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Considering a 2014 i3 for delivery


I’m new to the i3 world here. I checked out a 2014 i3 at a local bmw dealership this weekend and loved almost everything about it except the higher mileage. Then I found another one online but 200 miles away that has only 32k of miles. It seems like a great deal at 2k under blue book. If it seems like this isn’t too good to be true, I could have it shipped to my house for about $300, which would be a first for me. I’m a little concerned about what I hear about motor mounts on 2014s and not sure if this one had the recall done on it. If not, would the recall still be available? The vin lookup shows it has dc fast charging. Also has the technology package. Some have also reported that earlier models had issues with REX... but isn’t the Rex covered by a 15 year warranty? Or could Rex end up costing me? I’d prefer a 2017 for the larger battery, Apple CarPlay and sunroofs, but looks like they are much more expensive at this point. See here: https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/deta ... hare_other
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Re: Considering a 2014 i3 for delivery

I would never buy a car sight unseen, unless a service such as Carvana is behind it with a no-hassle return policy.

I've flown out of the area to purchase cars three times, also taken the train once, so there's already a financial commitment on my part in hopes there's nothing wrong the vehicle.

In one case there was light damage to a wheel that allowed me to negotiate an extra $600 off the agreed upon price. On another, the boost hose to the turbo was unsecured, causing loss of power (thankfully an easy repair). And locally, I test drove a car that was absolutely pristine, but pulled funny on the freeway -- found evidence of front end repairs that went unreported on Carfax.

BTW the two cars I mentioned with the wheel damage and boost hose? Both brand new, one factory-ordered straight off the carrier.

The warranty for the REX is an emissions system warranty.

If you think you could manage with a 94Ah BEV rather than a 60Ah REX, I think it's worth your time and the extra cost to wait it out and get the right car.
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Re: Considering a 2014 i3 for delivery

I have bought a car sight-unseen before. Actually, I've bought 4 that way. The second one was a major mistake but I learned a lot from that ordeal and while it didn't turn me off of the concept entirely, it did drive home how much more risk you're taking on as well as highlighted that buying 'locally' is way easier.

Assuming the link you posted is the actual vehicle in question, a few things jump out at me:
+ Good amount of pictures from most angles you'd want to see
- No pics of the dash, displaying the GOM and % (to roughly estimate battery capacity)
- No pics of mechanical related things: tire tread, lights working, any rust (oh, wait! :P )etc.
+ Car looks to be in good shape from pictures
- Freshly cleaned interior could be suspicious. Will it have a faint smell of something disgusting happening in there?

The biggest downside though, is the description says NOTHING about the condition of that vehicle. They describe the options it came with from the factory, then they describe their dealership. In my experience this is a major red flag. It also happens to be a major way of doing business because dealers don't have time to write up detailed conditions for every vehicle that crosses through the lot. For buying sight-unseen though, a detailed description of the condition of the actual vehicle as-is should be a requirement (and not just BMW's description of when that vehicle left the factory). You could talk to them on the phone, and Joe might be a really nice guy (after all, he has a 5 star rating!) and I know used-car salesmen are notoriously trustworthy, but bear with me here and remember: all legal protections are buyer-beware, and anything not written down doesn't count.

So, while I wouldn't absolutely write off buying a car online, I'd encourage taking a highly skeptical approach to any vehicle you're looking at like that. As eNate mentioned, you need to be willing and able to walk away from an online purchase if something feels wrong. Money back guarantee from Carvana or the like is a good way to do it. Maybe this dealer offers something similar, but even if they do, keep in mind such a guarantee is only as good as the company that issues it.

In this particular case, and with the information publicly available, I'd pass. Combine that with your uncertainty of whether you actually want those features or something else and I'd suggest waiting as well.

In regards to the REX vs. 2017; I'd suggest going for the 94ah battery unless you know you want the REX. I love the solution BMW came up with using the REX, but pure BEV is just so much simpler so if you can get away with it (and most people can), you're probably better off with BEV only.
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Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: Considering a 2014 i3 for delivery

I would *never* purchase a used car without performing a sniff test in person, while sitting in the driver's seat with the doors/windows closed.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles
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Re: Considering a 2014 i3 for delivery

I've help several co-workers with a post inspection delivery of Carvana cars and 2 out of 3 had undercarriage damage. Also cosmetically 3 out of 3 did not match the posted pics on their site. Whether it was excessive panel misalignment or road rash, all 3 were overpriced by 3K.

The other problem you might encounter is the non-functioning Rex once delivered. If you're buying from a non-BMW dealer they have no clue how to perform the emission test and I wouldn't take their word if they said the engine is working.
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2023 5:20 am

Re: Considering a 2014 i3 for delivery

As eNate mentioned, you need to be willing and able to forgo an online purchase if something feels wrong. Money-back guarantee from Carvana or similar is a good way to do it. It is possible that this agent offers something similar, but even if they do, remember that such a guarantee is only as good as the company that issued it. Donkey Kong

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