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2023 BMW i4 iDrive40 Owner Review

BMW i4 iDrive40 2023 - title image

BMW i4

iDrive40 2023

8.4/10not logged17 votes

BMW i4 - What is this thing?

09 Jan 2023

BMW i4 Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • 300 mile range w 18 inch wheels

  • Really fast

  • Gorgeous car, inside and out

  • A serious sport sedan that happens to be a BEV

Cons:
  • Cramped interior with center tunnel

  • Small greenhouse limits visibility

Owner Review

BMW i4 - What is this thing?

I absolutely love it

The i4 is first and foremost a sports sedan. It is the latest incarnation of the iconic BMW 3 Series, with a platform designed for electrification. That makes it full of pleasing stuff that is not necessarily practical

So it comes in cool colors, has a beautiful interior and a sunroof. There are design cues in the body work and cool stuff like blue light bars all around the interior. The screens meld together to create a very attractive dashboard. All wonderful, but not particularly utilitarian

It's very comfy and well appointed. Aside from being pretty to look at, the i4 is hoot to drive. It handles great and clearly is the fastest car I've ever owned

And, despite all of this, it happens to be a very efficient BEV

I've been driving i3s for six years. Also had 2 plug-in hybrids (Volt, Prius Prime). The i4 is reminiscent of each, but different.

The very idea of a sports sedan ("gran coupe", for a BMW hatchback) is a compromise. And there are some compromises, like the center tunnel. Clearly it was designed to be a BMW 3 Series before it was a BEV.  And that is a very good thing. It is a really pleasing car.

When switching the driving setting to Sport mode, the car changes personalities. Dashboard colors change from cool blues to hot reds, throttle response get dialed up and the car acts like a snarling beast. I think it has sound effects to make it sound like a rocket ship  

The i4's default position is to drive like a "regular" (ICE) sporty car.  But I've been driving EVs for so long that my brain is used to one-pedal driving in a BEV. So I use the settings to make it behave more like a purpose built BEV.

The regenerative braking can be cranked up by a cool feature on the shifter that is reminiscent of the hand brake feature on a Prius. This allows for one-pedal driving. And the Auto Hold feature keeps it from rolling away. So it behaves much like a bigger, faster, sexier version of my i3s 

The kid loading my groceries stopped to ask about it. A V-8 Camaro rolled down his window to talk about it. A friend was surprised it was an EV and said it was the prettiest EV he ever saw

Overall, it's a wonderful car. I will try to add some photos in sunshine

See Tech Specs - BMW i4

Discussion

  • 2023-01-12 16:49:02 UTC

    perfect choice

    The BMW i4 is a perfect choice Jerry. I've driven the i4 M50 version and have been impressed. It's a fantastically fast car, even for the track, at a good price.
  • 2023-01-13 08:20:54 UTC

    BMW i4 vs iX

    Thanks for the nice review. The i4 is a beautiful electric BMW, unlike the awful iX. :))
  • 2023-01-30 17:29:28 UTC

    ICE basis

    It's funny that the nicest EV was based on the ICE version :)

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