With the increasing desire for electric and hybrid cars on the market, popular manufacturers have taken their attempts at creating their own hybrid cars. BMW did the success with it’s $160,000 I8, but it wasn’t designed to be affordable or attainable by the average consumer. The BMW I3 on the, on the other hand, was.
The BMW I3 is a compact hybrid or all-electric with a 97-mile all-electric range and less than 200 total horsepower. With a base price of $50,000 there are a lot of faster, better-looking alternatives in the BMW line up, but that isn’t the only reason to avoid the I3.
The Tesla Model 3 has twice the range as the base model and is cheaper than the I3. It doesn’t exactly pair up with the competition in way of features, range, power or price. Like most other BMW models, the I3 hasn’t held its value, and even though the car is relatively new with production not even ten years old yet. Consumers can find used, low mileage, clean title I3s for sale for less than $20,000 which, if you are really that determined to get an electric or hybrid BMW isn’t bad for that significantly lower price.
The BMW I3 is offered as an all-electric car but has the option for a standard gasoline-powered engine to increase the car’s sad range. Many owners that have opted for this additional engine have complained about many issues, the worse being that on the combustion engine alone the I3 struggle to go up hills and inclines and sometimes cannot be pushed over 40mph. This wouldn’t be so bad if you don’t travel far for work and don’t have the intention of making any trips longer than 97 miles round-trip, but most owners at least appreciate the options to go a little further. It is clear BMWs solution of using a gas-powered engine to increase the car’s range has left many owners disappointed and anxious.
I guess to that extent it’s hard to say you should avoid the car at all costs. In fact, for the $15,000 BMW I3s you can find for sale on the used-car market it might not bad that bad of a car.
Owners that live in major cities that don’t have to travel far for work do have a lot of positive things to say about the car. It’s small, light-weight nature and zippy acceleration reportedly make driving in traffic easy and entertaining, and the car is so short that it has a very usable turning radius. On the other hand, more than a handful of owners have shared their terrifying tails of their car batteries dying on the highway and their gasoline-extension never engaging, causing potentially deadly accidents and requiring a tow.
Overall for the price of $50,000 you’d be better off buying a Tesla or any other electric vehicle that’s probably around the same price. BMW claims they will continue to sell the I3 until 2024 but with the dramatic loss of value and shrinking consumer bases, only time will tell if that is true.