Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The entry-level BMW i4 eDrive40 is fractionally more expensive than the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor and Tesla Model 3 Long Range. The range-topping M50 is more expensive than an equivalent Model 3 Performance. Like those rivals, the i4 is too pricey to qualify for the Government’s electric car grant, but PCP rates are fairly competitive throughout the range, thanks to solid resale values.
As with all electric cars, the i4 makes a huge amount of sense for company car drivers because of the enormous benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax savings on offer. Private buyers, meanwhile, will spend a lot less on electricity to fuel an i4 than they might on petrol or diesel for a conventional car.
If you go for the eDrive40, there are two trim levels to choose from: Sport and M Sport. Sport gets you 17in alloy wheels (18in wheels are a no-cost option), gloss-black exterior highlights, a sports leather steering wheel, sports seats, automatic air conditioning, a reversing camera and the curved infotainment display. M Sport introduces aggressive-looking wheels, an M Sport steering wheel, Alcantara highlights, an M Sport spoiler and grey exterior highlights.
The M50 gets 19in wheels, adaptive M suspension, M sport brakes, a ‘gurney flap’ rear spoiler, a head-up display and lots of driving assistant functions. You can also add to this with a number of packages – we would recommend the reasonably priced Comfort Pack that introduces a heated steering wheel, comfort access and front seat lumbar support.
Euro NCAP has yet to safety test the i4, but we suspect it would perform very well. That’s because the BMW 3 Series saloon it's closely related to scored the full five-star rating. It’s too early to be sure how reliable the i4 will be, but BMW finished in 13th place out of 30 manufacturers in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey. That’s above every premium brand excepts Lexus.