Cars and Bids Bargain of the Week: 2015 BMW i3 REX

Battery and technology costs mean that EVs are typically more expensive than their ICE equivalents. However, if you’re okay with an older battery, a used EV often makes for a great bargain buy. And this week’s featured Cars and Bids car is one of the best EVs to buy used: a 2015 BMW i3 REX.

The 2015 BMW i3 REX is a forward-thinking if imperfect urban EV

A silver-and-black 2014 BMW i3 by a bridge
2014 BMW i3 | BMW

When the BMW i3 launched in 2014, it was the German automaker’s first all-electric car, Autotrader reports. And to help keep weight down—and thus battery efficiency up—the i3 makes heavy use of aluminum, carbon fiber, and thermoplastic, Road & Track reports. Despite this, the tiny EV’s 81-mile pure-electric driving range isn’t anything to write home about.

That’s where the BMW i3 REX comes in. ‘REX’ stands for ‘range-extender,’ as in a 647cc two-cylinder gasoline engine, Car and Driver explains. When the i3’s battery runs low, the engine turns on to recharge it. The extra weight means the electric-only range drops to 72 miles, Autotrader reports. But with it, the i3 REX’s total range estimate increases to 150 miles.

Admittedly, that’s still less than many of the latest EVs. However, for people commuting in and around cities with occasional highway journeys, the 2015 BMW i3 REX makes a lot of sense, reports. Especially if you lack easy access to a Level 2 or Level 3 charger. Plus, it’s surprisingly fun to drive, with a compliant ride and quick steering, Car and Driver reports.

True, later models have larger battery packs, which is why BMW got rid of the i3 REX trim in Europe, Roadshow reports. And the way the engine kicks on prompted a class-action lawsuit for California-market cars. However, the situation the lawsuit describes is based on a very specific set of circumstances, Roadshow reports. Namely, a fully-loaded i3 with no charge going 70 mph going up a steep hill.

Plus, as our featured Cars and Bids car shows, a used BMW i3 REX makes for a great bargain.

The 2015 BMW i3 REX on Cars and Bids

A black 2015 BMW i3 REX
2015 BMW i3 REX | Cars and Bids

The 2015 BMW i3 REX currently listed on Cars and Bids isn’t a pristine example. It has some scratches scattered throughout, and some driver’s seat wear. Plus, Cars and Bids notes that a recent test by a BMW dealer indicates the 22-kWh battery has about 73% of its life remaining.

However, it has less than 30,000 miles on the clock and an accident-free history. Plus, this BMW i3 REX has been Florida-registered since new, meaning little-to-no corrosion.

The tan-and-gray interior of a 2015 BMW i3 REX
2015 BMW i3 REX interior | Cars and Bids

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This 2015 BMW i3 REX is also well-equipped. It has LED lights, heated front seats, iDrive navigation, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay. Plus, a built-in rearview camera. And, like every i3, it has rear-hinged rear doors and an interior made with recycled materials.

Is this a bargain worth considering?

As of this writing, this 2015 i3 REX is listed on Cars and Bids at $10,101 with four days left in the auction. That’s a significant discount over a brand-new one, which starts at $48,300.

The rear 3/4 view of a black 2015 BMW i3 REX
2015 BMW i3 REX rear 3/4 | Cars and Bids

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It’s also fairly low given the EV’s mileage. Examples with similar mileages can easily go for 50%-100% more on Autotrader. So, if you’re looking for an urban EV that isn’t necessarily tethered to the charger, this one might be worth considering.

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