Top Best BMW electric cars 2023
With the introduction of the new iX1, iX3, i4 and iX, BMW doubled the number of electric vehicles it produces. Yet during the past ten or so years, the company has a history of developing ground-breaking EV products.
BMW used to be quite a traditional brand, capitalising on its tagline of “Ultimate Driving Machine” with a variety of potent, thrilling petrol and diesel automobiles. Nonetheless, it has focused more on hybrid and electric vehicles in recent years, encouraging innovation under its I sub-brand.
The i3 was the first I model, debuting back in 2013 at a time when the majority of electric vehicles (EVs) were unattractive and barely enjoyable to drive. With its innovative design, gorgeous interior, and sophisticated carbon fibre construction, it was somewhat of a revelation. Its initial sales weren’t great, but over the course of its life, it gained more popularity before production was eventually halted in 2022.
The i3 proved electric cars didn’t have to be slow and (thanks to BMW releasing a range-extender option) just appropriate for pottering around town just before Tesla had delivered its first Model S in the UK. BMW didn’t stop there, though, as the spectacular i8 sports car astounded the world of performance vehicles.
The i8 wasn’t a full electric vehicle, hence it wasn’t built entirely of carbon fibre like the i3 was. Instead, BMW pioneered the plug-in hybrid powertrain (one that remains unique in the sports car sector to this day). It was a ground-breaking machine because to its ingenious mid-engined design, attractive appearance, and scissor doors, but because customers were wary of change, it never truly caught on.
Since that time, BMW (together with all of its competitors) has invested heavily in plug-in hybrid vehicles, from the enormously well-liked 3 Series to the massive X5 SUV. But most recently, it has quickly increased the number of entirely electric products it offers. The five I models are examined in this article along with the benefits.
BMW electric cars
- BMW i3
- BMW i4
- BMW i8
- BMW iX1
- BMW iX3
- BMW iX
Year launched: 2013
Even the best electric vehicles on the market, like the Nissan Leaf, were very boring when the BMW I division’s first model, the i3, came out. not only to gaze upon but also to drive. All that changed with the i3.
Although initially receiving mixed reviews for its design, the stunning i3 was unmistakably a cutting-edge vehicle thanks to its distinctive outward shape, rear-hinged back doors, and cutting-edge carbon fibre body and chassis. It was by far the least expensive automobile to have a full carbon chassis, a feature often saved for McLarens and similar vehicles. It is also one of the few EVs available with backup power, thanks to the i3 REx’s small petrol “generator” engine.
With a sleek, simple design and intelligent use of sustainable materials, the interior is also futuristic. But, with a relatively tiny boot and rear doors that won’t open until the fronts are unlocked first, it is less practical than a similarly priced petrol or diesel BMW.
But, the BMW i3 was (and still is) a blast to drive and is ideal for zipping around town due to its excellent forward visibility, fast steering, and genuine agility. Although though the i3’s 170PS (181PS in the sportier i3s) may not seem like much, the lightweight design ensures that the performance nevertheless feels brisk. Although it was improved in 2018 and later models, the ride is stiff.
BMW i4 Year launched: 2021
There are no prizes for guessing which of Elon Musk’s models the BMW i4 is targeting (yes, it’s the Model 3), if the BMW iX is aimed at the Tesla Model X.
Yet, we believe the BMW i4 to be a more comprehensive all-arounder than the Tesla. The BMW i4 is incredibly fun to drive while also being incredibly comfortable and elegant, despite being built on a basis for internal combustion engines. The best of both worlds is truly present.
And it is true for all versions, not just the quick 544PS M50 model, since the more cheap i4s are still deft and quick. The eDrive40, the current base model, manages an astounding 367 miles on a single charge as well.
The i4 also boasts a fantastic interior. Although the rear seat passengers could use a little more room, it is still class-leading in terms of technology and finish quality (it employs the same new-generation iDrive system as the iX). Our one genuine grievance? The i4’s appearance might not be to everyone’s liking just yet, like the iX.
BMW i8 Year launched: 2014
The BMW i8, while not entirely electric, has to be included on this list because it revolutionised hybrid power. When more sports vehicles and supercars switch to gasoline-electric propulsion, the technological innovator will likely be seen as having been ahead of its time.
It’s a shame that the i8 was never successful as it should have been. It features the same carbon fibre structure as the i3 and has brash aesthetics that still look contemporary today. The engine is a three-cylinder, mid-mounted MINI unit that has been upgraded to 231 PS and coupled with a 131 PS electric motor to drive the front wheels.
The plug-in hybrid i8 offered 22 miles of electric-only driving and was paired with a 7.1kWh battery that could be charged at home. Only now are other sports car manufacturers, like McLaren and Ferrari, embracing PHEV power.
The BMW i8 wasn’t nearly as quick as today’s hybrid supercars, and it also wasn’t very useful. Nevertheless it was nonetheless enjoyable to drive due to its light weight and responsive handling. The i8 is a definite future classic.
Year launched: 2021
The BMW iX3 isn’t as revolutionary as the iX; instead, BMW chose to play it safe by converting the well-liked X3 SUV into an electric car. As a result, there is little debate because it appears to be very much as expected.
The iX3 competes with the expanding field of high-end electric SUVs, including the Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC, and Jaguar i-Pace. Unfortunately, the iX3 only has rear-wheel drive, unlike essentially all of its competitors. Even though it might not take you very far from the usual path, few few electric SUVs do, and it’s more enjoyable to drive on the road than the competitors. Although possessing “only” 282PS, which makes it slower than its four-wheel drive competitors, the handling is agile and responsive.
It is essentially the same X3 that we are all familiar with and enjoy, complete with a wonderful infotainment system and a functional cabin. With outstanding economy, it also achieves a decent range of roughly 280 miles from its 80kWh battery. Although it costs £60,000, it is less expensive than several competitors. Why not check heycar to see if you can save money on a relatively new model?
Year launched: 2021
BMW hasn’t exactly taken it easy with the iX’s design. We actually struggle to recall a recent SUV that has generated more controversy. But, we believe the iX’s striking exterior design will hold up well over time once consumers get used to it, much like the brand’s Marmite attempts in the mid-2000s.
There are many positive aspects of the iX when you look past its bizarre looks. It was built from the ground up to be an electric vehicle, unlike some of its competitors. As a result, it is brilliantly packaged and promises X7-like interior space for an X5-sized footprint. It also gets an incredible cabin that is unlike any other BMW to date, complete with a sophisticated design, opulent materials, and a brand-new BMW iDrive infotainment system.
Driving is wonderful, too. The iX is very cosseting; the emphasis is on comfort and refinement rather than outright fun. You could spend hours behind the wheel and still feel as fresh as a daisy. The opposite, though, is composed handling and astounding performance, especially in the insanely quick (and insanely pricey) 619PS, £112,000 M60 variant.
There are more affordable variants available, with the 326PS xDrive40 model in the range starting at slightly under £70,000. The average xDrive50 model is a thoroughly modern electric SUV, with a range of up to 380 miles and charging rates of up to 195kW. This is impressive for a 2,500kg behemoth.