At this point, the BMW i3 has no real direct competitors.
It fits into the EV market between the small all-electric cars at the bottom end and the Tesla Model S, and the range-extended version is more expensive than the other EV model equipped with a generator, Chevy's Volt.
When fitted with the two-cylinder engine, the i3 is perhaps most like the Volt, although the Chevy is far less radical in design, materials, and conception.
The Tesla Model S is easily the best electric car in the world right now, but it's a large luxury sedan with seats for five and ranges of more than 200 miles--not to mention a price roughly twice that of the electric BMW--so it's not as well suited to urban transport as the i3.
The Nissan Leaf is the best-selling electric car in the world, but it has nothing like the interior grace and clever details of the i3, nor is it remotely luxurious.
In some ways, the i3's closest functional competitor may be the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, the battery-powered two-seat city car.
But the Smart is now aged, crude, and spartan compared to the wider, quicker, and far more pleasant i3.
Finally, there's the Lexus CT 200h, the smallest luxury hatchback sold today.
It is a gasoline hybrid, unlike all the others, but it delivers a genuine 40 miles per gallon and a healthy dose of luxury features--at a price somewhat lower than that of the plug-in BMW i3.
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|2015 BMW i3Browse Used Listings||2015 Chevrolet VoltBrowse Used Listings||2015 Nissan LeafBrowse Used Listings||2015 smart fortwoBrowse Used Listings||2015 Tesla Model SBrowse Used Listings|
|35 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||34 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy|
|Electric||Gas/Electric I4||Electric||Premium Unleaded I-3||Electric|
|Subcompact Cars||Compact Cars||Mid-Size Cars||Two-Seaters||Large Cars|
|4-Door HB||5-Door HB||4-Door HB S||2-Door Coupe Pure||4-Door Sedan RWD 60 kWh Battery *Ltd Avail*|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Front wheel drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Automatic||Automatic||Automatic||Auto-Shift Manual w/OD||Automatic|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2015 BMW i3 vs. 2015 Chevrolet Volt||2015 BMW i3 vs. 2015 Nissan Leaf||2015 BMW i3 vs. 2015 smart fortwo||2015 BMW i3 vs. 2015 Tesla Model S|