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2018 BMW i3

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Make
BMW
Model
i3
Year
2018
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BMW i3 OEM Exterior Primary Photo
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OEM Exterior
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Expert Rating
Unavailable

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 94AH 4dr Rear-Wheel Drive Hatchback
most popular
Price:   -  From $44,450
2018 94Ah s 4dr Rear-Wheel Drive Hatchback Price:   -  From $47,650
2018 94Ah w/Range Extender 4dr Rear-Wheel Drive Hatchback Price:   -  From $48,300
2018 94Ah s w/Range Extender 4dr Rear-Wheel Drive Hatchback Price:   -  From $51,500

Overview

The 2018 BMW i3 is the automaker's only electric vehicle and, thanks to its unique design, its powertrain isn't the only thing that allows the hatchback to stick out among its gasoline-powered stablemates. Available as a pure electric vehicle and an electrified vehicle with a range extender, the i3 is a compelling choice for consumers wanting to explore owning an EV. Despite having an electric powertrain, the i3's agile handling makes it stand up to BMW's original slogan of making “The Ultimate Driving Machine".

What's New for 2018

The i3, which arrived in 2013, hasn't changed much since its debut. That changes, though, for 2018, as the EV gets a few revisions and a new variant – the i3s. The compact EV gets full LED headlights as standard, while the front and rear bumpers have been updated for a sportier, wider look. There's a new horizontal chrome strip that runs across the i3's rear tailgate for a more upscale look. The badges have also been pushed to the side of the vehicle, highlighting its girth. New exterior paint schemes, Melbourne Red and Imperial Blue, round out the exterior changes for the i3.

The changes on the inside are even harder to spot. The Giga World trim has two new available seat trims, Giga Brown natural leather and Carum Spice wool cloth, BMW’s latest iDrive interface has been added, the 10-inch touchscreen has an increased resolution, and the car’s voice recognition system has been optimized to use cloud-based speech processing.

The big news for 2018, though, is the addition of the i3s to the lineup. The EV is more powerful than the regular i3, has a wider track, is lower, gets larger 20-inch alloy wheels, and features bespoke accents on the inside and outside. While the i3s looks noticeably different from the regular model, the changes between the two are more than cosmetic, as the compact vehicle has a sport suspension setup, a better zero to 60 time, and a higher top speed.

BMW i3

Choosing Your BMW i3

The BMW i3 continues to be powered by a 33 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that generates 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The battery pack's power is put down through a single-speed automatic transmission and is sent to the hatchback's rear wheels. According to BMW, range is limited to 124 miles on a single charge, while a Level 2 charger (240 volts) will refill the battery pack from zero to 100 percent in 4.8 hours.

Consumers wanting a little more range can opt for the i3 with Range Extender that incorporates a two-cylinder gasoline combustion engine into the mix. With the combustion engine, the hatchback can travel up to 205 miles.

The new i3s models have the same 33 kWh lithium-ion battery pack as the regular i3 lineup, but produce more power: 184 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. BMW hasn't released official range figures for the i3s, but we expect them to be similar to those of the non-performance models. Just like with the regular i3, the i3s with Range Extender adds a two-cylinder engine and an onboard generator to boost the vehicle's range.

BMW also offers packages, which it calls “Worlds” that bring different interior materials to the i3. The Deka World (standard) comes with gray cloth seats, dark paneling, and blue accents. The Mega World ($1,400) features Andesite Dark Matte trim and cloth seats with a mix of SensaTec upholstery in gray. The Giga World ($1,800) brings Light Eucalyptus or Dark Oak Wood trim, as well as contrast stitching, natural leather, and light gray cloth. Finally, the Terra World ($2,600) comes with a lot of the same materials as the Giga World, but includes Tera Dalbergia Brown full natural leather upholstery.

There are four i3 models to choose from:

i3

The base i3 starts at $45,445 (prices include the $995 destination fee), and comes with LED headlights, heated exterior mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 19-inch wheels on the outside. The interior of the i3 features cloth seats, seating for up to four, a 6.5-inch high-resolution screen, a rearview camera, an automatic-dimming rearview mirror, three-stage heated front seats, automatic climate control, keyless entry, and power front windows. The Technology + Driving Assistant Package ($2,500) is the only available package for the i3 and brings a navigation system, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, advanced real-time traffic information, and ConnectedDrive Services. Noteable options for the i3 include a moonroof ($1,000), a Harman Kardon surround sound system ($800), and Apple CarPlay Compatibility ($300).

i3s

The performance-oriented i3s is priced from $48,645 and brings a host of performance components to the EV. The model has more power with an output of 184 hp and has a sportier ride thanks to sport suspension. On the outside, the i3s features 20-inch bi-color wheels, black a-pillar and roof trim, and flared wheel arches. Interior wise, the i3s has a lot of the same features as the regular i3. The Technology + Driving Assistant Package ($2,500) is the only available package for the i3s.

i3 with Range Extender

Adding a combustion engine to the i3 brings the starting price of the hatchback up to $49,295. The i3 with Range Extender shares a lot of the same features as the electric-only i3. The model also features the same available options and the Technology + Driving Assistant Package ($2,500).

i3s with Range Extender

The i3s with Range Extender is the top-of-the-line trim for BMW's EV. Pricing for the model starts at $52,495. Just like on lower models, the i3s with Range Extender combines all of the features, options, and package from the all-electric i3s with the range-extending powertrain.

CarsDirect Tip

Unlike other EVs on the market, the BMW i3’s range is a limiting factor. Consumers looking for an urban car to go around town in will find the 124-mile range to be enough. For those wanting to travel longer distances with the i3, the near $4,000 premium to get into a Range Extender model is worth the cost, but the system still doesn’t make the i3 a long-distance vehicle. The Technology + Driving Assistant is also worth the price of entry, as it brings the latest safety features to the EV at a reasonable price. The i3s, with its performance parts, really is a sprightly EV that has the looks to match its sporty nature.

Get your price on a BMW i3 »

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating
Unavailable

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Editor

BMW’s road to electrification goes right through its heralded ‘i” line. The more mainstream and affordable of the two currently available models is the i3, a compact vehicle with a roomy interior. The 2018 BMW i3 comes as a pure electric car or adds a range extender. If you can get past its polarizing style, you’ll find a competent vehicle with smooth acceleration and agile handling.

Best Value

The 2018 BMW i3 comes in standard or S models, each of which are available with a range extender. Next, you'll choose from one of four trims: Deka World ($0), Mega World ($1,400), Giga World ($1,800), and Tera World ($2,600). The further up the trim ladder you climb, the more exotic the sustainable features included are.

Even before you shop for the i3, you need to wrap your mind around this vehicle and answer this question: what is it? Beyond its 114-mile electric-only range plus another 66 miles of gas-powered backup, if you order it as a range extender, the i3 is a high-roof hatchback. It has a distinct BMW nose and its outline suggests an SUV, but the i3 is a sedan with room for four.

Here's how we'd build ours:

  • Model: 2018 BMW i3 Range Extender
  • Engine: 125-kilowatt electric motor; 650cc two-cylinder gas engine, 33-kWh battery
  • Output: 170 hp / 184 lb-ft from the electric motor
  • Transmission: Single-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 35 mpg combined with gas / 109 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) with electricity
  • Options: Mega World trim ($1,400, light-colored cloth, synthetic leather upholstery), Protonic Blue Metallic Paint ($550), Technology plus Driving Assistant Package ($2,500, navigation, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, active driving assistant, real-time traffic information, connected drive services)
  • Base Price: $49,295 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $53,745

Performance

Step on the accelerator and torque is smooth and constant as this electric vehicle (EV) picks up speed. Power is willing right from the start, bringing this model to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds (6.8 seconds with the i3s). The range extender adds weight and slows this vehicle’s zero-to-60 mph time to 7.6 and 8.0 seconds for the i3s REx and i3 REx, respectively.

For maximum efficiency, drivers can work with the drive mode selector to choose one of four modes: Sport, Comfort, Eco Pro, or Eco Pro Plus. With Eco Pro selected, you'll then choose the i3’s top speed, ranging from 50 to 80 mph, although this model can reach 93 mph (99 mph with the i3s). Switch to Eco Pro Plus and the top speed is restricted to 56 mph. When operating in Eco Pro or Eco Pro Plus mode, you'll enjoy one-pedal driving as the car self brakes. You can override these restrictions at any time by pressing hard on the accelerator.

We found the i3’s handling crisp and nimble. Its excellent turning radius is ideal for an urban environment, but keep in mind that its skinny tires give up grip easily when turning aggressively. You'll also feel jitters and occasional skipping over broken pavement. When driving on twisty roads or taking corners, body roll is evident.

As for the gas motor, it's actually a 650cc motorcycle engine. It delivers 38 horsepower and 41 pound-feet of torque, but this power has no effect on vehicle performance. Instead, the engine powers a generator. Models with the range extender can travel up to 180 miles. A tiny 2.4-gallon fuel tank, though, really shouldn't be relied upon for long trips.

