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The BMW i4 may be the most important car in the automaker’s lineup today. It combines all the qualities auto journalists like about the 4 Series Grand Coupe, including refinement and excellent road manners. However, what makes it important is an electric powertrain. As one of the latest vehicles in BMW’s EV lineup, it combines everything people love about the brand in a fully electric vehicle.  

Buyers love the BMW i4 as well. In J.D. Power’s survey, owners praised the vehicle for its powertrain, performance, and driving feel. They like the styling, exterior and interior, which they thought was well designed. Not surprisingly, the highlights reflect what BMW owners like in general about the cars in the brand, not just the i4

So, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the J.D. Power survey and the performance numbers of the BMW i4.    

What owners say about the i4 electric executive car

The BMW i4 competes in the Compact Premium Car market segment, along with the Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2, and Mercedes-Benz EQE. According to J.D. Power’s 2022 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study, the market for the i4 is 75% male, with a median age of 51 years old. That makes the market skewed more toward younger male buyers than the average in this segment, which is 62% male and a median age of 54.    

As part of the APEAL Study, owners gave the BMW i4 high marks for its powertrain, driving feel, exterior styling, the feeling of safety, and interior design. Drawbacks included driving comfort, range, and ease of entry and exit. 

J.D. Power’s editors also praised the i4 for its performance. Based on the M440i, the i4 is smooth to drive with precision steering and engaging dynamics. J.D. Power called it “a joy to drive,” saying it will surprise you with phenomenal acceleration.  

2022 BMW i4 performance specs

A BMW i4 M50 electric compact executive car model in Tanzanit Blue
BMW i4 M50 | BMW Group

The BMW i4 eDrive40 includes a single rear electric motor that delivers 335 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. It has a rear-wheel drive setup coupled with a one-speed transmission. Step up to the i4 M50, and you get two electric motors that combine for 536 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive. In M50 form, the i4 will catapult you from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, while the eDrive40 takes 5.5 seconds to reach that speed. Thanks to instant torque, both cars are faster than their gasoline-powered compadres. The 430i takes 5.8 seconds with its 255 horsepower four-cylinder turbo, and the M440i, with the 382 horsepower turbo six-cylinder, takes 4.4 seconds.   

Also available on the M50 model is something called Sport Boost. When activated, it will max out the vehicle’s horsepower and torque for 10 seconds. Depending on the state of the battery charge, you can use Sport Boost multiple times to induce a blast of acceleration. Thrill seekers will find it addictive, a drug that will have them taking multiple hits off the fast charger every day to keep the battery topped off. 

Also, with the M50, you get the M Sport brakes, Adaptive M suspension, and variable steering. Equipped this way, the i4 is the ultimate electric driving machine, albeit a silent one. Buyers who want a little noise can opt for the BMW IconicSounds Electric feature, which gives the car its own theme music. It’s a unique take that doesn’t sound like BMW’s iconic inline-six-cylinder engines. However, most people would be advised to skip it since they will be too busy squealing with glee at the acceleration. 

The BMW i4 is a stylish performance liftback

Competitors for the BMW i4 include the Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2, Kia EV6, and Hyundai Ioniq 6. Each of these vehicles is similarly priced and offers comparable performance. Where the BMW stands out is its styling, which is virtually identical to the gasoline-powered 4 Series Grand Coupe. It doesn’t scream “electric car” and shares the prestige of the BMW nameplate. 

In Car and Driver’s review of the i4, the magazine said, “Inside the i4’s traditional BMW body lives an impressive EV powertrain and one of the brand’s better chassis, which gives us hope that the all-electric future will be exciting.” For those of us who lament the passing of gasoline-powered vehicles and face the electric future with trepidation, that’s welcome news.  

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