Monday, May 02, 2016

2017 BMW i3

It pretty much looks the same.
Except maybe, the dark wood finish inside, which I haven't seen before?

And, finally, the large sunroof will be available in the US. (It was only available last year as part of some limited edition series)

The big news is the new battery.
It now gets a 115 miles range.
Much better than the 81 miles from the current version.
But really, still behind the best. In just a few months, the cheaper Chevrolet Bolt will be available with a range of over 200 miles.
It is also a "short while roomy" hatchback.

I really like the i3 though. It drives great, and the new range is a bonus. Plus the range extender is still available which adds about 95 miles using gas.
And the availability of that giant sunroof makes it more attractive. (Neither the Volt of the Bolt offer a sunroof option. )

Currently, the i3 is quite expensive. As it starts at $42 400 before  incentives.

BUT... They do offer a really good deal on the lease, which starts at $319 a month.
And $349 for the one with the range extender.

While the Volt is almost $10 000 less. The official lease offer right now is $299 a month.
So only $50 less than an i3 with range extender.

Sure, much longer range etc... But basically a BMW for only $50 a month more than a Chevy.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I'd take the Chevy... Much better range and that lease is probably without any extras.
Base i3 doesn't even have leather and that interior doesn't look that luxurious imo.

Anonymous said...

To the first commenter... the BMW lease is for a near base i3. You definitely need to get options and a higher mileage allocation, which will bump up the price. The BMW is luxurious in a well-constructed quality-material kind of way. It is a very airy space and it does not cocoon you, as many people want in a car that can surpass $50k. While it is very modern and offers great features, it also feels like a more honest car and less opulent than BMWs have become. I wouldn't say it's as basic as a first gen 3-series, but lineage is obvious.

I have driven both the Volt and the i3. I ended up with an i3 REX after BMW let me test drive one for three days. I loved the Volt. Although it's substantially less expensive than the i3, everything about it was also a notch or two below the BMW. In the i3, everywhere you look you feel like your money was well spent. The substantial use of CF is visible everywhere, the way the leather on the seats and dashboard are tanned naturally, the eucalyptus wood on the dash, and the way it is manufactured all factor into its greenness... and therefore the price. If you aren't impressed with that type of stuff, and you can't stand being sort of a beta tester, then the i3 is definitely not for you.

The Volt is an absolute pleasure to drive, but it is relatively conventional and ordinary in just about every way. After spending some time in the i3, the one area where the Volt wins hands-down is when the ICE is running. The two-cylinder motorcycle generator engine is irritatingly LOUD and crude in the BMW. I've only had it run four times for very short stints since December. It is very obvious when it kicks on, which is not in keeping with the smooth silent nature of the car. Therefore, I don't use the i3 for long road trips. I'm already lined-up for the next i3. That extra 20-25 miles that the new i3 offers won't really make a difference, but I'll take it. What I hope they address is the NVH of the gas engine.

Anonymous said...

Leases are almost never direct comparisons. You have to consider down payment, acquisition fees, security deposits, whether maintenance is included, etc.

That being said, I'd still go for the BMW because of its more interesting packaging, at least for $50/month more than the Chevy. If it was more than that, I'd stick with Chevy.