BMW I3S the first 2700 miles long post sorry……

  • Creator
  • #98399 Reply

    Well I live in the Lake District, there are minimal electric chargers, the car has a small boot and can only go 170miles and then needs to be charged. Why oh why would I have an electric car when there are larger more middle of the road cars to be had??

    Well the truth is I wanted something different, yes there are savings to be had and environmental benefits to be shared but actually for the last 10 years or so, 4 or 5 changes of car have not really excited me with the progression I have seen. I’ve had from new BMW 535D, Volvo XC60, Toyota Avensis * 3 and apart from the power of the BMW they were all similar and I wanted something different.

    Well I read with interest about electric cars the pro brigade and the naysayers and both sides appeared to have strong arguments…….I still read the arguments aswell!

    Well late 2018 I borrowed a Nissan Leaf to see what all the fuss was about. I was impressed with the quietness not so impressed with car….too slow/minimal range…..however I thought that if the technology advanced then electric was something to be considered.

    Fast fwd to the middle of 2019 Volvo XC60 D5 RDesign lease coming to an end and actually I was quite glad….It was noisy, slow, old tech actually quite agricultural and fundamentally boring…. (sorry if you have one and like it, I didn’t).

    So I did what everyone else does, looked at the lists, read the reviews, got overwhelmed and then hoped more exciting vehicles would become available because the cars on offer felt like the Volvo XC60…..

    When the Ioniq and the I3 appeared I thought Christmas had arrived early here was potentially something different.

    The deposit for the Ioniq was ridiculously high so ruled it out of the selection process however the I3 was definitely an option. I went for a test drive taking my boy and was blown away with the tech, the performance, the quietness and how fundamentally different it was from any other car I had ever been in. Within 30 minutes we had decided that we were going to have one and we would have to work around its shortcomings (more on that later).

    We ordered an I3S (sportier version of I3 larger motor, lowered suspension, wider wheels, different styling). It was in Jacara beige, new colour this year with a 42kw battery good for 170 miles in summer reduced to 140miles when it’s a little colder (I’ve achieved this range in the last couple of weeks).

    Before the car arrived we needed to install a home charger, this was managed through BMW and really quite professionally because I was keen that the charging cable didn’t become a trip hazard or restrict access when the car was charging.

    October 23rd it was handover time, Volvo left at the dealership and I3S collected, I was quite happy with my homework and Youtube watching so the new car didn’t really phase me although I did need the help of Facebook forums to sort out some small niggles (all my operator error). Interestingly I felt I knew more about the I3S than the salesman a fact which surprised me given the I3 has been for sale for 4 years now and isn’t really a new model.

    Rolling forward to December, 6 weeks of ownership has passed really quickly, 2700 miles on the clock and no reason to contact the dealer at all. All charging has been done at home apart from once when I wanted to see if I could public charge (I didn’t actually need to, but wanted to be able to operate public chargers should I need to).

    The car is extremely futuristic internally (read space ship!) different materials, 2 large display screens, subtly placed buttons, no central drive train tunnel. No rattles, no noises and actually I sometimes choose to drive in absolute silence apart from the hum of the tyres. Lots of USBs available aswell.

    The seats are quite far back in the car which almost makes it feel like a two seater, the suicide doors are distinctly odd and interestingly the front seatbelts top body mounts are located in the back door frame.

    I specced improved audio, which I do like and having such features of Spotify, BBC news, the local weather, Wikipedia directly on the big screen is very different to the almost prehistoric Volvo.

    Probably my favourite bit of the car is the performance. Press the quiet pedal from the lights and it engages immediately and pushes on quickly…..its the fastest BMW 0 to 30mph ever produced and boy it shows. No noise and the large wheels, stiffened suspension help it to navigate bends well. Clearly progressing quickly consumes battery power (as it would reduce fuel of an ‘ice’ internal combustion engine). To this end it has 4 different economy modes which each reduce performance but increase battery range. The I3 has regenerative braking which actually charges the battery when coasting or slowing down a feature can see range actually increase on a journey…..Never seen that before!

    I expected to change my driving habits more than I have, I thought I would worry about range (I did worry once 68 mile journey required, 72 miles indicated on the battery. I drove very carefully and actually completed the journey with 5 miles left in the battery). Once I forgot to lock the car which then stopped it charging overnight automatically, luckily I had enough range but it could have a problem…..

    The boot is small of this there is no doubt, however I still have managed to get 4 adults with tennis bags an hour down the road and back for a cost of 80p

    I have solar panels on my house, its not too effective yet for powering the car because this time of year is not good for solar generation however from probably March to October (so long as the car is available to charge whilst the sun is shining ) I am hoping to take advantage of the rays and turn them into miles. The charger has an intelligent mode which chooses within reason when to charge (cheap tariff, solar, need).