Style

The i3 has a few BMW styling elements, including a twin-kidney grille dressing the front. But the grille is only for styling uniformity, as this EV doesn't need the cooling assistance of a true grille.

As for the rest of the design, the look is different, even odd. It has a distinct wheels-at-the-corner stance, a stub nose, and high roof pillars. From the side views, the i3 appears almost van like. This is due in part to the reverse-hinged rear doors, which almost suggest sliding doors. As for the rear look, it's a mishmash of lines, cut-outs, colors, and quirky touches. We cannot quite figure it out.

Move inside and you enter the world of BMW, tech style. The cabin is functional, even friendly with generous room for four. A shelf-like dashboard includes a big tablet sitting in the central dip. Measuring 10.2 inches, the screen is controlled by the iDrive knob on the center console. You'll find woven textiles throughout the cabin, adding elegance and a dash of whimsy. The materials are in keeping with this EV’s environmental-friendly mission.

The Best and Worst Things

City dwellers know how important it is to maneuver tight areas. The BMW i3 makes tackling lower Manhattan streets an attainable proposition. On the other hand, the small rear seat and limited cargo space (15.1 cubic feet) underscore that this vehicle is for short distance drives and not much more.

Right For? Wrong For?

The i3 may be the right model for current BMW owners, individuals who prize the comfort, and tech leadership of this brand. For people needing a long EV range, the i3 is overshadowed by models from Tesla, Chevrolet, and Hyundai. The range-extender provides assurance some drivers want, but it may not be enough of an extension for others.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 BMW i3 is a technological marvel with smooth acceleration and agile urban handling. That said, it's been surpassed by EVs with longer range, including some with a far more pleasing canvas. Deals are strong so use them to your advantage.

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Specs & Features

Highlights
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Horsepower/Torque
170 HP / 184 ft.lbs.
Transmission
1-spd auto
Drive Type
Rear-wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
129 / 106 / 119 Mpge
Passenger Capacity
4
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Horsepower/Torque
170 HP / 184 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Rear-wheel
key
129 / 106 / 119 Mpge
Brakes
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Strut
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
Recommended Fuel Type
Electric
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
36.9 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
Exterior Length
158.3 "
Exterior Width
69.9 "
Exterior Height
62.9 "
Front Headroom
39.6 "
Rear Headroom
37.2 "
Front Legroom
40.5 "
Rear Legroom
31.9 "
Front Shoulder Room
53.6 "
Rear Shoulder Room
49.2 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,961 Lbs.
Wheel Base
101 "
Turning Radius
16.2 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
Wheels
19.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Forged Aluminum / 20.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Forged Aluminum
Paint
Clearcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Power Remote Driver, Power Remote W/tilt Down Passenger
Bumpers
Front Body-colored With Black Insert
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Lip
Exhaust
None
Interior Features
Seating
Passenger Capacity
4
Seat Trim
Cloth / Sensatec Cloth/leatherette / Cloth/leather / Leather
Front Seat Type
Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
6-way
Front Armrests
6-way
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
50-50 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Radio
Siriusxm Fm/hd/satellite, Fm/hd/satellite, Clock, Seek-scan / Siriusxm Fm/hd/satellite, Fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
Speakers
4 / 12 Harman/kardon
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver And Passenger
Tinted Windows
Light
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (front Doors)
Power Outlets
3
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front And Rear
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Active Driving Assistant Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Park Distance Control Front And Rear / Parking Assistant Automated
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Immobilizer
Warranty
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
48 Months / Unlimited Miles
Corrosion Perforation
144 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months

Used 2018 BMW i3 for Sale

2 vehicles found within 100 miles of your area
BMW
94AH 4dr Rear-Wheel Drive Hatchback
Color: Blue
Mileage

24,650 mi

Map location icon

Santa Monica BMW (8 mi)

Phone: (310) 829-3535
BMW
94 Ah
Color: Gray
Price

$19,995

Mileage

29,559 mi

Map location icon

Yans Auto Group (19 mi)

Phone: (818) 455-5588

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We have expanded the search to include other BMW i3 years that you might be interested in.

BMW
Base w/ Range Extender
Price

$14,500

Mileage

38,186 mi

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Ken Grody Ford - Carlsbad (81 mi)

BMW
120Ah w/Range Extender
Color: Gray
Price

$20,000

Mileage

40,382 mi

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LAX Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM (3 mi)

Phone: (424) 243-0657
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