BMW i3 Hero

Used BMW i3

One of the very first electrified cars from BMW., the i3 still looks futuristic despite being around since 2013

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Used BMW i3 for sale

The BMW i3 was introduced in 2013. Today, it's fully electric, whilst previous versions offered a hybrid option which incorporated a petrol engine, known as the 'Range Extender'.

Despite launching in 2013, the i3 is still very much unchanged, apart from a few facelifts and fresh styling updates, which came along in 2017 with the addition of the i3 S model, with tweaks to the battery and styling also coming along in the following years. Since 2019 the i3 has been solely electric.

Interestingly, the i3 was also the first model of BMW i, which is a sub-brand of BMW. The i3 was joined shortly after by the BMW i8.

Some points on why the BMW i3 is a great used car:

  • Futuristic looks
  • Fully electric and hybrid versions
  • Fun to drive
  • Easy to drive
  • Low running costs
  • BMW driving dynamics and badge kudos

Discover more about the quirky and futuristic i3 below.

Engines and Driving Experience

BMW i3 Pair

The first versions of the BMW i3 produced 167bhp thanks to a 60Ah (21.6kWh) battery, good enough for around 80 miles of range. The 'Range Extending' hybrid version featured an accompanying petrol engine, increasing total range to 200 miles.

Performance is sure to put a smile on your face, with a 0 to 62mph time of around 7 seconds for the standard i3, and 7.6 seconds for the heavier hybrid version, although in reality the times are around half a second quicker.

Instant electric torque means the i3 feels lightning fast off the line, with the car feeling wonderfully nippy, perfect for navigating city environments. In typical BMW fashion there is little body roll, sharp steering feel and a composed chassis.

A larger 94Ah battery came standard for 2017 i3 models, increasing the range to around 120 miles, whilst the updated hybrid versions could muster another 90 miles of total range.

An i3 S model was also made available in 2017, which had power increased to 180bhp, meaning the car was quicker and more dynamic. The 0 to 62mph time was officially stated at 6.9 seconds, but yet again the car was around half a second quicker when tested.

2019 saw the i3 and i3 S go fully electric due to their improved range, which is around 180 miles for the standard i3, and around 170 miles for the i3 S.

Practicality and Running Costs

BMW i3 Interior Showcase

Up front, there is plenty of space in the i3, but rear space is less impressive. Adults will be fine in the front, but due to the roofline, rear headroom is less generous, so taller adults won't want to spend large amounts of time in the back. There may be only two seats back there, but the rear is accessed by funky rear-hinged doors which is useful and looks cool too.

Boot space is good enough for an electric car, with some of the space being sacrificed to housing all the electric paraphernalia. That said, 260 litres is enough for the weekly shop. For reference, the popular VW Golf offers around 120 litres more. You can of course fold the rear seats in the i3, which allows for a more than decent 1,100 litres of space.

In terms of running costs, the i3 will be significantly less to run than a comparable petrol or diesel car. When using Economy 7 for overnight charging or a dedicated wall box which drops charge time to just a few hours, or under an hour in some cases, the i3 will only cost around a fiver.

Servicing is also rather attractive, especially in the fully electric versions as there is no engine to worry about. Earlier models with a petrol engine will be slightly more to service, but both models can be taken care of by any Evans Halshaw retailer, or for more specialist care, any Stratstone BMW retailer.

Interior, Technology and Safety

BMW i3 Interior

The i3's interior is a concoction of funky materials, many of which have been recycled, further showcasing the i3's green credentials. They look really good though, and it's definitely an interior which mirrors the quality, fit and finish you expect from a BMW.

Large windows mean the cabin feels nice and airy and the various colours make even older models look modern.

Today, digital instrument panels are expected in premium cars, but the i3 had one upon launch back in 2013, along with the familiar iDrive infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard too. Other tech in the i3 includes Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, auto lights and wipers, DAB and sat nav.

In later models, you can find Loft, Lodge and Suit trims, which offer different styles to the interior via use of materials which include sustainable leather, eucalyptus wood and even wool. You can also find high-spec models with upgraded Harmon Kardon stereos and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

As for safety, the i3 range features:

  • Electronic stability control
  • Six airbags
  • Cruise control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Preventative pedestrian warning
  • Lane departure warning

This ensured a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating. A high 86% and 81% score for adult occupancy and child occupancy respectively is very good, but the 57% pedestrian protection ensured the i3 couldn't quite muster the full five stars.

Is the BMW i3 right for me?

It's safe to say that the BMW i3 was well ahead of its time being launched back in 2013. Since electric cars have become more popular and technology has progressed, the i3 has continued to evolve and become better with each update despite no brand-new generation.

That said, early cars are now offered at incredibly tempting used prices, ensuring you too can have a modern electric car with head-turning looks and tech for the price of a mediocre hatchback. For that reason, used BMW i3 models offer a tempting prospect, especially if you are looking for punchy performance, typical BMW driving dynamics and ultra-low running costs.

You could look at other electric cars such as the Nissan LEAF or Hyundai IONIQ, but not much comes close to the quirky and sophisticated i3, as more modern hybrid cars are quite pricey in comparison.

Why purchase a used BMW i3 through Evans Halshaw?

At Evans Halshaw, we have a wide variety of quality used vehicles for you to choose from. Each car is carefully selected by our expert teams before making its way through the rigorous preparation process, where it is inspected by a qualified technician and then fully valeted throughout.

All of our vehicles are fully HPI checked, giving you peace of mind when making a decision. In addition, we're able to offer same day delivery on a selection of used cars, meaning you never have to wait for the car you want.

If you'd like some advice on picking the right car for you, or you've spotted a vehicle and want more information, please contact your nearest Evans Halshaw retailer, where one of our friendly associates will be more than happy to help.