Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: BMW i3 - 4th report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: BMW i3 - 4th report

Date: 30 July 2015   |   Author: Guy Bird

Why we're running it: To see if this EV cuts in beyond the theory
Equipment: 6 airbags, stability and cornering brake control, hill-start assist, auto aircon, electric windows, leather-covered multi-function steering wheel, satnav, Bluetooth hands-free facility with USB, 50:50 split-fold rear seats, rear park distance control, 19in streamline star alloys, halogen headlights
Options: Lodge trim (£1500), 19in turbine alloys (£680), Harmon Kardon hi-fi (£640), DC rapid charge prep (£560), silver metallic paint (£530), Enhanced Bluetooth with USB (£350), internet (£95)
Media Package - BMW Professional (£960), Park assist package inc. colour reversing cam (£790), Winter package inc. heated
front seats (£260), Online Entertainment (£190)

Longer trips take planning in an i3. With a coastal campsite 60 miles away (and a realistic electric range of 60-80 miles), I checked the availability of the campsite's three-pin plug for an overnight 're-fill' so I could drive fully electricly there and back (preserving the range-extender's 60-80-mile 'back-up tank' of unleaded just in case). The key is choosing the right driving mode.

The i3 has three: Comfort (which basically means 'drive how you want and the car will do its best'), Eco Pro (70mph cap, but easily overridden) and Eco Pro+ (56mph limit and aircon deactivated - pictured). In town, Eco Pro+ is perfect (open the windows a bit if it's hot), and on motorways Eco Pro results in almost no compromise to driving style - unless you like speeding.

At one point on the way (with the destination in the satnav) a message popped up on my centre screen that said something like "in your current [Comfort] driving mode you do not have sufficient range to get to your destination".

A bit scary, but honest. After flipping to Eco Pro I was miraculously back in range. Best of all, the switch didn't take away all accelerator oomph or dial-in harsher re-gen braking. In fact, it all felt pretty normal, and I got there with a dozen, almost comfortable, miles to spare.

BMW i3 Range Extender

Mileage 1850
Official consumption 470.8mpg
Our average consumption 887.0mpg
Forecast/actual CPM 59.1p/56.4p
P11D price £35,575*
Model price range £30,925-35,575*
Residual value 39.1%
Depreciation cost £21,675
Fuel £1670
Service, maintenance and repair £1722
Vehicle Excise Duty £0
National Insurance £1031
CO2 (tax) 13g/km/5%
BIK 20/40% per month £28/£57


  • Eco groundbreaking design and engineering
  • Learning new driving and refuelling skills