    One nice feature the car has is the ‘Connected’ App which essential controls the car from your phone, set your departure time and the car will be warm, demisted and good to go. Its been nice this last few days…..You can set your sat nav, send your car an email, change the display, see how efficiently you have driven compared to other I3 owners.

    It has a really tight turning circle so is easy to park, visibility because of lots of glass is good (however a bit limited out of rear) and once you are in the car its quite roomy. The doors are of the suicide nature and in order to get out of the rear, both front and rear doors need to be opened which sometimes makes it difficult to get out in supermarket parking spots.

    One thing I have picked up through the Facebook forums is that many of the public charging spots are free, particularly in Scotland. Not once have I not been able to go where I want because the car was low on charge, so I do feel the car suits my lifestyle.

    Did I make the right choice for me and my family? Absolutely I thought that I would have to change my habits to accommodate the car, actually I haven’t really although the car took a bit of getting used to initially (is it charging??). One thing I have noticed is the savings are phenomenal. I roughly estimate its cost £60 in electricity to do 2700 miles, my Volvo would be close to £500…..So for me I am delighted with my choice. I love driving it, it makes me smile in a way previous cars didn’t…

    I do feel I can comment from a position of strength because I actually drive an electric car, many people judge when they have never even sat in one…….Please feel free to quiz me?

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 35 total)
  • Author
  • #98411 Reply
    Menorca Mike

    Great review Ian I’m so pleased it’s going well could I ask you what you think the delivery time for this car would be I’m not due till March 21 would I have to order next summer ?

    BBC Breakfast expert, VW Golf driver.

    #98415 Reply

    Very useful review thanks Ian. Does your car have the standard heater set up, or did you have the heat pump option?  Could you elaborate on the pre-heating, does it take long to defrost?  Also, how much better (sound quality rather than functions) is the updated stereo? Thanks.

    #98416 Reply

    Sounds great, well done!

    #98418 Reply

    Thanks for the good review Ian, certainly made me think as my BMW X2 sport is a very thirsty car. I was used to good mileage with diesel prior to getting the Petrol x2.

    Current car BMW X2 2.0 Sport sDrive Auto 2019
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI
    Builder of Gaming PC's
    "It is a great ability to be able to conceal one's ability."

    #98423 Reply

    Thank you for your nice words, i’ve known I had to do this review for a couple of weeks now. My car took approximately 3 months to arrive but the dealer had it a couple of weeks before change over date. MenorcaMike I’m not sure what lead times will be like next year or if it will still be on the scheme but maybe order as soon as you can to avoid disappointment!

    Simono I have the standard heating system for me its completely adequate and its hot immediately you switch the car on. You have 3 methods to set it through the I drive on the car, through the Connection App or one useful thing I haven’t mentioned is you can program one of the buttons of the key fob to do it (in case you have forgotten or were unable to program departure time), depending on the thickness of the frost I would suggest 10 mins to clear screen. I left work last on Friday but was first out of the carpark because everyone else was scraping their windows…..

    I like the Harmon Kardon sound system, I had read that the standard audio wasn’t great but actually I have never heard the standard audio (not much opportunity to try it in the frozen north) and music is something important to me. There is no Sub woofer so bass isn’t strong but actually the sound is ok. I wouldn’t say its excellent but its on a par with previous audio. One area that I do notice with it is telephone calls are much much clearer, whether this is the audio system or something else I’m not sure.

    #98426 Reply

    ‘Thanks for the good review Ian, certainly made me think as my BMW X2 sport is a very thirsty car. I was used to good mileage with diesel prior to getting the Petrol x2.’

    The fuel saving is magnificent……….as you can guess from my previous posts I was quite keen to explore this, however in my review I have played the saving down a little because actually the car has sooooo much else to offer!

    #98429 Reply

    Thanks for the reply Ian.  I am torn between making the switch to electric, and a petrol XC40.  We do low mileage, mainly six to twenty mile round trips, so fuel cost isn’t the biggest driver, and I don’t think that a hybrid would work well.  I’m quite taken with having something fun to drive on the rural lanes round here.

    I like the looks of the i3 inside and out, and I can just fit the wife’s wheelchair in the boot, but failing that it could go behind the front seats as there’s no central transmission tunnel (we used to do that with the Mazda 5 with sliding doors and it was very convenient).

    Maybe the next move is to drive one, we’ve just had the renewal letter from Motability so we’ll be ordering before Xmas all being well.

    Thanks again.


    #98431 Reply

    Ian thanks for the great info.

    Many people are resisting the move to full electric, BEV, but reviews, like yours, show that they are a perfectly good choice for many. Off course the car chosen has to suit the needs of any disability but you have shown that for day to day running they are a great choice.


    #98433 Reply

    Simono definitely try one if you can make it work for you I think you will have a smile for days, short hops are what its designed for and the cabin is a fantastic place to be!

