Advertisement
In-depth reviews

BMW i3 review - Interior, design and technology

Concept car looks and design-led interior set the scene for a technology masterclass

The i3 has been designed from the ground up as an EV – and it really shows. Taking its cues from the BMW Coupe Concept that debuted in 2012, the battery-powered car looks like it’s driven straight off a designer’s computer screen.

Tall and narrow proportions give the i3 the look of an MPV rather than a family hatch, but you could argue it stands in a class of its own. Lightweight plastics are used for the heavily sculpted body panels, while the bonnet and glass tailgate get a distinctive gloss black finish. Other highlights include the angular window line, swept-back headlamps and metallic blue trim for the faired-in grille and lower sills.

The futuristic feel continues inside. Access is easy thanks to the rear-hinged doors and lack of a B-pillar – although you have to step over the wide sill. Once in, you’ll be able to enjoy the cleverly packaged and imaginatively designed layout that’s easy to use and beautifully finished.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Climb into the high-set driver’s seat and the first thing you’ll spot is a pair of large infotainment screens – one ahead of the driver and one that appears to ‘float’ above the centre of the dashboard. These units display everything from speed to sat-nav info, and are controlled via a dial on the centre console. A choice of tactile wooden, metallic, cloth and leather trims are available, bundled into what BMW calls ‘interior worlds’, while the low-set dashboard and vast windscreen create a bright and airy feel.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

You’d expect a cutting-edge machine like the BMW i3 to pack quite a punch in the infotainment stakes, but actually, the car offers much the same degree of connectivity and control as other cars in the BMW line-up.

That’s hardly a disappointment, though. There’s a sophisticated sat-nav as standard, a 10-inch screen with iDrive touch controller, DAB radio, hands-free Bluetooth plus access to a variety of social media, music and email apps. You can also upgrade with a Harmon Kardon sound system.

Advertisement

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    125kW 42kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £35,120

Most Economical

  • Name
    125kW 42kWh 5dr Auto [Loft Interior World]
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £36,120

Fastest

  • Name
    135kW S 42kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £37,650
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bentley/continental-gt/351832/bentleys-built-horse-themed-continental-gt-convertible
Bentley Continental GT

Bentley’s built a horse-themed Continental GT Convertible

The bespoke Continental GT Convertible Equestrian Edition features tweed door panels, a walnut dash and gold “horse and rider” emblems
9 Mar 2020
Visit/tips-advice/351925/can-i-drive-my-car-during-uks-coronavirus-lockdown
Speed limit to be cut to 60mph on M1
Tips & advice

Can I drive my car during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown?

The UK has been put on lockdown to help combat the spread of COVID-19, but does this mean you can’t drive your car anymore?
24 Mar 2020
Visit/bmw/4-series/107632/new-2020-bmw-4-series-spotted-undergoing-development
BMW 4 Series

New 2020 BMW 4 Series spotted undergoing development

A near production-ready version of the latest BMW 4 Series Coupe has been spied, wearing a pair of huge kidney grilles.
19 Mar 2020