Ten Second Review
BMW i3 Lease Review - The i3 is an attempt to get away from the quirky science lab image that electric cars seem to have gotten for themselves. With a touch of established branding and the huge amount of R&D that BMW is able to put behind any project the i3 could well be a success. What BMW are targeting with this launch is a niche slice of this growing market that wants to run on a less offensive fuel source but keep their style intact. There are some models which have a range extender petrol motor, but for the most part this series is electric all the way.
BMW is entering the fray with their version of the future, the fully electric BMW i3. This model is run entirely from the 168bhp electric motor, which can get to 60mph in just over seven seconds and has a reasonable range of around 100 miles on full charge.
Charging is easier than in its competitors, from your basic mains plug this will take 8 hours to recharge to full, although true to form BMW have plenty of extras, with a patented Wallbox this will charge to full in half the time. This is easily one of the most desirable electric motors on the market, with wonderful futuristic styling and a beautiful cabin, alongside refined German engineering that will be sure to last as long as it can.
The styling is magnificent, with just enough standard hatchback noticeable around the futuristic features to appeal to those unsure of the new technology, while inside is entirely the opposite. The blue rimmed steering wheel covers the central panel, made entirely up of LED lights, and the standard centre console works well and comes with satellite navigation. The styling is tasteful and does come with some regular BMW features, such as the iDrive functionality, along with some new options such as an integrated app that will allow you to check your car on the move. There is some rear legroom issues, the battery is fitted under the rear seats and as such your knees do sit pretty high, but there is plenty of practicality value in the 260 litre boot, put down the back seats and this will balloon to 1,100 litres of electric powered storage space.
The drive is specifically designed for city use, you get a minuscule 10m turning circle and plenty of low-gear speed, this is very happy at 30mph and you will have the confidence that you can get there quickly. However, this suffers outside of town and particularly on the motorway, with a lack of grip at high speeds and the ride quality will suffer. Considering this is an emerging market BMW have done very well with this outing, solving many of the problems associated with the first wave of electric motors, and this is a very competitive car for the urban dweller.