    Brydo agree and I understand its human habit to be resistant to change. In this instance I’ve embraced electric and I’m delighted, I would go as far as to say its the best car experience I have ever  had (and I have had lots and lots of cars admittedly not supercars)

    #98436 Reply

    I agree Ian, I think what people are doing with EV’s is putting themselves in the worst place scenario of say driving 300 – 400 miles in a day and having to find a charging point and then waiting for the battery to charge. When most use of a vehicle is 30 miles a day.

    There are many motability customers who do less than 6000 miles a year so charging, or more accurately, range anxiety would be less of a problem.

    #98461 Reply

    I’ve just arranged for a test drive next Tuesday, so will report back my findings to help.

    #98485 Reply

    Good review Ian, I’m glad it ticks all your boxes and you actually enjoy the driving as much as you seem to enjoy the tech aspect, doing mainly short journeys it is well suited to your lifestyle or visa versa, I have driven various electric vehicles and I love the way they deliver the power but unfortunately for me none have the range I need on a weekly basis and I don’t have off street parking plus the public charging facilities in my area are atrocious!

    I will end up in an EV at some point but not in the near future so for now it is nice to be able to enjoy through someone else’s writings.

    #98492 Reply

    vinalspin thanks for your nice words! I completely understand your position and if I was in the same position as you I don’t think an ev would be on the agenda. I’m lucky that I can charge every night at home, I don’t travel with work anymore and daily trips over 200 miles are rare!

    That said public charging up here is non existent as is shopping, trains, buses, people…..thats why I love it……

    #98501 Reply


    I have ordered the i3. Delivery date will be the end of January – so about 10 weeks from order, in November, to delivery from the factory.

    I arranged 2 day test drives with both the i3 and i3s. Both cars were fantastic. Best driving car I have tested driven on the scheme. This will be my eighth!

    I drive 18000 miles a year, including a 60 mile around trip to work each day. As long as I charge the car at the reduced rate overnight, the car will not only be cheap to run it will easily travel 60 miles on a charge.

    I know electric isn’t for everyone. I just think that if it’s an option then you should at least consider one.

    No more fuel increases to worry about over the next 3 years. No more stressing about how long it will take to fill up. Good times ahead – I can’t wait! 😊

    #98504 Reply

    Especially on Motability if an all Electric suits then I see No reason way someone wouldn’t, the i3 would not suit our needs but a bigger Hybrid will be of consideration come a years time (although in that time we will see advances in full electric) so I look with an open mind and enjoy keeping up with things through our Forum users and those that share their knowledge and experiences.

    #98582 Reply

    A good review and I’m glad you done your research beforehand so knew the pros & cons of driving an electric car.

    I’m on my second Leaf now, first one I done 40k in 3 years and this one I’ve already done 50k with 6 months still to go. I reckon I’ll be right on or over the 60k allowance and all because it’s so nice to drive and so cheap to run.

    The i3 is on my list for next time (June 8th) but I’m just not sure I’m getting enough tech & extras for my money?

    I like the Ioniq but the charge port is in an awkward location for wheelchair users, the Niro & Mini are a little better and while the Zoe is in a good position it’s not a car I like very much.

    If it suits your lifestyle I’d definitely recommend trying an EV.

    #98583 Reply

    Rhodgie thanks for your post, convincing people to give EV’s a chance is the difficult part just now. There is a lot of negative press regarding charging and range anxiety so posts like your own, and Ian’s, will really help the perception of many people towards running an EV.


    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

    #98588 Reply

    Hi all,

    Given the topic and the excellent review from Ian I am due to change around June next year and the i3s is a favourable choice but does anyone think the mini will come on the scheme also?👍

    #98673 Reply

    I’m sure we will all be driving electric in some form or another over the next 5 to 10 years and hope to have some sort of hybrid in a couple of years when I renew but make the most of the mile by mile fuel savings while you can because I think those savings will be going upwards sooner than later when tax and duty by the mile is introduced and as day follows night they will be introduced for sure. 😢

    #98677 Reply
    Menorca Mike

    The new Hyundai Kona looks good on the advert says 270 mile range

    BBC Breakfast expert, VW Golf driver.

    #98682 Reply

    Yes Mike the Kona and e niro both give about that mileage, the e Nero gets the better reviews.

    #98686 Reply
    Menorca Mike

    I will look at them next summer Brydo I have a big Kia dealer and a Hyundai dealer just 5 miles away that range would just suit me as I have relations 80 miles away and the coast 88 miles away so would cover me there and back ! Do Kia and Hyundai fit the charger free of charge like BMW ?

    BBC Breakfast expert, VW Golf driver.

    #98688 Reply

    Mike I’m not sure but I think all motability BEVs get chargers fitted free. If not there are grants available to reduce the cost.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

    #98689 Reply
    Menorca Mike

    That’s great Brydo cheers

    BBC Breakfast expert, VW Golf driver.

    #98691 Reply

    Just called motability and they said to speak to your dealer directly to find out if there is a fee to be paid for the charger.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 35 total)
Reply To: BMW I3S the first 2700 miles long post sorry……
Your information: