2023 BMW i4

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Brian Wong Brian Wong West Coast Editor
August 1, 2022

Buying tip

If performance isn’t paramount, stick with the eDrive40 for its lower price and greater range.

features & specs

M50 Gran Coupe
eDrive40 Gran Coupe
MPG
Coming Soon
MPG
Coming Soon
MSRP
$67,300
MSRP
$55,900

Though the i4’s styling choices are conservative, the electric drivetrain transforms it into something new for BMW.

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 BMW i4? What does it compare to?

The BMW i4 is an electric sedan that mostly retains the conventional style of the 4-Series, but swaps in an electric powertrain. It competes against other electric vehicles, ranging from the Tesla Model 3 to the Genesis GV60 and Kia EV6.

Is the 2023 BMW i4 a good car?

Review continues below

If you can get by the wacky front styling, the i4 offers a potent combination of drivability, technology, and features, without producing any emissions. It earns a robust TCC Rating of 7.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2023 BMW i4?

The i4 made its debut as a 2022 model, but we’re covering it for the first time as a 2023 given its delayed launch.

If the iX SUV provides a look at what future BMW electric vehicles will look like, the i4 is instead firmly rooted in the present with styling that hews closely to the design of the current 4-Series Gran Coupe. That means a large kidney grille up front, a long hood, and a short decklid with plenty of small creases and inlets on the hopped up M50.

The M50 tops the lineup with dual-motor all-wheel drive and a rating of 536 hp. It has an 83.9-kwh battery, same as the eDrive40 but that mid-grade model has a single rear motor making 335 hp. The base eDrive35 launched last, and its 66-kwh usable battery pack feeds a single-motor rear-wheel-drive system making 281 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Range varies widely based on wheel size. The eDrive40 gets an estimated 301 miles with 18-inch wheels (or 282 miles with 19-inch wheels), while the M50 offers 270 miles on 19-inch wheels or only 227 miles with 20-inch wheels.

Thanks to its fast charging capability up to 200 kw, the i4 can go from 10-80% charge in just 30 minutes on a DC fast-charger. On an 11-kw Level 2 charger, it takes about 9 hours to fill the battery completely from empty.

Inside, the i4 begins to distinguish itself from the 4-Series Gran Coupe with a pair of large screens up front that are joined together in a single curved glass display that turns the infotainment screen slightly toward the driver. The instrument cluster measures 12.3 inches, while the central touchscreen is 14.9 inches. Powering the screens is BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment system, with improved voice recognition and wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Synthetic leather is standard on both models, with leather optional.

Standard safety features include parking sensors, automatic wipers, blind-spot monitors, and automatic forward emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control, a traffic jam assistant that can pilot the vehicle at low speeds without driver input, and active lane control are all part of an optional safety package, while a surround-view camera system is also available.

How much does the 2023 BMW i4 cost?

The eDrive40 starts at $56,895 (including a $995 delivery charge), while the M50 ups the price to $68,295. The eDrive35 won’t arrive until early 2023, and BMW prices it at $52,395. The eDrive35 comes with the same standard features as the eDrive40, so the only difference is the battery pack size. 

Where is the 2023 BMW i4 made?

In Munich, Germany.

 
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2023 BMW i4

Styling

For those who want an undercover electric vehicle, the i4 is the one for you.

Is the BMW i4 a good-looking car?

We gave the similar looking 4-Series a 5 on styling, with its large grille taking back a point that the car’s well-appointed interior earns. But in the i4, we find the interior to be better with its larger screens, so it’s worthy of a 6 in this category to finish a point higher.

The large kidney grille, with its pair of giant openings that take up much of the front fascia, is BMW’s most controversial styling decision of late and while it is less egregious on some of the company’s larger vehicles, it looks too big and out of place here. Stranger still, the i4’s solid grille doesn’t provide any real cooling benefit. Anything could have gone on the i4’s nose but this monstrosity is what remains. M50 models look better, with more vents and shapes on the lower part of the fascia that help to draw the eye away. And darker exterior colors do a better job of hiding the schnoz, but anything brighter than a mid-tone gray and the i4 is an automotive homage to Cyrano. 

From the inside, impressions are much more positive. Mounting the two displays side-by-side on top of the dashboard feels more futuristic even if it does make reaching the right side of the screen a stretch. A small controller to the right of the drive selector is a necessary backup for operating the infotainment system. Materials and quality are top notch, giving the i4 a leg up on the Model 3 in that regard.

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2023 BMW i4

Performance

M50 models come with a boost function that adds a noticeable burst of power.

The i4’s acceleration impresses and the low center of gravity gives it some added handling chops and balance, though the steering could use a bit more feedback. It earns a point each for its powertrain, handling, and confident ride to get an 8.

Is the BMW i4 4WD?

The single-motor eDrive35 and eDrive40 are rear-wheel drive, but the M50 has two motors and all-wheel drive.

How fast is the BMW i4?

