BMW i4 review
Sophisticated, well-built and typically great to drive, the all-electric BMW i4 is an easy car to recommend
BMW has done a fine job with its fully-electric i4 Gran Coupe. The move to battery power has simply highlighted the German manufacturer’s renowned engineering skill, and buyers can rest assured that none of the company’s driver-focused DNA has been lost in translation.
But, it’s not just keen drivers who will be impressed with the i4, as the Gran Coupe oozes quality and is packed with the latest onboard technology, while a decent range and useful rapid charging ability just add to its appeal as a superb all-rounder. Yes, the i4 costs a touch more than its close rivals, but we think it’s worth every penny.
About the BMW i4
BMW has a rich heritage for producing cars that are fantastic to drive. Whether it’s an executive saloon or a quirky supermini, a large SUV or a two-seater roadster, the automaker often comes up trumps in delivering a car that just makes you want to get behind the wheel and hit the road.
The pace of change to an all-electric future is picking up speed, but the Bavarian automaker has already demonstrated its ability to deliver a desirable EV. The battery-powered iX3 is based on its combustion-engined X3 sibling, but trades the often pointless 4x4 capability of urban SUVs for a more agile rear-wheel-drive setup, while the larger iX SUV is built on a bespoke EV platform and sets an incredibly high standard for comfort, refinement and on-board technology.
Car group tests
With SUVs, crossover-style models and smaller superminis currently dominating the electric market, BMW has bucked the trend somewhat with its i4 Gran Coupe. The five-door model goes head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, while the instant familiarity of the i4 to anyone who’s driven a current 3 Series Saloon or 4 Series Coupe might be enough to help some make the move to all-electric power. Certainly, the issue of range anxiety shouldn’t prove to be a problem, as all i4 models are able to deliver over 300 miles from a single charge of the 80.7kWh battery.
The rear-wheel-drive i4 eDrive40 model produces 335bhp and is available in either Sport or the desirable M Sport trim, while the 536bhp M50 is BMW’s first electric car to receive input from the manufacturer’s M Division motorsport arm. Air suspension is standard on all models, with the M50’s all-wheel-drive setup and its adaptive M dampers providing keener drivers with greater stability on the limit.
Starting from around £52,000, the i4 is more expensive to buy than a Tesla Model 3 or Polestar 2, while you’d need an extra £12,000 to sample the performance of the M50 model. But, it’s hard to deny the appeal of the i4 when you compare it to its petrol siblings: the rear-wheel-drive 430i Gran Coupe comes in at just over £50,000, but offers less power than the i4 (242bhp), with average economy of 39mpg and CO2 emissions of 161g/km. The i4 isn’t too shabby to drive, either, and makes a great case for switching over to battery power.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingSophisticated, well-built and typically great to drive, the all-electric BMW i4 is an easy car to recommend
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe BMW i4 shows that an electric car can deliver plenty of driving feel and enjoyment
- 3Range, charging and running costsThe i4 costs more to buy than some close rivals, but should be relatively cheap to run
- 4Interior, design and technologyBuyers who prioritise good build quality and the latest on-board technology will appreciate the BMW i4
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceFor a sporty Gran Coupe, the electric i4 offers decent practicality and plenty of comfort, although rear passenger space is a bit tight
- 6Reliability and safetyStandard safety kit is good, while the i4 should be a dependable all-electric car