The 2014 BMW i3 is already on sale here in Germany starting at 35,000 euros (~$46,000). I was curious if it feels special enough to justify its price, so I jumped in one for a quick ride.
When not ditching the on the side of the road in New York, BMW is using the now production versions of the i3 to shuffle people around at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It comes handy at this giant fair. But I took the opportunity especially to see what it's like to sit at the rear of it. After all, this is supposed to be a usable city car for four adults. If you're 6'2" like me, it's like this:
It's not bad at all. And look America, a nice cup holder in the middle!
The shapes are very futuristic, but the materials make the i3 feel as natural as your girlfriend's wholegrain muesli. There's wood, but not like in an old Jaguar. There's leather, but not like in a 7-Series. It feels right.
Climbing in is bit of a challenge though. The world's thickest suicide doors make it easier, but I did hit the roof with my head, no matter what. You also have to be careful to close the rear doors before the front ones.
When on the move, it's quiet and torquey, like all modern electric cars. The dash is simple but informative. We didn't do more than 20 mph.
We have to test it of course, but for now, the i3 gets a high five. It's expensive because of the technology involved, and it's certainly different than anything else on sale right now.
Photo credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik