2018 BMW i3 vs. Its Competition

2018 BMW i3s
Kirk Bell Kirk Bell Senior Editor

Given its optional REx, the i3 competes against both electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

Almost all of its electric competitors beat it for driving range.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV offers more than twice the range for considerably less money.

It’s more practical, more conservatively styled, and not as special inside.

The new Tesla Model 3 delivers even more electric range for about the same money, though its build quality is poor and it is hard to get.

The Nissan Leaf has 151 miles of range and is cheap and cheerful.

The same can be said of the Volkswagen e-Golf, though its range is on par with the i3’s.

Among plug-in hybrids, the i3's closest rival is the Chevy Volt.

The Chevrolet is basically a normal compact car with enough electric range (53 miles) for the typical commute, and it has a reasonably large fuel tank that can allow it to be driven like any other car.

2018 BMW i3s2018 BMW i3
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2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV
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2017 Chevrolet Volt2017 Chevrolet Volt
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2017 Nissan Leaf  2017 Nissan Leaf
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2017 Volkswagen e-Golf2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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2017 Tesla Model S2017 Tesla Model S
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Quick Specs
6.6
The BMW i3 is a wonder of technology, but it's already been surpasses by EVs with longer range.
7.2
The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV remains the only affordable, available electric car that offers more than 200 miles of range.
7.7
The 2017 Chevy Volt offers excellent fuel efficiency, and refined driving, improving on its predecessor in every way that counts.
5.8
Eclipsed by the Chevrolet Bolt EV's 200-mile-plus range, the Nissan Leaf is best enjoyed with the substantial discounts dealers are eager to offer.
6.4
The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is a Golf that happens to run only on electricity, but its range is now sub-par.
8.3
The 2017 Tesla Model S is unlike any other car on the road for several reasons—good and bad.
MSRP From     
$44,450$36,620$33,220$30,680$30,495$68,000
Gas Mileage     
43 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Engine     
ElectricElectricGas/Electric I4ElectricElectricElectric
EPA Class     
Subcompact Cars- TBD -Compact CarsMid-Size CarsCompact CarsLarge Cars
Style Name     
94 Ah5-Door HB LT5-Door HB LTS Hatchback4-Door SE60 RWD *Ltd Avail*
Drivetrain     
Rear Wheel DriveFront wheel driveFront wheel driveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
455555
Passenger Doors     
N/A44N/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackHatchbackHatchbackHatchbackHatchbackHatchback
Transmission     
AutomaticNAAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2018 BMW i3 vs. 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV2018 BMW i3 vs. 2017 Chevrolet Volt2018 BMW i3 vs. 2017 Nissan Leaf2018 BMW i3 vs. 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf2018 BMW i3 vs. 2017 Tesla Model S