Top Gear Gives a Six-Month Verdict on the BMW i3s

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The BMW i3 is now nearing its end, as the Bavarian brand has its sights set on replacing it with cars like the upcoming iX and i4. Over the last few years, the little i3 has painfully shown its age. All of its competitors boast further ranges, some of which are even significantly cheaper than the i3, and its lower power output means it can’t keep up with any competitors, either. However, despite lacking a competitive spec-sheet, the i3 still has its charms, which actually grow stronger as you spend more time with it.

Top Gear recently spent six months with the sportier BMW i3s, as part of their long-term test fleet, and during that time, they were able to realize both its strengths and weakness, charms and quirks.

For instance, the rear Mazda RX-8-style suicide doors can be infuriating at times, as they require the front doors to be opened first, before they can be opened. However, both front and rear doors are open, the rears have to be closed first. While not a big deal, it’s understandably annoying after awhile. Also, the i3s, being the sporty model, might not be sporty enough to justify its harsher ride.

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However, there’s a lot to love about the BMW i3, in any spec. Its tight turning circle is incredibly welcome, especially in tight cities, and is due to its bicycle-skinny tires, short wheelbase and rear-wheel drive layout. It’s sharp and easy to navigate traffic with and it’s also surprisingly fun to drive.

While the i3 typically gets flak for its lack of battery density and rate of charge speed (50 kW, which is far under most of its competitors), because the battery actually can charge at its max speed for almost all of its state of charge (SOC), it charges quicker than you might think. Less than an hour on a 50 kW DC fast charger will take it from flat to full. So if you’re planning a road trip, just plan the charging point around a meal, this way you eat while you charge and when you’re done, so is the car.

The BMW i3 is a very imperfect car; its small, lacks passenger space, lacks modern range, and needs more power. Having said that, there are still so many things to like about the i3 that we’re still going to be sad to see it go.

[Source: Top Gear]



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