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(5.0) 2 reviews
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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2018 BMW i3. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

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

The Bad

  • Low-grip tires
  • Relatively high price
  • Braking
  • Range extender recommends premium gas
  • No AM radio

Notable Features of the 2018 BMW i3

  • Updated styling
  • New performance-oriented i3s version
  • All-electric four-seat hatchback
  • Gasoline range-extending engine available
  • Rear-wheel drive

2018 BMW i3 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
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 an EPA-estimated range of up to 114 miles. Competitors include the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen e-Golf and Chevrolet Bolt EV.

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 car's range.

New for 2018

BMW has freshened the distinctive-looking hatchback with updated styling, new technology and a new performance-oriented i3s model with a higher-output electric motor, sport suspension and other changes.


Latest 2018 i3 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(5.0)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

The best car I?ve ever owned and engineer masterpi

by Mo A. from Phoenix AZ on August 20, 2018

I love every bit of this car. I have the level 2 home charger which makes owning this car much better. No range anxiety at all because the car regenerates about 20-30 miles if driven correctly. Just ... Read full review

(5.0)

Literally the most reliable car I?ve owned.

by Genie from Kenosha on May 30, 2018

The i3 is an excellent city car for running errands and commuting. It is very fun to drive being faster and more maneuverable then most every other car on the road. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2018 BMW i3 currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2018 BMW i3 94AH

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.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed 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 warranty

    N/A

  • Dealer Certification Required

    196-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program 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