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2019 BMW i8

$147,500 — $163,300 MSRP
Coupe
2-4 Seats
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?
(5.0) 1 reviews

The Good

  • Supercar looks
  • Brisk acceleration
  • Efficiency versus exotic competitors
  • Interior quality
  • Ride quality

The Bad

  • Light but feels heavy
  • Difficult entry, exit
  • Doors complicate access
  • Tiny backseat (coupe)
  • Requires premium gas
  • Modest EV range and gas mpg versus cheaper plug-ins
2019 BMW i8 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2019 BMW i8
  • New roadster version available
  • Plug-in hybrid sports car with 18 miles of all-electric range
  • Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body, aluminum chassis
  • Electric front-drive, gas rear-drive
  • Swing-wing doors

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

BMW has updated its hybrid electric i8 model, giving it more power, more range, a bigger battery and, most significantly, a new roadster model that features a powered convertible top. The new i8 roadster and updated coupe will go on sale as 2019 models in spring 2018.

Exterior
The changes externally are minimal, with few design differences between the 2018 and 2019 coupe. But the big news is obviously the roadster, which loses the two vestigial "plus 2" rear seats in favor of a power-retractable soft-top and separate articulated rear window.

The insulated fabric panel folds using a Z formation and stows underneath a hard tonneau cover in just 16 seconds and at speeds up to 31 mph, according to BMW. If you worry that losing the roof means that the i8 will also lose its novel butterfly doors, fear not — the car retains its cool doors, ready to let you show off when you roll up to your destination. In addition to the new top, two new colors arrive for the 2019 model year: E-Copper and Donnington Grey.

Interior
No styling changes have been made inside, but new colors and trim options have been created. Standard is a sport steering wheel and multifunction display, with Giga interior trim colors in Ivory White leather for the coupe and Ivory White/Black leather for the roadster. A dark Amido interior color is standard for both models, and the optional Halo interior trim features a Carum/Dalbergia color scheme, or spend a little more and opt for the high-end Tera ...

BMW has updated its hybrid electric i8 model, giving it more power, more range, a bigger battery and, most significantly, a new roadster model that features a powered convertible top. The new i8 roadster and updated coupe will go on sale as 2019 models in spring 2018.

Exterior
The changes externally are minimal, with few design differences between the 2018 and 2019 coupe. But the big news is obviously the roadster, which loses the two vestigial "plus 2" rear seats in favor of a power-retractable soft-top and separate articulated rear window.

The insulated fabric panel folds using a Z formation and stows underneath a hard tonneau cover in just 16 seconds and at speeds up to 31 mph, according to BMW. If you worry that losing the roof means that the i8 will also lose its novel butterfly doors, fear not — the car retains its cool doors, ready to let you show off when you roll up to your destination. In addition to the new top, two new colors arrive for the 2019 model year: E-Copper and Donnington Grey.

Interior
No styling changes have been made inside, but new colors and trim options have been created. Standard is a sport steering wheel and multifunction display, with Giga interior trim colors in Ivory White leather for the coupe and Ivory White/Black leather for the roadster. A dark Amido interior color is standard for both models, and the optional Halo interior trim features a Carum/Dalbergia color scheme, or spend a little more and opt for the high-end Tera World Copper interior trim.

The electronics include standard navigation with the latest BMW iDrive 6.0, which allows the user to use either the touch controller on the center console or the 8.8-inch touchscreen in the dash for input and control. The standard audio system is a Harman Kardon HiFi premium system with 12 speakers. A head-up display is also standard, which changes information displayed based on the drive mode.

Under the Hood
The i8 coupe and roadster keep the car's unusual and complicated hybrid setup: a turbocharged three-cylinder gas engine that powers the rear wheels under hard acceleration via a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission combined with an electric motor that powers the front wheels full time using a two-speed automatic transmission. The two combine for seamless all-wheel drive, but for 2019 the system favors the electric drive even more, aiming to keep the car in electric mode more often. The gas engine acts as a generator to charge up the batteries most of the time, but can add power to the wheels directly when called upon.

The battery capacity has been boosted, too. It's now an 11.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion unit. As a result, the i8's electric-only range has increased and is now preliminarily rated at 18 miles by BMW. The zero-to-60-mph time has dropped to 4.2 seconds for the coupe. For the all-new roadster, the time is 4.4 seconds.

Five drive modes are again available, tailoring the car to the driver's situation and desired responsiveness. The roadster receives 20-inch wheels as standard, but like the coupe offers four different design choices. Also standard is Dynamic Damper Control and an adjustable suspension for both models.

Safety
The new 2019 i8 coupe and roadster both include standard adaptive cruise control, as well as the Driving Assistant Package. The safety package includes a surround-view camera, frontal collision warning with pedestrian detection and autonomous braking, front and rear parking sensors with cross-traffic alert, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

5.0
1 review — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(4.0)
(5.0)

Awesome car , absolutely the best

by MadameML from Little Rock, AR on September 25, 2018

The best among the cars who are in the market today, nice awesome and hypebeast this car is fabulous , nice design , awesome and awesome and awesome Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2019 BMW i8 currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2019 BMW i8 has not been tested.

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 2019 i8 Stories

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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 i8 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