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2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited January 2015 in BMW
image2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

Does a range-extending gasoline engine make BMW's new i3 electric vehicle a better choice for urban commuters?

Read the full story here


Comments

  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    Nice choice EDs! I am looking forward to this test. I must compliment you folks on the imaginative ways you find to explain why you had to get the top spec models of each car. "the grey interior will show dirt, so.." Too funny. My first question, how far does the range extender really extend the range?
  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    By the way that is a nice discount off MSRP, are these not selling?
  • airpowerairpower Posts: 28
    edited January 2015
    I just bought a BMW X3 diesel (love, love, love it by the way), but the dealer had 8 leftover 2004 i3's in stock. The RE models were offered at $7,000 off sticker, while the electric only were offered at $5500 off sticker. A quick search shows many in the area.

    Regarding the diesel - with the price of gasoline/diesel fuel I had a choice to make: Buy an X3 at list price, or the X3d at thousands off list. The increase in MPG with the diesel over the gas, just about negates the price difference (84 cents per gallon) in gas vs diesel. The real benefit is the way the diesel unit drives - especially in ECO mode. A neighbor just scored $7600 off a Chevy Cruze diesel, and also loves it.

    I am looking forward to next Monday's unveiling of the 2016 Chevy Volt. It will be interesting to see the electric/gas range figures GM has come up with.
  • bolotiboloti Posts: 47
    Great decision - looking forward to the test. I don't fully agree with this statement: "Most other EVs, such as the Chevrolet Spark EV and Ford Focus Electric, are existing vehicles with a battery pack shoehorned in wherever it will fit." If one looks on sales, I would be MOST sold EVs are designed from ground-up: Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Tesla Model S. The overall sales of "conversions" are much smaller since most of them a CA compliance cars... I think even i3 already sold more copies than Spark or Focus EV...
  • bolotiboloti Posts: 47
    Another couple of comments: a) mentioning $7500 federal tax credit is a must. So $42,500 for a fully loaded BMW (even an i3) sounds pretty good. b) I think the value of the range extender that one can "fully drain" the battery without a fear of getting stuck. As a Nissan LEAF owner, I start feeling anxious when my battery is below 15%. With the range extender one can drive all the way, and then some...
  • banhughbanhugh Posts: 315
    While interesting to read about, I wouldn't pay $50k for this POS. I hate Prius but I would be better buying two of them than spend $50k on this. $50k people! For this! $50k!
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    I suppose you could always bring an extra 5 gallons of fuel in the way back, that would get you enough range for a trip to Vegas I think.
  • kshankarkshankar Posts: 175
    I wonder if one can apply the tax incentives as down payment. The reason I am saying this is a local BMW dealer has advertised an i3 for $129 a month excluding tax for Owners Choice for 24 months. IT states $12500 down but applying the federal rebate of $7500, the state rebate (Georgia) of $5000 , it becomes nothing down. The small print really didn't say much either. But if it sounds too good to be true..
    In my area, lot of Leafs, and now seeing many i3s as well.
  • s197gts197gt Posts: 486
    munro associates purchased and tore down the i3 to reverse-engineer it and sell the information to companies inside and out of the automotive industry. they say it is the most advanced vehicle in the world right now:



    looking forward to this one. good pick!
  • ek900ek900 Posts: 39
    Would have loved more details about negotiating the price/ordering the car. This is very useful but basically lacking in this writeup. Still, looking forward to this test.
  • Excellent choice! I look forward to reading how this test goes. I'd also love for you guys to test the i8 someday in the future. Of course, the P85D absolutely needs to be tested as well.
  • kshankar said:

    I wonder if one can apply the tax incentives as down payment. The reason I am saying this is a local BMW dealer has advertised an i3 for $129 a month excluding tax for Owners Choice for 24 months. IT states $12500 down but applying the federal rebate of $7500, the state rebate (Georgia) of $5000 , it becomes nothing down. The small print really didn't say much either. But if it sounds too good to be true..
    In my area, lot of Leafs, and now seeing many i3s as well.

    Wow, what dealership is that? I live in North Georgia.
  • kshankar said:

    I wonder if one can apply the tax incentives as down payment. The reason I am saying this is a local BMW dealer has advertised an i3 for $129 a month excluding tax for Owners Choice for 24 months. IT states $12500 down but applying the federal rebate of $7500, the state rebate (Georgia) of $5000 , it becomes nothing down. The small print really didn't say much either. But if it sounds too good to be true..
    In my area, lot of Leafs, and now seeing many i3s as well.

    Wow, what dealership is that? I live in North Georgia.
    Looks like its the one in Roswell. I think the problem is that you don't get that $12,500 back until you file your taxes and it'd be on the 2015 tax return now, so you wouldn't get back that money till potentially April 2016 (unless you filed early).
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Excellent choice!
  • kshankarkshankar Posts: 175
    Kirkhilles1, You are right, its in Roswell. The ad looked deceiving. The way it said was applying the $12500 tax credit as down payment so in effective, nothing out of pocket so $129 a month excluding tax for 24 months Owners Choice. I figured the dealership can claim the tax credit so we don't have to come up with the down payment. Oh Well.
  • Semantics here, but how is it an all electric vehicle if you have a scooter motor on board to charge the battery?
    Was Rube Goldberg involved in the engineering?
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    When you lease the leasing company is technically the owner, so they get to claim the tax credit, which they probably sell to someone else to get the money immediately.
  • kshankarkshankar Posts: 175
    Bankerdanny, you are right. So with owners choice, you get the full tax benefit, but in the i3 ad, I believe you put down $12500 and claim the $12500 as a tax credit. If it was zero down, apply tax credit as down payment, $129 a month, I will be at the dealership now :-)
  • THANK YOU GUYS for getting a long term i3! I am stoked to read what y'all have to say. I hope you bought a 2015 model or made sure to grab a 2014 model that has been upgraded to include the latest software and hardware. This thing will be loved!
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Posts: 878
    edited January 2015
    munro associates purchased and tore down the i3 to reverse-engineer it and sell the information to companies inside and out of the automotive industry.

    Why? Every competing car company has already purchased several and has teams of engineers reverse engineering it. I'm the sure the back lot of BMW headquarters has pieces of many Teslas, Leafs, Volts and Prius. You really think BMW developed this electric car with a range extending engine without tearing apart Chevy Volts to compare notes?
  • Surprised you didn't go for the DC Fast Charge option. The network in California has grown in the last few months to the point that some regional road trips are practical. I've used it recently for a wine country jaunt from SF. The fact that BMW offers free charges through 2016 is just a bonus.
  • t_tt_t Posts: 3
    If you are not already on there is a huge BMW i3 group on Facebook. Very active and valuable information.

    At the end of December I saw several dealers advertising over $9,000 off MSRP for a 2014. The 2015 will begin arriving in March.

    I bought our BEV version in July and only got $4k off. Still, I think the i3 is a great value.
  • t_tt_t Posts: 3
    One more thing, the body panels are plastic, not CFRP. The only CF parts are the "Life" module, not the hang on parts.
  • t_tt_t Posts: 3
    The i3 actually has the same 2.4 gallon gas tank as in Europe, but is coded to only allow you to use 1.9 gallons to be in compliance with the CARB rules. Someone on the Facebook group found the setting to allow use of the full 2.4 gallons.
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