An All-Electric BMW With BMW Traits. The 2023 BMW i4 isn’t the first all-electric vehicle from the German automaker, but it’s one of the newer and better ones. Despite having an all-electric powertrain, the i4 fits right in with the brand’s small luxury vehicles. The i4 looks like an electrified version of the 4-Series Gran Coupe, but underneath, it has suspension, electronics, and architecture that are almost entirely different. While some of BMW’s other electric vehicles look toward the future, the i4 is all about the present.

The i4 may have an all-electric powertrain, but it still has all of BMW’s traditional traits. The EV offers balanced handling, a smooth ride, high-tech features, and blistering acceleration. Thanks to its hatchback body style, the i4 is also practical. It’s also incredibly quiet.

BMW has managed to find a way to keep its spirit alive in an age of electrification.

Performance At The Expense Of Range. BMW offers the i4 in two trims: i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50. If you’re looking for range, you’ll want to stick with the eDrive40 trim. For performance, the M50 trim is the way to go.

The eDrive40 trim comes with a single electric motor at the back that produces 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain results in a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds, which is quick enough for most people. Stick with the 18-inch wheels and the eDrive40 can travel up to 301 miles – a competitive amount for the segment. Choosing the 19-inch wheels brings the range down to 282 miles.

For performance that matches BMW’s high-performance M models, there’s the M50. It adds a second electric motor at the front for standard all-wheel drive. Output is increased to 530 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque. The extra grunt brings the zero-to-60 mph time down to 3.7 seconds. Unfortunately, the range with the M50 drops drastically. The sedan can travel up to 270 miles on 19-inch wheels and an abysmal 227 miles with 20-inch wheels.

With the i4, consumers have to pick whether they want performance or range with a drastic penalty when choosing one over the other. For consumers that choose performance, there’s some good news, as the i4 has quick recharge times. The electric sedan can go from 10-80% of range in just 30 minutes on a fast-charger.

Traditional BMW Ride. While the i4 has dull steering with little feedback, the sedan’s low center of gravity and near-perfect 48.2/51.8 weight distribution front to back makes it feel athletic and balanced. The i4 also feels stable thanks to the battery pack’s placement underneath the floor. While the M50 trim has some extra heft to it, it doesn’t feel that much larger because of the way BMW’s engineers have integrated the heavy components into the chassis.

BMWs may be known for their handling, but the i4 also has a smooth ride. The electric sedan comes with a standard rear air suspension with a self-leveling feature that keeps pitch and roll to a minimum. The M50 model comes with adaptive suspension with multiple settings to flip from comfort to sportiness. The result is a highly comfortable daily driver that also has a highly enjoyable ride when pushed. Our only complaint is the lack of steering and the odd spaceship noises that don’t quite a V6 or a V8 engine.

2023 BMW i4 Interior

Tech-Filled Cabin. When BMW released the i4 for the 2022 model year, it was one of the first cars to come with the automaker’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment system. The system is controlled through a massive 14.9-inch touchscreen that’s integrated with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel in a single, curved display. It’s a striking look that fits in with the i4’s upscale look.

The rest of the i4 matches the 4-Series Gran Coupe. BMW only offers the i4 as a four-door model with a hatchback rear end for extra versatility. The i4’s interior has high-end materials, upscale features, and comfortable front seats with plenty of adjustment. The rear seats are also comfortable, though taller passengers will find headroom to be tight. In the back, the problem is the prominent floor hump for the battery and electric motor that cuts into space. You’ll find fitting three adults side-by-side in the back to be a difficult task.

Final Thoughts. BMW has been slow to introduce EVs that compete with Tesla, Audi, Polestar, and Porsche. With the 2023 i4, BMW has stayed well within its comfort zone to come out with an electric car that feels like the automaker has simply electrified one of its existing vehicles. Some consumers will see this as being lazy, but others will like the low-key, stick-to-what-you-know-best thinking. We think the i4 works well and does a great job of bridging the future with the present.

The Tesla Model 3 remains the benchmark in the class. It’s available with high-tech features, has punchy acceleration, offers enjoyable handling, and has up to 358 miles of range. The Audi e-tron GT is more expensive than the i4, but comes with a 522-hp powertrain, sharp acceleration, sport handling, a futuristic design, and up to 238 miles of range.

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