Sam Young our Bristol based development manager had the opportunity to drive the New BMW i4.
Given the vehicles massive popularity Sam was only allowed 30 mins but it was enough for an initial impression on the car.
Looks wise it follows the BMW DNA and due to it being based on the 4 series is one of the more normal looking EV’s out there.
There are downsides to this though as sharing a platform with an ICE car comes with its drawbacks.
The bonnet is unnecessarily long with no storage and the weight distribution of the car is not perfect.
Speaking of weight this is a heavy car, all EV’s are due to batteries but this one for its size is heavier than most and you can feel it.
The car feels like a 5 series in terms of size when you drive it but not in a good way.
Its quick depending on which mode you drive it in and the boost function works well although will need to get used to which point it kicks in.
Interior – it is very BMW so there will be no upset to current customers. There is a lot of familiar BMW touches and buttons that make you feel like you’re in a BMW. It does have a very large 3 part panoramic screen which at first is daunting, whoever as you drive it you realise its just replaced 3 separate screens that would have been there anyway.
Controls and functions in the cock pit are if anything a bit busy. BMW have played it safe and as well as touch screen also have lots of hard buttons. So there is a lot duplication with the controls. Upside is you choose which you want to use.
In terms of competition and market I’m sure there will be lots of Head To Heads with Model 3 and Polestar in the same bracket, similar performance and similar range.
I think if you want an EV but the Tesla interface is to sparce then this and the Polestar 2 will be the options for you. However this car only starts as an AWD twin motor and no plans for a more affordable single motor like you get in the other 2 brands.
So if you’re looking for a premium £50,000 EV then this, the Polestar 2 Twin Motor and the Model 3 Long Range are the 3 to consider.
If you want a premium EV in the £40000 – £45000 bracket then BMW will have to bring out something else for you.
The only plus is if you lease or consider leasing, the high future value of this BMW EV along with the Polestar and Model 3 that can do 300 miles offsets this cost so maybe worth enquiring about.
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