It’s the range extender version of the new BMW i3 that aids it in earning its four star-rating here.

Were it purely an electric vehicle, it would look, as so many do, expensive and of limited usability, but the filler cap allows it a chance to be your go-anywhere only vehicle while retaining an electric range as strong as most pure EVs, should that be how you want to use it.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Going electric on a budget? This is as good as it gets. Better with petrol engine included

We’d prefer its fuel tank to be bigger than that of a scooter, but its mere existence buys the i3 credibility.

That backs up the i3’s other undoubted drawcards: its attractive design, alluring interior, sprightly performance and, best of all, the fact that it has what it takes to appeal to people who like driving cars - especially in i3S form.

They are rare, these cars. Tesla does it, and now BMW does it too: making an EV for those who take pleasure from cars and driving.

Alternatives such as the Volkswagen e-Golf or Hyundai Ioniq Electric may offer considerably more room, but have far less charm and lack the premium edge that the BMW commands.

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The BMW i3 is as worthy as any EV, but it is one whose soul exists to be enjoyed, not just endured.

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