YKK
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:35 pm

Bought an i3, thoughts after a few months

Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:58 pm

Hello,

This forum was excellent for helping me out getting a car and I figured I'd check back in and let you know how it went. I ended up purchasing a 2014 BEV Giga, 20" rims with 65,000 miles for about $12k right before the pandemic hit. I understand prices have fallen since but hey, I needed a car then. I was focused on getting a fully loaded one at first but I saw full leather and my personal opinion is that the mix of leather and cloth actually looks better. Rims I was worried about but while it could be that I simply haven't experienced 19" I don't think the 20's are problematic and I have to admit they look great. Rex was another thing I was curious about but ultimately I figured that for me it would be an additional cost for a worse product... maintaining a combustion engine defeats one of the major benefits of electric and I'd never use it.

Overall, I love this car. Thoughts after driving it for a few thousand miles:
*Speed is capped at 95mph. I never saw this mentioned here and didn't think to look it up. Honestly, this is probably for my own good and I appreciate it but I'm at the limit for 90% of my freeway driving.
*The turn signals are truly terrible. I have no idea how this awful system made it into production. I cannot overstate how much I hate them.
*One of the LEDs on my AC fan display is out and the AC button flickers. Not a big deal but shouldn't be happening.
*Range maxes out at about 50miles. I commute 15miles and only charge at work so when I get home it's at 35 tops... and then I need 15miles to get back to work again. This gives me about 20miles to work with which means I can only travel 10miles before I have to head back. I can still get groceries with it but it's really a commuter car. There's been many times where I would have liked to take it somewhere but could not due to the range which is a bummer because I love driving it.
*Backseats I have down all the time. You can fit a surprising amount in the back once you remove the tray thing and put the seats down. However, they don't really feel like they were meant to be down as the headrests sort of hit the back of the front seats. Also, I can't put the front passenger seat down all the way.
*Radio preset buttons are too far away but the wheel thing between the two front seats scrolls through super fast. Really like that you can have a station highlighted without going to it and it switches instantly.

The price is by far the biggest selling point for this car... it feels and drives like a $50k BMW but only costs $12k.

Thank you!

eNate
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Bought an i3, thoughts after a few months

Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:40 pm

Congrats! I recall your handle and you posting some questions pre-purchase.

I'll just say, regarding the turn signals, I'm in general agreement with you. Now I own two cars with disagreeable turn signal operations --the i3, and the Ford Flex.

However, I managed to make the i3 turn signals tolerable by deactivating the half-press / 3 flashes via the iDrive menu. I've gotten in the habit of always using a half-press left (down) to cancel.

This has eliminated most of my frustration.

My remaining complaint is they self-cancel too easily, but I'm pretty quick to recognize this and hold the turn signal stalk in the appropriate position to keep them active when maneuvering.

Maybe this is why BMW drivers get a bad rap for never signalling? :D
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jadnashuanh
Posts: 4989
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Bought an i3, thoughts after a few months

Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:05 pm

Being at the rev limiter for a good portion of your commute, the range you're seeing is understandable. I think I heard the i3 is at around 14K rpm at that point. They set the limiter a little higher on the i3s, and allowed a bit more current, but I think it's the same motor.

What is it that you hate about the turn signals? My second car is also a BMW, and it operates the same way, but I'm probably just used to it!
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

alohart
Posts: 2074
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Bought an i3, thoughts after a few months

Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:35 pm

YKK wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:58 pm
*Speed is capped at 95mph. I never saw this mentioned here and didn't think to look it up. Honestly, this is probably for my own good and I appreciate it but I'm at the limit for 90% of my freeway driving.
That explains your poor 50-mile range. With a drag coefficient of 0.29 and a fairly large frontal area due to its height, an i3 has high drag at high speeds.
YKK wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:58 pm
*One of the LEDs on my AC fan display is out and the AC button flickers. Not a big deal but shouldn't be happening.
This is unfortunately a fairly common problem. A few intrepid i3 owners have replaced the LED's which has fixed the problem (soldering required).
YKK wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:58 pm
*Backseats I have down all the time. You can fit a surprising amount in the back once you remove the tray thing and put the seats down. However, they don't really feel like they were meant to be down as the headrests sort of hit the back of the front seats. Also, I can't put the front passenger seat down all the way.
Our rear seats are always folded down as well. With the rear headrests completely lowered and the headrests rotated, the headrests don't touch the back of our front seats. However, our front seats aren't pushed back all the way which might make a difference.

Unfortunately, the front seats don't recline flat even with the rear seats up. Also, the passenger seat doesn't fold forward as far as I'd like when I have long loads to carry.
Aloha,
Art

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

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4989
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Bought an i3, thoughts after a few months

Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:29 pm

FWIW, the rear headrests do pull out, if that could help. If you thought you might need them, for a passenger later, maybe put them in a plastic bag that should easily fit on the floor so they wouldn't get dirty there, but you'd have them if needed.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

Obioban
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 6:16 am

Re: Bought an i3, thoughts after a few months

Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:31 am

You can tilt the head rests forward, so they don't interfere with the front seat.

The 95mph top speed is infuriating-- easily my most disliked thing about the car.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4989
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Bought an i3, thoughts after a few months

Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:51 pm

At top speed, the motor is turning like 14K...how fast do you think it can go and stay reliable? The alternative would be a two or more speed transmission, adding to the complexity and cost, and probably decrease efficiency along the way from more drag.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

CanisLupus
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Bought an i3, thoughts after a few months

Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:52 am

Some research shows a single ratio fixed 9.665:1 transmission results in indeed a very high speed for the motor/gen at maximum speed .
With our different tire sizes having Rotations per mile from 729 to 740 , calculating for 95 mph should go something like this .

95 / 60 = 1.5833 , 1.5833 X 740 = 1,171.66 , 1,171.66 X 9.665 = 11,324 RPM of the Motor/Gen 175/60 R19

95 / 60 = 1.5833 , 1.5833 X 733 = 1,160.58 , 1,160.58 X 9.665 = 11,217 RPM of the Motor/Gen. 155/70 R19

95 / 60 = 1.5833 , 1.5833 X 732 = 1,158.99 , 1,158.99 X 9.665 = 11,202 RPM of the Motor/Gen. 175/55 R20

95 / 60 = 1.5833 , 1.5833 X 729 = 1,154.25 , 1,154.25 X 9.665 = 11,156 RPM of the Motor/Gen. 195/50 R20


I'll make a suggestion that as your tires wear down your actual maximum vehicle speed would decrease although the speedometer would still
indicate the same 95 mph (153 Kmh eh!) .

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