BMW i3

The 2016 BMW i3 – Dweeby Yet Admirable

Here’s yet another plug-in hybrid from the house of BMW – the 2016 BMW i3. The counterpart i8 is a great-looking machine; well, so is this, but its appearance may not please many. It looks somewhat dweeby and some may find it odd because of its appearance. But, it clearly announces that it is the vehicle of future. This 4-door rear-wheel-drive hybrid can accommodate 4 passengers, is quite fast for a battery-driven vehicle, has high technology, and gives you the feeling of future. Let’s know more about the 2016 BMW i3.

BMW i3


The BMW i3 is great on styling overall, but may not appeal a few people due to its chubby shape. It surely looks car from the future, though. Its dynamics are admirable and so is the included technology. One of the lows can be the smaller gas tank, which brings in the dead-battery anxiety pretty quickly. You may not be able to plan longer trips in i3; the optional range-extending package may be of little help. Rear-wheel-drive and automatic transmission are standard. Let’s check out the styling and features of the 2016 BMW i3.

Interior and Exterior Styling and Features

This subcompact entry-level luxury electric vehicle weighs nearly 2,800 lbs and can accommodate 4 passengers. It has a wheelbase of 101 inches, length of 157 inches, width of 70 inches, and overall height of 62 inches.

Some of the internal features included in the i3 are power auto-dimming side mirrors with power folding, speed-sensitive rain-detecting variable intermittent wipers, front windshield with sun visor strip, lip spoiler, reverse opening rear doors, fully automatic projector beam LED low beam daytime running auto-leveling headlamps with delay-off, approach lights, and LED brakelights.

The interior is beautiful and gives sense of being in future, just like the exterior. Some of the internal features include heated front seats, 6-way driver seat including manual recline, height adjustment, fore/aft movement and manual rear seat easy entry; 6-way passenger seat including manual recline, height adjustment, fore/aft movement and manual rear seat easy entry, and 50-50 folding bench rear seat.

The i3 also includes a compass, proximity key for push button start only, remote keyless entry with integrated key transmitter, illuminated entry, illuminated ignition switch & panic button, power trunk, and cruise control with steering-mounted controls.

Additional features include automatic air conditioning, HVAC with underseat ducts and residual heat recirculation, illuminated locking glove box, day-night auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver and passenger visor vanity mirrors with driver and passenger illumination, front and rear map lights, fade-to-off interior lighting, and cargo space lights. Furthermore, you get FOB controls for hatch and windows, integrated navigation system, tracker system, smart device integration, perimeter alarm, engine immobilizer, and three 12V DC power outlets.

Entertainment, Etc.

The standard gauges in i3 are speedometer, odometer, traction battery level, power/regen, trip odometer, trip computer, systems monitor, outside temperature, and digital display.

In terms of entertainment, it has an HD radio with seek-scan, clock, speed-compensated volume control, auxiliary audio input jack, steering-mounted controls, radio data system, external memory control, 4 speakers, integrated roof diversity antenna, satellite radio with 1-year subscription, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity, and two LCD monitors.

Engine, Performance, and Fuel Economy

The 2016 BMW i3 has an electric engine with estimated range of 81 miles per charge; the vehicle can get fully charged in 3 hours from a 220-volt outlet. It carries a DOHC 8-valve 647-cc inline-2 generator engine producing 34 hp.

It, however, has an optional feature as a package where you can have a range-extending gas engine, taking the total range to 150 miles and slightly suppress the dead-battery anxiety.

The i3 can reach from 0 mph to 60 mph in 7 seconds and can attain top speed of 92 mph.

Safety Features

Some of the safety features you’ll find inside the i3 are regenerative 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-wheel ABS, front & rear vented discs, brake assist, hill hold control, electric parking brake, power auto-dimming side mirrors with power folding, fully automatic projector beam LED low beam daytime running auto-leveling headlamps with delay-off, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and ABS along with Driveline Traction Control.

For additional protection, it has side impact beams, dual-stage driver and passenger seat-mounted side airbags, BMW Assist eCall Emergency S.O.S., tire-specific low tire pressure warning, dual-stage driver and passenger front airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, and driver and passenger knee airbag.

Optional safety feature comes in as Parking Assistant Package.

Price and Availability

The 2016 BMW i3 has a base price of $43,395 that goes up to $47,245 for the Range Extender trim.

Please call your nearest BMW Dealership to confirm the availability of the trim you wish to check out.

Final Verdict

The 2016 BMW i3 is a nice car with several ‘buts’ included in it. The Range Extender trim should actually have been named as Limited-Range Range extender, for it does not increase the vehicle’s range to higher levels, and there always stays that dead-battery anxiety inside you.

The i3 is priced nicely and there aren’t many contenders in this entry-level luxury electric vehicle segment, except the Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive, which is priced lower when compared to the i3. The i3, however, looks entirely different and can catch more eyes and drop more jaws. The car is reliable and is recommended. It has almost everything you expect from a entry-level electric car.

We hope you liked our review of the 2016 BMW i3. Share it with other auto enthusiasts. Also, please feel free to contact us with questions, feedbacks, queries, and suggestions, if any. Take care and drive safe.

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