The i3 is available in two versions: the standard electric-only car starts at a considerable $42,400 and the Range Extender (REx) model, which adds a 34-horsepower gasoline engine borrowed from BMW's motorcycle division, has a base price of $46,250. The i3 is eligible for available federal and state tax incentives.
Each model is available in three trim levels, which BMW calls Worlds and whose differences mostly show up in interior fittings. The base model is Mega World, which features trim made from high-grade recycled materials. Your ticket to Giga World adds $1,500 to the sticker and includes SiriusXM satellite radio and significant interior upgrades. Opting for Tera World costs $2,500 over base price and fits full leather upholstery to the seats, among other details.
The option list is short, especially for an upscale German car: a navigation/collision-avoidance suite, here labeled Technology + Driving Assistant, is available along with an automated parking system, bigger wheels, a Harman Kardon stereo and a few other conveniences.
Take it all together and no one is going to choose an i3 because it's a frugal and cost-effective means of transportation. An i3 REx Tera World with a few options (Technology + Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, metallic paint, maybe the nice-looking 20-inch wheels) and delivery weighs in near $50,000 -- after tax incentives. Still, it's easy to see how the i3 will have plenty of appeal to a considerable number of well-heeled eco-minded customers.