Are BMW I3 Reliable?

Is a pre-owned BMW i3 hatchback trustworthy? The i3 placed fourth out of nine electric vehicles in its class, receiving a score of 94.1% in our most recent dependability study. A solid achievement for BMW as a brand, ranking 13th out of 30 manufacturers.


If I’m being really honest, buying a used BMW i3 isn’t a good choice for most individuals. Yes, it is inexpensive and you can purchase an all-electric, carbon-tipped BMW for a very little cost. But besides having a tiny cabin and a very limited range, it will also see some very severe depreciation. One group of individuals, nevertheless, would profit from having an i3.

I’ll admit it; I’m one of them. Everything I need is within five or ten miles of where I reside. Sometimes, a maximum of 25 miles. I also hardly ever drive if I’m not testing a press car. I can leave my car unlocked for a full week. In addition, my driveway is large enough to house a Level 2 charging station. Therefore, I could always have the i3 charged and only seldom use it, saving a ton of money on petrol. My wife has a small crossover (the Volkswagen Tiguan), which makes things even simpler by providing us with a family vehicle when necessary.

A BMW i3 would undoubtedly come in handy for someone like me who lives in a city or a small town, has convenient access to charging stations, and only travels short distances. A secondhand i3 is unexpectedly an excellent choice for someone like me who wants an affordable second vehicle. For everyone else, however, there would be numerous issues that would need to be resolved, and numerous concessions would need to be made. Which probably makes it a bad idea.

In-car safety is good for passengers, and customer evaluations show that BMW is dependable.

The BMW i3 received a score of four out of five stars from Euro NCAP during its crash testing, however the areas of concern related to pedestrian safety rather than the level of occupant protection. However, because the test was completed in 2013, and the rating was no longer valid after that date (January 2020), the i3’s rating is no longer directly comparable to that of more recently released and tested models.

Security and dependability

The 2017 i3 received positive overall crash-test safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The i3 received above-average reliability ratings from CR as well. According to CR’s analysis, the i3 did well in areas where reliability issues have been reported, like its engine and transmission. The 2017 i3 has three safety recalls, though. These i3 recalls include the fuel system and airbags. Make careful to discuss the recalls with your auto dealer before purchasing this vehicle.

BMW i3

It is a four-seat hatchback with rear-hinged back doors that is rear-wheel-drive.

The available two-cylinder engine serves as a generator to increase the range past the original 72 miles to roughly 150 miles.

Charge periods using the 7.4 kW onboard charger are 4.5 hours on a 240-volt circuit.

It takes some getting used to the noticeable slowdown while rising off the gas pedal. In 2017, a larger battery (up from 60 amp-hour to 94 amp-hour) and a slightly larger fuel tank (up to 2.4 gallons) were added to versions with range extender engines.

Both the battery and the range increased in 2019 and are now up to 153 miles.

Are BMW i3 repairs expensive?

The BMW i3 is a fantastic choice for individuals seeking a more environmentally friendly vehicle because it is an all-electric vehicle. However, compared to more conventional BMWs, the i3 will need slightly different upkeep, which will cost owners an average of $1,173 a year.

The most common fault with the 2017 BMW i3 is that the adaptive cruise control does not function well, despite the requirement for more specialized maintenance. Despite this, the i3 remains one of BMW’s most dependable cars. Electrical issues are also reportedly occurring. There haven’t been enough reported problems, yet, to calculate an average repair cost. The i3 has also been subject to recalls, the most recent of which was for the 2019 model year due to a potential crash-causing unexpected power shutdown.

Why is BMW ending production of the i3?

It is extremely heartbreaking to see BMW discontinue its little electric hatchback after nine years on the market given how great it was.

In 2011, as interest in electric vehicles increased, the BMW i3 was first unveiled as a concept car. The design was later evolved into a working model that was released for purchase in 2013 as a 2014 model. The BMW i3 has enjoyed considerable success since that time. The compact electric hatchback from BMW has sold over 250,000 units and was named the World Car Design and World Green Car of the Year winners at the 2014 World Car Awards.

Unfortunately, all wonderful things must eventually come to an end. BMW terminated the i3 in all markets in July 2022 after ceasing manufacturing for the US market in July 2021. The company cited consumer demand for larger-than-the-i3 electric automobiles as justification for the withdrawal. Another reason is that the manufacturer wants to move away from the i3’s distinctive appearance and produce electric vehicles with more traditional styling. The BMW i4 and BMW iX models are taking the place of the i3 as a result. We are sad to see the i3 depart, but there are other reasons as well.

What is the lifespan of a BMW i3?

The typical battery lifespan of a 2021 BMW i3 is 3 to 5 years, but this might vary significantly based on the battery’s type, size, weather, and driving habits.

Are BMW electric vehicles trustworthy?

Because they have fewer moving parts and less complexity than a car with an internal combustion engine, Fisher said, electric vehicles ought to be more dependable.

However, Fisher noted, “the firms introducing electric vehicles don’t have a century’s worth of expertise like they do with gasoline-powered vehicles, so that’s why we’re not necessarily seeing that.

He predicted that they would soon catch up, but warned that “growing pains” would be experienced in the meanwhile.

According to Fisher, the Chevy Bolt’s dominance in the dependability rankings is not unexpected. He claimed that General Motors has more experience than most other automakers and has created an electric vehicle more than 20 years ago.

It’s likely that electric vehicles will perform better than vehicles with 10-speed automatic transmissions, turbochargers, and all those other issues, according to Fisher.

