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In-depth reviews

BMW i4 - Range, charging and running costs

The BMW i4 costs more to buy than some close rivals, but should be relatively cheap to run

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Range, charging and running costs Rating

4.2 out of 5

Price
£51,270 to £70,900
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Every version of the BMW i4 officially manages to hit the 300 miles of electric range sweet spot; the updated eDrive35 gets 311 miles, the eDrive40 gets 373 miles, while the four-wheel drive M50 gets 324 miles. That’s more than enough range for daily driving, and allows you to tackle the odd longer trip without having to keep leapfrogging between rapid chargers.

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The efficiency of the i4 helps contribute towards such a long range. During our company car group test, a pre-facelift version of the eDrive35 managed 3.6 miles per kWh, putting it behind the 3.8 miles per kWh a Tesla Model 3 Long Range got, but ahead of the 3.3 miles per kWh of the Polestar 2 Single Motor Long Range, and 3.1 miles per kWh of the Hyundai Ioniq 6.

The eDrive35 uses a 70.2kWh battery (67kWh useable), while the eDrive40 and M50 both use an 83.9kWh (80.2kWh useable) battery for greater range. All models get a standard heat pump, which provides a more efficient way of heating the interior in cold weather without compromising the electric range too much, so you should still be able to go quite far, even in colder climates. Just be warned that the extra weight and four-wheel drive system of the M50 reduces the range dramatically, as do some of the larger wheel options.

The i4’s maximum charging speed depends on which model you get: the base eDrive35 maxes out at 180kW, while the eDrive40 and M50 can hit 207kW if you use an ultra-rapid charger capable of those speeds. Regardless, a 10 to 80 per cent charging session will take just over half an hour for all versions. Buyers receive a free 12-month subscription to the Ionity Plus and BP Pulse charging network, which helps manage running costs, particularly if you cover bigger mileages and frequently use rapid chargers. Afterwards, you can get a BMW Charging card, which offers customers fixed price AC (slow charging) and DC (rapid charging) per kWh.

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If you have the space to install a typical 7.4kW home wallbox charger, the eDrive35 will take around 11 hours to charge fully, while the eDrive40 and M50 will take 13 hours.

Insurance groups

With insurance premiums for electric cars often being higher than those of combustion-engined cars, BMW has achieved a competitive insurance group rating for the i4. On the 1-50 scale, the i4 eDrive40 sits in group 35 if you opt for Sport trim, or group 36 for M Sport version. Surprisingly, the cheaper i4 eDrive35 lands in group 38 in both Sport and M Sport specifications. Meanwhile, the M50 falls in group 43.

That’s on par with the updated Tesla Model 3 in groups 36-41, but the Polestar 2 attracts much higher insurance ratings, starting in group 40, before finishing in group 45.

You can get personalised car insurance quotes fast with our comparison tool powered by Quotezone...

Depreciation

According to our latest data, the i4 will hold onto between 50 and 55 per cent of its original list price after three years and 36,000 miles of motoring. In case you’re wondering, the M50 is projected to retain the least value, while the entry-level eDrive35 leads the pack.

In comparison, the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 are expected to retain 52 to 56 and 41 to 49 per cent of their value, respectively.

To get an accurate valuation on a specific model check out our valuation tool...

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