Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

BMW i4 - Electric motor, drive and performance

The BMW i4 shows that an electric car can deliver plenty of driving feel and enjoyment

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Electric motor, drive and performance Rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£50,755 to £72,140
Find your BMW i4
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

The i4 features the fifth-generation of BMW’s eDrive electric motors, with the motor itself, transmission and electronics all contained in a single unit for greater efficiency. But, arguably the manufacturer’s greatest achievement with the i4 is the way it drives: despite weighing in at over two tonnes, the five-door Gran Coupe is superb through the corners with plenty of grip, a precise feel to the steering and no hint of understeer. In fact, aside from the lack of combustion noise, we think you’d struggle to tell the difference between the i4 and a fossil-fuelled 4 Series Gran Coupe out on the road.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The single rear-mounted motor in the eDrive35 and eDrive40 models have more than enough punch for everyday driving situations. Considering how heavy the i4 is, you might think the i4 would deliver a firmer ride, but in Comfort mode the dampers soak up most imperfections in the road and help keep things relaxed – whether on a twisty B-road or on longer motorway journeys. That ride comfort, along with excellent refinement, is what makes the i4 such a great long-distance cruiser.

BMW has been particularly clever with the position of the i4’s battery; it sits low in the car’s floor and gives a centre of gravity that is 53mm lower than a 3 Series saloon – going someway to offsetting the extra weight of the electric Gran Coupe. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Air suspension is also standard on all models which suggests that ride composure was a key priority for the manufacturer in the design and setup of the i4. It certainly helped during our group test between the i4, Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, because we found the BMW was the most comfortable car of the three, by quite some margin. Whether in town or on long journeys, the i4 stood out as the most relaxing car in the test.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

The i4 eDrive35 and eDrive40 both use a single, rear-mounted electric motor to drive the rear wheels – as is the BMW way. The eDrive35’s motor produces 282bhp which enables it to sprint from 0-62mph in six seconds exactly. It also provides a healthy 400Nm of torque, so the base i4 still feels very quick off the line, and during overtakes. The eDrive40 pumps a more generous 335bhp and 430Nm of torque, allowing it to hit 62mph from a standstill in a brisk 5.7 seconds. Top speed for both models is 118mph.

The M50 gets an additional electric motor on the front axle for all-wheel drive. It also increases power output to 469bhp and torque makes a significant jump to 730Nm, but it’s also possible to engage a 10-second boost mode which unlocks the M50’s full 537bhp and 795Nm. Do so, and 0-62mph takes 3.9 seconds, while the top speed stands at 139mph.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Have you considered?

New Audi RS e-tron GT prototype review: big changes bring big gains
Audi e-tron GT prototype - front tracking
Road tests
15 Apr 2024

New Audi RS e-tron GT prototype review: big changes bring big gains

Citroen C4 X review
Citroen C4 X - main image
In-depth reviews
12 Apr 2024

Citroen C4 X review

Most Popular

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!
BMW M2 - front tracking
News

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!

Our Day of the Day for 18 April is the formidable BMW M2 performance car
18 Apr 2024
New 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe goes on sale with specs and prices announced
New Hyundai Santa Fe - front
News

New 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe goes on sale with specs and prices announced

The big, bold seven-seater starts from £46,775, and is available with full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid power
18 Apr 2024
Best small SUVs to buy 2024
Best small SUVs - header image
Best cars & vans

Best small SUVs to buy 2024

There's a huge range of small SUVs out there, so we’ve picked out the very best
19 Apr 2024