First Drive

2018 BMW i3s review - verdict

Has making the BMW i3 sporty ruined its eco credentials? We've driven the new i3s on UK roads to find out.

Words By Rory White

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BMW i3s

Unless you spend significantly more money buying a Tesla, there aren't yet any real contenders to this sporty i3s. Sure, more expensive versions of the Leaf or e-Golf are in the same ballpark price-wise, but both put comfort, space and practicality before handling.

So, the i3s is a unique prospect and an impressive one, but should you part with the extra cash for one over the standard i3?

We'd suggest not when it comes to the Range Extender version. Not only is its performance fairly ordinary, but with CO2 emissions of 14g/km and a list price of more than Β£40,000, it attracts the Government's premium-rate annual road tax, which adds up to Β£430.

Go for the regular i3s and you avoid any road tax at all, while enjoying the range's fastest accelration and benefiting from the sporty model's better ride and handling.

That said, our pick of the i3 range remains the standard i3. At some Β£6000 less than the i3s, it represents better value for money, getting all the equipment and quality, a healthy range and cheaper running costs.

What Car? says...

Rated 3 out of 5

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Nissan Leaf

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BMW i3s Range Extender

Price Β£40,125 Engine electric motor plus 2cyl, 647cc, petrol Power 180bhp Torque 199lb ft Gearbox Single speed 0-62mph 7.7sec Top speed 99mph Official economy 403.5mpg CO2, tax band 14g/km, 9%

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