Consumer Reports discovered that regardless of how reliable the vehicles were, owners virtually universally expressed great satisfaction with them. In the magazine’s most recent report, all models—aside from the Nissan Leaf and BMW I3—received ratings ranging from better than average to the highest for owner satisfaction.

Could I still purchase a BMW i3?

The manufacture of the BMW i3, BMW’s first “i” brand EV, will end later this summer after nine years and more than 250,000 sold units. Even so, the eccentric little compact can depart with pride since the electric future it foresaw has come to pass.

Along with its “i” stablemate, the BMW i8, the BMW i3 debuted as a concept in 2011 and was boldly futuristic. The recently introduced “i” brand projected a futuristic image of a world filled with electric vehicles. It was a future that ultimately never materialized because our current reality is superior. Almost all new cars in this future are electric, yes, but they are the standard.

According to the Electrify America ad campaign, EVs are now commonplace. In 2011, a year before the first Tesla Model S vehicle left the factory, they weren’t normal, and the BMW I vehicles didn’t even make an effort to be normal. Even with the i3 equipped with Rex, they were happy to be unusual and even avoided being labeled as hybrids.

There won’t be a direct competitor to the BMW i3 that utilizes the same high-end, expensive, lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber structure. Instead, the iX1, an all-electric version of the BMW X1 crossover that sits just below the iX3, and an electric version of the next-generation MINI Cooper will subtly replace the i3.

BMW executives agree that the brand’s new EVs will benefit the i3’s followers. The Mini Electric or the future BMW iX1 will be ideal for today’s customers who want a fully electric city car that is precisely fitted for urban driving or a small but roomy vehicle for an active lifestyle, a BMW UK spokeswoman told Autocar. The BMW Group will have six BEV cars available on the market by the end of this year, and 13 by 2023.

What vehicle will succeed the BMW i3?

As a sort of successor to the i3, BMW teases the new electric BMW iX1, which will make its appearance later this year alongside a new ICE X1.

The innovative, if somewhat dated, BMW i3 will likely continue to be sold until 2024, according to BMW. However, they later had a change of heart and announced last year that i3 manufacture would stop in July. But what will take the i3’s place?

Therefore, we need to look at the BMW X1 as the foundation for an i3 replacement. It will be updated this year and will be available not only in ICE versions but also as the BMW iX1 with an EV drivetrain. As BMW’s EVs start to really roll out, any i3 will now be a saloon take on the i4.

BMW has created a teaser sketch (above) to give us a preview of that arrival later this year. Although we already know what it will look like without the need for a BMW insider.

The new IX3 isn’t that dissimilar from the current model, which has a large kidney grille that has been squared off, blue highlights around the grille, and air vents that are likely to be closed off.

Although there are currently no data on the power or battery capacity, BMW claims that the iX1 will have a range of 250–270 miles and share its platform with the ICE X1 vehicles.

In the weeks and months ahead of the iX1’s release, which will happen shortly after the new ICE X1 comes, expect additional information about the device.

What is the BMW i3’s maximum range?

The BMW i3 with the most range? The BMW i3 and i3s with the optional Range Extender will have a 200-mile range, which is the longest range in the model’s history. This translates to a combustion engine range of 74 miles and an all-electric range of 126 miles.

How frequently does a BMW i3 need maintenance?

Compared to gasoline or diesel vehicles, the majority of electric vehicles require far less regular maintenance. For the Renault Zoe2, for instance, Renault recommends intervals of 18,000 miles as opposed to 9,000 miles for its petrol vehicles.

Like combustion-engined vehicles, Volkswagen electric vehicles, such as the ID.3 and ID.4, have a defined maintenance plan, with the first inspection necessary after two years. After that, a service is advised to be performed annually or every 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Hyundai’s petrol and hybrid vehicles have identical electric vehicle service plan intervals at 10,000-mile intervals in the first year, 20,000 miles in the second year, and so on, depending on which milestone is reached first. The service intervals for the BMW i3 are two years or 18,000 miles.

The fact that almost all auto manufacturers provide an electric vehicle service plan makes servicing an electric vehicle easier. Similar to a cell phone contract, they can be paid monthly or up front and give you access to a set list of features.

For three years and 30,000 miles, Renault’s Zoe electric car service plan costs PS299, compared to PS499 for a petrol or diesel car over the same time period.

Service contracts for Audi’s selection of E-tron models start at a one-time cost of PS299.25. This covers one servicing, one replacement of the pollen filter, and one brake fluid replacement. For a 2.0-liter combustion model, a service package costs PS449.25.

Vauxhall provides a core electric car service for the first year of ownership starting at PS90 and going up to PS239 with the addition of a cabin filter check. The three years of servicing that come with a new Vauxhall EV, however, should save you from having to pay anything.

The first, second, and third yearly services, two years of Vauxhall Roadside Assistance, and the first MOT are all included in a brand-new combustion Vauxhall service plan, which starts at PS19 per month for a three-year term.

Generally speaking, ‘wear and tear’ items like brake parts, tires, and windscreen wiper blades are not covered by service plans.

Additionally, you might be able to lower the expense of maintaining your EV. For instance, driving for extended periods of time with a battery charge of less than 20 percent can reduce battery life.

An EV battery typically comes with an eight-year warranty. The technical warranty for the automobile itself, which is often three, five, or seven years, is far shorter than this, which is reassuring.

While under warranty, an electric vehicle must be serviced by a franchised dealer. Once this has passed, though, you might discover that it is less expensive to take it to a separate garage for repairs. Finding a specialist qualified to perform maintenance can be more difficult because EV technology is still relatively new, but the good news is that it’s not insurmountable.