2017 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: The 2017 BMW i3 has increased battery capacity that, according to BMW, extends the pure-electric range to 114 miles. A new home charging station that can charge the battery in four and half hours is offered. 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 optional gas engine extends the driving range and this year has a larger fuel tank. The i3 makes extensive use of strong, lightweight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic in its construction—its curb weight is around 3000 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: $43,600
Base w/ Range Extender: $46,450

Base Engine
electric motor
Horsepower
170
Std. Transmission
single speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (MPGe)
129-137
EPA Hwy Range (MPGe)
106-111

Optional Engine
electric motor/0.6-liter 2-cylinder gas engine
Horsepower
170
Std. Transmission
single speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA Gas Engine Combined (mpg)
35
EPA Electric Motor Combined (MPGe)
111

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2017 BMW i3