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2017 BMW i3

$25,365 — $53,796 NEW and USED
Hatchback
4 Seats
119-125 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

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
2017 BMW i3 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2017 BMW i3
  • New higher-capacity battery pack for longer range
  • New power moonroof available
  • All-electric four-seat hatchback
  • Gasoline range-extending engine available
  • Rear-wheel drive

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview

What it is: The BMW i3 is a purpose-built electric car with rear-wheel drive and seating for four. Constructed of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum to save weight, the i3's electric drivetrain gives it a range of up to 114 miles or so, according to BMW. Competitors include the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen e-Golf and Chevrolet Volt.

To address the range anxiety associated with electric cars, BMW offers an available two-cylinder gas engine for the i3. The engine doesn't drive the wheels but rather charges the lithium-ion battery to extend the i3's range.
New for 2017
A higher-capacity 33-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack increases the i3's estimated driving range to 114 miles from 81 miles. A new residential charging station is available from BMW i, and it takes about 4.5 hours to charge the battery on Level 2 service. A power moonroof is now available.
Significant Standard Features

  • 170-horsepower electric motor
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Traditional front doors and rear-hinged back doors
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Automatic air conditioning
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Heated front seats
  • 50/50-split folding backseat
  • Navigation system
  • Required in every new car: front airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system

Significant Available Features

  • 38-hp, two-cylinder gas engine-generator
  • Backup camera
  • Leather upholstery
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • Forward collision warning
Vehicle Overview

What it is: The BMW i3 is a purpose-built electric car with rear-wheel drive and seating for four. Constructed of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum to save weight, the i3's electric drivetrain gives it a range of up to 114 miles or so, according to BMW. Competitors include the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen e-Golf and Chevrolet Volt.

To address the range anxiety associated with electric cars, BMW offers an available two-cylinder gas engine for the i3. The engine doesn't drive the wheels but rather charges the lithium-ion battery to extend the i3's range.
New for 2017
A higher-capacity 33-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack increases the i3's estimated driving range to 114 miles from 81 miles. A new residential charging station is available from BMW i, and it takes about 4.5 hours to charge the battery on Level 2 service. A power moonroof is now available.
Significant Standard Features

  • 170-horsepower electric motor
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Traditional front doors and rear-hinged back doors
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Automatic air conditioning
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Heated front seats
  • 50/50-split folding backseat
  • Navigation system
  • Required in every new car: front airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system

Significant Available Features

  • 38-hp, two-cylinder gas engine-generator
  • Backup camera
  • Leather upholstery
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • Forward collision warning

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.5
10 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Electric car without limitations

by Bywhjr from Miami, FL on November 14, 2018

This car is perfect for the right person with the correct expectations. The car is the REX model ( has an electric gas generator) and in combination provides a minimum of 200 miles of range. Thats ... Read full review

(5.0)

I just love that car. Look, performance everythin.

by AR from Fresno, CA on March 31, 2018

The best car around the town. The best thing no gas! Save a lot of money! I love it! I really enjoy this car a lot. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2017 BMW i3 currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2017 BMW i3 60 Ah

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
acceptable

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
acceptable
Overall Rear
acceptable
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

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

    N/A

  • Dealer Certification Required

    196-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2017 i3 Stories

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

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