2015 BMW i3 Review, Feature and Images – The quirky-looking BMW i3 hatchback is BMW’s first foray into the electric car market. With a price tag that rivals upper-end 3 Series sedans, the BMW i3 can go 80-100 miles on a single charge and is the first mass-produced vehicle to use a body made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, which is significantly lighter than aluminum and steel. The 2015 BMW i3 has strong acceleration from its electric motor, according to automotive journalists, with ample power from a stop as well as at highway speeds. The 2015 i3 gets 137/111 mpg-equivalent city/highway, and has a range of about 81 miles on a fully charged battery, according to the EPA.
The i3’s mpg-equivalent rating is excellent compared to other electric vehicles’, and its 81-mile range is on par with other EVs’ range. The i3 also has an optional range-extending gasoline engine that increases the i3’s total range to up to 150 miles, according to BMW. Critics report that the rear-wheel drive 2015 BMW i3 has agile handling, with plenty of grip in turns and responsive steering, as well as a composed ride. They also think the i3 has strong regenerative brakes that may feel strange at first but don’t take long to adjust to.
The 2015 BMW i3 comes standard with Bluetooth, adaptive cruise control, a USB port, HD Radio, navigation, automatic climate control, satellite radio and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display. Available features include a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, parallel park assist and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system. Most critics think the i3’s controls are easy to understand, and that the iDrive infotainment system has fast responses to commands and a clean layout. Some complain the i3’s shifter, which is attached to the steering column, is confusing and that it can be difficult to tell what gear you’re in.
The BMW i3 has four seats, and heated front seats and cloth upholstery with leatherette accents come standard. Leather upholstery is available. Test drivers report that the 2015 i3 has good outward visibility from the front seats, while the rear seats have sufficient legroom and ample headroom. The i3 has rear-hinged back doors, which open opposite the front doors. A few automotive journalists say getting in and out of the back seat is easy, while others complain that the i3 has a high step-in height and that accessing the rear seat can be cumbersome.