The i3 is not cheap. Without a grant, the model starts at just over £34k for the all-electric version and over £37k for the range extender, not to mention the i3S which can set you back in excess of £40,000 if you opt for the range extender version.
Even with the government’s scheme taken into account, the cheaper car is equivalent in cost to a BMW 120d SE. It is also almost £5k more expensive than the larger Nissan Leaf and over £10k beyond the Clio-sized Zoe’s entry point.
However, BMW calls the i3 the first premium electric car, and that description feels warranted. In terms of quality – and by that, we mean both attention to detail and driving experience – the i3 is in another league.
BMW has not eliminated the limitations we associate with buying an electric car, though. Its battery – bought with the car rather than leased – comes with an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty and will take seven to eight hours to charge from a domestic plug.
Have BMW’s AC fast-charging Wallbox fitted to your house and that will shorten to about three hours. Find a public DC fast charger and you’ll still need half an hour.