per hour

i spent some time going thru neighborhoods and 40 mile an hour type roads. I thought cornering was not that great and felt almost suv -ish. Granted, it is not a sports car but I expected a bit better. It was wet and tested the handling by taking the some corners hard. I could not get the back end to slide. I am thinking this car is probably better in wet and snowy conditions than most rwd cars. I went over several speed bumps and it handle them very well. The turning radius is fantastic. The backup and forward cameras is a nice but no blind spot warning?. Silly for leaving that out.

i walked away very impressed with the I3. It is very, very fun to drive. I am 6’2” tall and felt very comfortable in it. I love that the windows are big and the viewing is very good. There is a bit of a blind spot but I think adding small mirrors in the corner of the side mirrors will overcome this obstacle. Seats are okay. They are not the best either. If I had it in my driveway I would be running on an empty battery now as I would going everywhere in it.

The I3 is something that I am very serious of buying. The question is should I go with the Bev or Rex? I drove the Rex and wondering if I need to drive the Bev. Is there much of a difference?

I honestly cannot understand why this vehicle is not more popular. Fun to drive, economical, small, different than other cars, and ecology friendly. Whether you believe in all the yelling about man made climate change or not we can all agree that putting a couple tons of carbon crap in the air is not great.

alohart
Posts: 1615
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: My impressions of my I3 test drive

Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:21 pm

Jkel wrote:The I3 is something that I am very serious of buying. The question is should I go with the Bev or Rex? I drove the Rex and wondering if I need to drive the Bev. Is there much of a difference?
The REx weighs ~10% more than the BEV which results in slightly slower acceleration. For those living in climates where cabin heating is important, the BEV uses an efficient heat pump augmented by a resistance heating element at very low temperatures where a heat pump is less efficient whereas the REx uses only a resistance heating element. So in all but the coldest temperatures, the BEV cabin heater doesn't deplete the battery pack charge as rapidly as the REx cabin heater.
Jkel wrote:I honestly cannot understand why this vehicle is not more popular.
High new MSRP, polarizing styling, and relatively short range.
Aloha,
Art

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

AndrewDebbie
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:37 am
Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK

Re: My impressions of my I3 test drive

Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:52 pm

Jkel wrote: i walked away very impressed with the I3. It is very, very fun to drive.
Try an i3s. The s is even more fun. You also would get all the updates that came with the LCI (facelift).
The question is should I go with the Bev or Rex? I drove the Rex and wondering if I need to drive the Bev. Is there much of a difference?
Rex is about 1/2 second slower 0-60. EV range is 5-10 miles lower because The range extender is heavier and does not have a heat pump. REx adds about 60 miles of 'get out of jail' range. THe Rex makes the car slightly rear heavy but most of us will never drive the car hard enough to notice.

REx adds a great amount of complexity to the car. Early ones can be trouble. By 2016 BMW had fixed most of the problems but there is still alot to go wrong.

In part it depends on what you need from the car and your local charging infrastructure. With a 60Ah, I'd need the REx. WIth a 94 I do not.

If I could pick any i3 without considering cost, I'd have an i3s 120Ah BEV with just a few options. It would have the same single charge range that I get with the 94Ah Rex with out the added weight.

Here in the UK there are some decent deals on Left over 2018s which is why I've got a range extender. It was to good a deal to ignore .





I honestly cannot understand why this vehicle is not more popular.
THere isn't much demand in America for an expensive 4meter long car. i3 sales in the UK have recently picked up. While it is a small car here too, it isn't smaller than everything else. It is a good match for London where it is exempt from the Congestion Charge. It also works well here in North Wales where the roads are narrow and parking spaces are miniscule. More importantly BMW have started offering real discounts and the Model 3 isn't here yet.
2014 LEAF 24 (gone)
2017 LEAF 30 (gone)
2018 Mazda 2 (Debbie's)
2018 i3s 94Ah Rex

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