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2020 BMW i3 Overview

Matthew Keegan
Contributing Editor - February 28, 2020

What's New

One year following a modest update, the 2020 BMW i3 is largely carried over. The all-electric hatchback returns with 153 miles of range and its bulky appearance.

A new i3s Edition RoadStyle model is limited to 1,000 units worldwide. This special edition brings 20-inch wheels and copper accents to the grille, front bumper air deflectors, and side skirts.

Choosing Your BMW i3

The BMW i3 is available in two trims: i3 and i3s. Before incentives, pricing starts at $45,445 including destination for the i3 or $48,645 for the sportier i3s.

Each trim is also available with a Range Extender, which adds a gas engine to the vehicle, that costs $3,850.

Engine Choices

The BMW i3 comes with an electric motor that makes 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. In i3s guise, power increases to 184 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels utilizing a single-speed transmission. According to the EPA, the i3 carries a 153-mile all-electric range.

The i3 utilizes a 42-kWh lithium-ion battery. BMW says it takes about 5 hours to charge it from zero to 100% with a Level 2 charger, or just under one hour with a DC fast charger.

The Range Extender variants add a two-cylinder gas engine. All-electric range drops to 126 miles, but the total range increases to 200 miles. It earns 31 miles per gallon combined when using gasoline.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The i3 seats four individuals. Even with the rear-hinged back doors, the rear seat is difficult to enter and offers limited passenger room – there are just 32 inches of legroom in back.

As for storage space, the i3 matches many small cars with 15.1 cubic feet of the cargo area. With the rear seat dropped, this expands to 36.9 cubic feet.

Safety Features

A shortage of standard driver-assist safety technologies places the BMW i3 well behind the competition. Standard fare is limited to LED headlights and front and rear parking sensors.

Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, and automatic high beams are all bundled in the available $2,350 Technology Plus Driving Assistant Package. These features are standard equipment on rivals such as the Toyota Prius Prime, which costs at least $15,000 less than the BMW.

An automated parking system is a $200 standalone option on the base i3.


BMW equips the i3 with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display.

It's bundled with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, one USB port, HD radio, satellite radio, and BMW connected services. Sorry, there’s no Android Auto compatibility offered.

The Technology Plus Driving Assistant Package also includes navigation and real-time traffic information. A wireless charging pad is bundled with wi-fi hot spot capability for $500.

i3 - From $45,445

BMW equips the i3 with LED lighting, heated and power-folding side mirrors, and 19-inch wheels set within all-season, run-flat tires. Inside, the cabin features recycled materials throughout, as well as cloth-covered seats. Heated front seats, automatic climate control, keyless entry, eight-way manual front seats, and a tilt-and-telescopic steering column are standard.

Interior trim enhancements are bundled under Mega World ($1,400), Giga World ($1,800), and Terra World ($2,600) design themes. Notable standalone options include a moonroof ($1,000) and a Harman Kardon audio system ($800).

i3s - From $48,645

The i3s gain a slight boost in power over the base model. The only other changes of note are 20-inch wheels, a sport suspension, gloss black flared wheel arches, and a black A-pillar and roof trim.

Compare i3 Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

We’d stick with the base 2020 BMW i3 model, as the i3s just doesn’t offer much more for the added cost. Meanwhile, it costs nearly $4,000 extra for the range extender, which hardly justifies the investment. In all, the i3 is hard to justify in a market with newer, better-range, and lower-cost options.