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$17,204 — $25,536 USED
4 Seats
125 MPG
Key specs of the base trim
Compare 2 trims


Is this the car for you?
(4.2) 9 reviews

The Good

  • Acceleration
  • Ride comfort
  • Overall range with gasoline extender
  • Cabin space
  • Urban-friendly dimensions, turning circle

The Bad

  • Low-grip tires
  • Bluetooth audio, backup camera not standard
  • Relatively high price
  • Braking
  • Range extender recommends premium gas
  • No AM radio
2016 BMW i3 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2016 BMW i3
  • New limited-edition Shadow Sport Edition
  • All-electric four-seat hatchback
  • EPA-estimated 81-mile range
  • 150 miles with optional gasoline range extender
  • Recharge time of 3 hours at Level 2
  • Rear-wheel drive

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Our Take

from the expert editorial team

What Is the 2016 BMW i3?

The 2016 BMW i3 is a four-seat electric hatchback that competes with vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Kia Soul EV, Volkswagen e-Golf and Chevrolet Volt. The rear-wheel-drive 2016 BMW i3 comes in two trim levels: a Base trim that has a range of 81 miles according to the EPA, and the Base with a gasoline-powered generator that reduces electric range to 72 miles but extends overall range to 150 miles according to the EPA.

What's New on the 2016 BMW i3?

There aren't any significant new features on the 2016 i3, but BMW did offer a 50-unit release of a Shadow Sport Edition featuring black exterior paint, 19-inch wheels, a sport suspension and a moonroof.

How Does the 2016 BMW i3 Compare to Other Electric Hatchbacks?

The i3 may appeal to some environmentally conscious, status-oriented drivers who are willing to pay a premium for the BMW brand over a Nissan or a Chevy. However, the BMW i3 offers less electric range at a higher price, making other electric hatchbacks a better value.

What Features in the 2016 BMW i3 Are Most Important?

The i3's standard charging time is 3.5 hours at Level 2 – 240 volts and adequate current – but public DC fast charging capability provides an 80 percent charge in less than 20 minutes. The BMW i3's only traction motor is a 170-horsepower electric motor, and it comes standard with a 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and a one-speed automatic transmission. The i3 comes with standard luxury features including a navigation system, heated front seats, automatic air conditioning, a 50/50-split folding backseat and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Its exterior includes LED headlights and taillights, as well as traditional front doors and rear-hinged back doors.

The i3 offers a number of available safety features, including a backup camera, adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system. Drivers can also upgrade the i3 with luxury features including leather upholstery and Bluetooth audio streaming. The available 34-hp two-cylinder gas engine-generator adds an EPA-estimated 78 miles of range per fill-up.

As is required in every new car, the 2016 BMW i3 comes with standard front airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system.

Should I Buy the 2016 BMW i3?

The 2016 BMW i3 is spacious and comfortable, and its turning circle and compact size make it suitable for city driving. Its acceleration is satisfying, and it gets good overall range with the available gasoline extender. If you're willing to pay a higher price for a more comfortable electric hatchback, it's worth a test drive.

However, it's most viable with the range extender generator – which not only costs more and reduces EV range, but also prefers premium gas and requires midgrade as a minimum. The lack of standard Bluetooth audio, an AM radio and a backup camera also means you'll have to pay more for features you'd find standard elsewhere. Finally, its low-grip tires make for unreliable driving in certain conditions.'s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

9 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value For The Money

Fun to drive

by Terbie22 from Encino, CA on May 10, 2019

Got a great deal on an EV that’s a blast to drive. I’ve already highly recommended this model to friends and family. Large windows provide great visibility. Read full review


Worst car and company ever

by Aa from Atlanta on May 3, 2019

Bmw is claiming that the i3 is so sensitive that somehow we caused damage to the charge port without any accidents or major trauma . And now this issue with the charge port they will not cover u set ... Read full review


Recalls and crash tests


The 2016 BMW i3 currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2016 BMW i3 has not been tested.


New car and certified pre-owned programs by BMW

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Certified Pre-Owned Elite with less than 15,000 miles; Certified Pre-Owned with less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    1 year/unlimited miles from expiration of 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty

  • Powertrain


  • Dealer Certification Required

    196-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance


  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2016 i3 Stories

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0 / 0 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

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