It varies widely by model.

We haven’t tested the eDrive35, but its smaller 70.2-kwh battery (66 kwh of usable battery) connects to a single motor making 281 hp and driving a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds. The eDrive40 produces 335 hp and 317 lb-ft from its single motor, enough to get it from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. But the M50 is a different animal, with its two motors combining for 536 hp and 586 lb-ft for a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds.

The M50 only reaches those power figures when it is in boost mode, which is only available when the car is shifted into Sport mode already. This mode only lasts for 10 seconds at a time, though it can be activated several times in a row. We have only tested the M50 so far and though it doesn’t have the initial snap of acceleration you get from the Tesla, it still feels plenty fast and carries its power well past highway speeds with ease. This also makes it easier to nail corner exits by hopping on the throttle with more vigor, and knowing that it won’t upset the i4’s balance.

The i4’s battery is mounted low, dropping down the center of gravity and helping the car feel planted. A standard rear air suspension features self-leveling and helps to lower pitch and roll. M50 models add an adaptive suspension with multiple settings and it flips ably between comfort and tightness as desired.

If there’s a spot I wish the i4 improved it’d be the steering. It has the same numb feeling mid-corner that many of its contemporaries have. In moments where you want to feel what the front tires are doing and how much grip remains, the wheel is a bit limp. But handling is very good and the car dives in nicely when prompted.

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2023 BMW i4

Comfort & Quality

The liftgate provides excellent access to the rear cargo area.

Unlike the 4-Series, the i4 is available in a single four-door bodystyle with five seats and a liftgate for easier access to the trunk. It earns a point for its excellent front seats and another for its high-quality interior, but it would be a challenge to fit four adults due to the cramped rear seats. That costs it a point to a 6. 

The front seats come with standard power adjustments and synthetic leather, but can be upgraded with heating, cooling, and real leather. In either form, they are comfortable and provide plenty of support for both passengers. The rear outboard seats are also comfortable in their own right with good leg room, but the i4’s shape cuts into head room on the sides which will leave taller passengers feeling claustrophobic. There’s also a prominent floor hump and not enough space under the front seats to fit your feet and that makes it very difficult to fit three adults in the rear for anything longer than a quick jaunt.

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2023 BMW i4

Safety

The i4 offers plenty of safety technology, but the best features are optional.

How safe is the BMW i4?

The i4 has yet to be crash tested by either the IIHS or the NHTSA, so we’ll hold off on giving it an official rating until then.

Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, front and rear parking sensors, and lane-departure warnings. Adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, active lane control, and a surround-view camera system are optional.

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2023 BMW i4

Features

In addition to a strong maintenance package, the i4 also includes two years of free fast charging.

The i4 excels in this category with strong standard features and plenty of options. It offers the same 4-year/50,000-mile warranty and 3-years/36,000-miles of free scheduled maintenance as its gas counterparts, but BMW puts an EV cherry on top withtwo years of complimentary 30-minute charging sessions with Electrify America. On a fast charger, that’s enough time to fill the battery from 10-80%. It gets a 9 here.

Which BMW i4 should I buy?

For those who are OK without being in the fastest EV the eDrive35 presents better value ($52,395) but the eDrive40 has better efficiency and range than its dual-motor counterpart, starting at $56,895 (or $11,400 less than the M50). The eDrive35 and 40 are fitted with the same equipment, except for the battery size. 

The 12.3-inch driver display and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen come standard, as do a power liftgate, dual-zone climate control, and 18-inch wheels. If you are looking to spruce up the eDrive40, nearly all of the i4’s options are available on it, including leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, wireless device charging, and a head-up display.  

How much is a fully loaded BMW i4?

The M50 starts at $68,295 but can be priced up to roughly $85,000 with BMW’s various paint, upholstery, and technology packages/options.

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2023 BMW i4

Fuel Economy

Your choice of wheels will have a large impact on the i4’s range.

The i4 eDrive40 tops out at 301 miles of range. Bear in mind that it only gets that rating on 18-inch wheels; opting for the larger 19-inch wheels knocks range down to 282 miles. On those 18-inch wheels, BMW expects the iDrive35 to go 260 miles. The discrepancy is even worse on the M50, which gets 270 miles on its standard 19-inch wheels, but only 227 miles with the 20-inch wheels that come with stickier summer tires.

At its most efficient, the eDrive40 gets 3.2 miles/kwh with the 18-inch wheels but that drops to 2.9 miles/kwh with the 19s. In the M50, that drop-off is more precipitous, falling from 2.8 to 2.3 miles/kwh. The eDrive40 offers 109/99 mpge combined, and the M50 just 96/80 mpge.

Its range earns i4 full marks in this category, but it falls well short of the Tesla Model 3’s 358 miles of range and 131 mpge for its long range model. 

Review continues below
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$55,900
MSRP based on eDrive40 Gran Coupe
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7.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 9
Fuel Economy 10
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