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Expert Rating

BMW i3 (2013 to 2022)

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Expert Rating

BMW i3 (2013 to 2022)

Not a current model

    Summary


    The BMW i3 was a small urban electric car, and was BMW’s first fully-electric vehicle when it was launched back in 2013. It received a substantial mid-life update in 2017.

    The i3 was one of the pioneers of the electric car movement, and there is still nothing really directly comparable to it on the market. It boasted clever construction methods and lightweight body panels, developed to offset the significant weight of its batteries. Even eight years after it was launched, it was still a more innovative and futuristic vehicle than most other cars on the market – at any price.

    However, those eight years saw EV technology evolve rapidly, and newer rivals were able to combine more space and better battery range in more conventionally designed vehicles at lower prices. As an indication of how rapid this evolution has been, What Car? magazine awarded the BMW with ‘Best Electric Car’ in its price range in 2017, but by 2021 it carried a lowly two-star rating – one of the lowest scores that the magazine has given to any of the 350+ cars we have analysed to date in our Expert Rating Index.

    No longer on sale, BMW is not expected to replace the i3 with a direct successor and is likely to shift towards electric versions of its regular model range.

    The BMW i3 holds an Expert Rating of 73%, based on 33 reviews published by UK media sources.

    Key specifications


    Body style: Small five-door hatch
    Motor: electric, battery-powered
    Price when new: From £33,805 on-road

    Launched: Autumn 2013
    Last updated: Autumn 2018
    Discontinued: Summer 2022


    Media reviews


    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

    Auto Express

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    Auto Trader

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    Autocar

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    Business Car

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    Car

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    Car Keys

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    Carbuyer

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    Carwow

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    Company Car Today

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    Daily Mail

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    Discover EV

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    Driving Electric

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    Electrifying.com

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    Eurekar

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    Evo

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    Green Car Guide

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    Heycar

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    Honest John

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    Motoring Research

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    Motors.co.uk

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    Parkers

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    The Sun

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    The Sunday Times

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    The Telegraph

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    Top Gear

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    What Car?

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    Which?

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    Safety rating


    Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

    No safety rating

    The BMW i3 was awarded a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating back in 2013, however this rating expired in 2020 and is no longer valid.

    Eco rating


    Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

    Model tested: i3 4×2

    Overall score: 5 stars
    Date tested: February 2019
    Read the full Green NCAP review

    Clean Air Index: 10 / 10
    Energy Efficiency Index: 8.5 / 10

    Reliability rating

    MotorEasy logo 600x167

    The BMW i3 has a low reliability score, according to exclusive extended warranty data provided by our partners at MotorEasy.

    The most common reported problem with the i3 relates to the car’s suspension, with an average repair bill of more than £530. The other area to look out for is the electrical system, which accounts for a third of repair claims. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive fault on average, with a repair bill that can cost in the range of £900.

    If you’re looking at a used BMW i3, make sure any extended warranty cover you purchase covers all of these potential problem areas.

    Awards


    Trophies, prizes and awards that the BMW i3 has received

    2017

    • World Car Awards – World Urban Car
    • What Car? Awards – Best Electric Car, £20K – £40K
    • Auto Express Awards – Best Electric Car

    2014

    • UK Car of the Year
    • World Car Awards – Best Green Car + Best Car Design

    Similar cars


    If you’re looking at the BMW i3, you might also be interested in these alternatives

    DS 3 Crossback E-Tense | Fiat 500 Electric | Honda e | Kia Soul EV | Mini Electric | Peugeot e-208 | Renault Zoe | SEAT Mii Electric | Smart EQ Forfour | Smart EQ Fortwo | Vauxhall Corsa-e | Volkswagen e-Up

    The rapidly expanding electric car market is changing almost monthly, but is still relatively small compared to the number of petrol and diesel models available. That means that there are fewer direct competitors but a variety of different cars for a given price point. Of the cars listed above, few are genuinely similar to the BMW i3 in terms of size and specification, but all are trying to fill a similar role for urban driving.

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    BMW i3 on car subscription


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    BMW i3 (2013 to 2022)The BMW i3 was an electric car pioneer and there's still nothing quite like it. However, that's because EV technology has moved on a lot.