2016 BMW i3

Pros: Availability of gasoline-engine “range extender” version; peppy acceleration with instantaneous throttle response; tall body build provides good headroom and legroom; relatively smooth ride for a subcompact-sized car

Cons: Limited driving range in pure-electric form; so-so cargo space; rear-hinged back doors aren’t as practical as traditional doors; some drivers may find it hard to adjust to the aggressive regenerative braking

CG Says: Aside from a limited-run Shadow Sport Edition model, the BMW i3 is unchanged for 2016. The i3 is a subcompact-sized 4-door hatchback that offers the choice of pure electric power, or electric power with a small 2-cylinder gasoline-engine “range extender.” The driving range solely on the electric motor is about 80-100 miles, according to BMW. The optional gas engine extends the driving range by another 80-100 miles. The i3 makes extensive use of strong, lightweight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic in its construction—its curb weight is around 2700 pounds. Available features include a navigation system, sunroof, collision warning and mitigation systems, a rearview camera, and leather upholstery. Though it is not without its compromises, the i3’s peppy acceleration, forward-thinking styling, and BMW-bred driving personality should make it a compelling choice among electric- and green-vehicle shoppers.

The Facts
Class Subcompact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 4
Drive Wheels rear-wheel drive
Manufacturer BMW
Nation of Manufacturer Germany
Base Prices Base: $42,400
Base w/ Range Extender: $46,250

Base Engine
electric motor
Horsepower
170
Std. Transmission
single speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (MPGe)
137
EPA Hwy Range (MPGe)
111

Optional Engine
electric motor/0.6-liter 2-cylinder gas engine
Horsepower
170
Std. Transmission
single speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA Gas Engine (mpg)
39 city/hwy combined
EPA Electric Motor (MPGe)
117 city/hwy combined

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2016 BMW i3
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2016 BKW i3 Shadow Sport Edition