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Key Specs

of the 2014 BMW i3. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling
  • Acceleration
  • Tax credit availability

The Bad

  • Ride on rough pavement
  • Compromised rear visibility
  • Appearance of some of the eco-friendly materials

Notable Features of the 2014 BMW i3

  • New for 2014
  • All-electric four-seat hatchback
  • Range of 80 to 100 miles
  • Carbon fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum construction
  • Available range-extending gas engine
  • Three-hour recharge time on Level 2 service
  • Rear-wheel drive

2014 BMW i3 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The new BMW i3 is a purpose-built electric car with seating for four. Constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum to save weight, the i3's electric drivetrain gives it a range of 80 to 100 miles, according to BMW, and it can be recharged in three hours on Level 2 service, which is available at many charging stations.

To alleviate the range-anxiety concerns associated with electric cars, BMW offers an available two-cylinder gas engine for the i3. The engine doesn't drive the wheels but rather maintains the lithium-ion battery when its charge is low. The engine gives the i3 another 80 to 100 miles of range.

The i3 is scheduled to hit dealerships in the second quarter of 2014. Competitors include the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e and Chevrolet Volt.

Exterior Highlights

  • Modular architecture consists of carbon fiber reinforced plastic cabin and aluminum drivetrain chassis
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Traditional front doors and rear-hinged back doors, no B-pillar
  • 19-inch light-alloy wheels; 20-inch wheels available
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

Interior Highlights

  • Automatic air conditioning
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • iDrive system with 6.5-inch screen
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB port
  • 50/50-split folding backseat
  • Navigation system

Under the Hood

  • Electric motor makes 170 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque
  • 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack located near the rear wheels, which drive the car
  • Electronically limited 93-mph top sp...
Vehicle Overview

The new BMW i3 is a purpose-built electric car with seating for four. Constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum to save weight, the i3's electric drivetrain gives it a range of 80 to 100 miles, according to BMW, and it can be recharged in three hours on Level 2 service, which is available at many charging stations.

To alleviate the range-anxiety concerns associated with electric cars, BMW offers an available two-cylinder gas engine for the i3. The engine doesn't drive the wheels but rather maintains the lithium-ion battery when its charge is low. The engine gives the i3 another 80 to 100 miles of range.

The i3 is scheduled to hit dealerships in the second quarter of 2014. Competitors include the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e and Chevrolet Volt.

Exterior Highlights

  • Modular architecture consists of carbon fiber reinforced plastic cabin and aluminum drivetrain chassis
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Traditional front doors and rear-hinged back doors, no B-pillar
  • 19-inch light-alloy wheels; 20-inch wheels available
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

Interior Highlights

  • Automatic air conditioning
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • iDrive system with 6.5-inch screen
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB port
  • 50/50-split folding backseat
  • Navigation system

Under the Hood

  • Electric motor makes 170 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque
  • 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack located near the rear wheels, which drive the car
  • Electronically limited 93-mph top speed
  • Three-hour charging time on Level 2 service; available DC fast charging for full charge in 30 minutes
  • Available 34-hp two-cylinder gas engine extends driving range

Safety Features

  • Antilock brakes
  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Electronic stability system
  • Emergency communication system with 10-year subscription included

 


Latest 2014 i3 Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Great Electric Car Range Extender

by Electric Buty from Washington on July 6, 2018

Great Electric Car Range Extender. Best for City driving. Balanced for comfort and entertainment. A lot of electronic to help you navigate in a city traffic and more. Read full review

(5.0)

I love this car

by Knickerbocker from New York, NY on April 30, 2018

The BMW i3 is just an amazing car. I love how it looks and I love that it has been designed from the ground up as an electric car. It also handles like a BMW. I've read that it's the fastest BMW from ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2014 BMW i3 currently has 4 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2014 BMW i3 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by BMW

Program Benefits

Comprehensive inspection by BMW technician, 24/7 Roadside Assistance, BMW Assist. Exceptional vehicles with exceptional coverage

  • Limited Warranty

    Unlimited Miles for 1-Year

    BMW Certified Pre-Owned: Covers you for unlimited miles for 1-year, after the expiration o f the 4-year / 50,000 mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty for a total of 5 years with unlimited miles. This includes up to 5 years and unlimited miles of BMW Roadside Assistance and BMW Assist (TM) on many late model BMW vehicles. Additional plans are available to extend your vehicle's coverage for up to a total of 6 years with unlimited miles. See your BMW Center for details.
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a Comprehensive inspection.

    See inspection details.

Change Year or Vehicle

All Model Years for the BMW i3

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The i3 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker