What is it like?

Used BMW i3 13-present review

Used BMW i3 13-present
Review continues below...

What's the used BMW i3 hatchback like?

Provided they fit into your lifestyle, an electric car is an exciting and forward-thinking proposition. However, if they have had a problem up to now it’s that most of them haven’t been terribly exciting to look at, and some have even retained the bodyshell of an existing petrol or diesel-engined model.

Enter the BMW i3, launched in 2013, which looks as futuristic on the outside as the up-to-date tech it hides underneath, with an all-new and distinctly eye-catching shape and rear-hinged back doors. In fact it uses state-of-the-art construction techniques, including super-light carbonfibre and aluminium, to offset the weight of the battery pack that’s mounted beneath its floor.

This added lightness means that BMW claims a range of up to 186 miles for the i3, although we’ve found that to be nearer 120 miles in real-world motoring.

What is a further bonus is that you can choose to buy your used i3 either as a pure electric vehicle or as a range-extender, in which it is equipped with a two-cylinder petrol engine that acts as a generator when the battery is depleted, effectively banishing range anxiety.

It’s pretty up to date inside, too, with an airy and spacious interior, excellent visibility and a pin-sharp screen display in front of the driver, rather than conventional dials. It’s even fun to drive, with a brisk turn-of-speed and secure handling, though in fairness in that area it’s not to be compared with BMW’s more sporty mainstream products, and its ride is a little firm.

Cheap to run but pricey to buy when new, does this sharp and modern BMW EV make more sense as a used purchase? Read our guide to find out.

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