In-depth reviews

BMW i4 review

Sophisticated, well-built and typically great to drive, the all-electric BMW i4 is an easy car to recommend

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

  • Build quality
  • Decent range
  • Impressive on-board tech
  • Expensive to buy compared to rivals
  • Tight rear space
  • Some pricey optional kit

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.

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.

If you're looking to buy an electric car, why not visit our sister site for the latest deals...

Have you considered?

New 577bhp Kia EV6 GT to debut at Goodwood
Kia EV6 GT
Kia EV6

New 577bhp Kia EV6 GT to debut at Goodwood

Upcoming Kia EV6 GT will rival the fastest electric cars
15 Jun 2022
Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro: long-term test review
Audi Q4 e-tron final report: Steve Fowler with Q4 e-tron outside Autovia offices
Audi Q4 e-tron

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro: long-term test review

Final report: Our super-stylish SUV has impressed in and out of town
30 May 2022
BMW iX review

BMW iX review

Remarkably capable in almost every area, the BMW iX is expensive to buy, but is one of the best electric cars on sale today
26 May 2022

Most Popular

Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga: 2022 twin test review
Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga - both cars front tracking
Car group tests

Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga: 2022 twin test review

All-new Range Rover takes on Bentley Bentayga in luxury SUV face-off
2 Jul 2022
Best car manufacturers 2022
Best car manufacturers header

Best car manufacturers 2022

We reveal the UK’s best car brands based on the feedback from car owners who took our 2022 Driver Power survey...
29 Jun 2022
How to find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you
Diesel pump
Tips & advice

How to find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you

Cheap fuel is hard to come by in the UK at the moment but there are ways that you can minimise what you pay for petrol and diesel
1 Jul 2022