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BMW i4 - Test Drive

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Moderator
Mar 16, 2018
2,296
2,442
UK
Any comparison of autonomous driving features and apps? Been a lot of Tesla slating on here recently, but interested to hear what the competition is like (hard to tell in a test drive I know).

Seems like the sensible option is to order both, the sell one when they finally turn up. Will probably make a few quid too!
Theres a review of the BMW system v Tesla on YouTube somewhere, uk review too, not US. Conclusion was BMW was better at speed limits and the way it interacts otherwise very similar at the basics. If I wasn’t travelling I’d try and find the link.
 
Charging etc - I didn't get chance to charge it but it seems from Google searches that it supports pre-conditioning for rapid charging and can take a max of 200kW, which I think is to all practical purposes the same as the Model 3 (yes, I know the Model 3 does 250kW in principle but I've only ever seen that rate once and it didn't stay there too long!). Of course, the Tesla network is still mostly locked out to non-Tesla cars, so it's hard to get away from that as being anything but a big advantage to the Tesla. Maybe over the next year or two things will get much more even, but I think at the moment it's still advantage Tesla.
Take a look at the charging curves for the two of them; compared to the LR (I don't think the SR is comparable, it's considerably less expensive). By my eye, it looks like the M3 is drawing about 50kw more than the i4 between 0 and 70%.

I would say that it's impossible to consider charging separately to efficiency. A car which charges faster and has lower efficiency means the miles-per-hour charging remains the same, while costs are higher.
Charging on the Model 3 is substantially ahead of the i4 even if the charge are comparable speeds - you've got a car which is less "draggy" because you've got a streamline bonnet, not one designed for to hold an ICE.
 
Any comparison of autonomous driving features and apps? Been a lot of Tesla slating on here recently, but interested to hear what the competition is like (hard to tell in a test drive I know).

Seems like the sensible option is to order both, the sell one when they finally turn up. Will probably make a few quid too!
I found the BMW adaptive regen braking generally worked well, as it uses sat nav / gps data to decide when to apply heavy regen, and when to allow the car to coast, which made one pedal driving easier.
 
I found the BMW adaptive regen braking generally worked well, as it uses sat nav / gps data to decide when to apply heavy regen, and when to allow the car to coast, which made one pedal driving easier.
I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt as I’ve never tried it but the system you’ve just described would probably make my head explode.
Not sure how I’d cope without knowing what the car is going to do when I lift my foot off the accelerator…
 
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I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt as I’ve never tried it but the system you’ve just described would probably make my head explode.
Not sure how I’d cope without knowing what the car is going to do when I lift my foot off the accelerator…
It's not as scary as it sounds, it doesn't flick between heavy regen and coast, I was just trying to say these are the two extremes. If say you're going along a straight level road, with nothing in front, and you lift off, the car will coast along. If you get to a steep hill, or a sharp bend and you lift off it will apply regen. It isn't perfect, but it does do a fairly good job of doing what you would have done in the same circumstances in an ICE car (except you'd be using the brakes to slow obviously).
 
It's not as scary as it sounds, it doesn't flick between heavy regen and coast, I was just trying to say these are the two extremes. If say you're going along a straight level road, with nothing in front, and you lift off, the car will coast along. If you get to a steep hill, or a sharp bend and you lift off it will apply regen. It isn't perfect, but it does do a fairly good job of doing what you would have done in the same circumstances in an ICE car (except you'd be using the brakes to slow obviously).
It also applies regen if you lift off if you need to slow for a reduced speed limit.
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,320
1,434
Leamington
I found the BMW adaptive regen braking generally worked well, as it uses sat nav / gps data to decide when to apply heavy regen, and when to allow the car to coast, which made one pedal driving easier.
I deliberately turned that off on the test drive. My wife's ID.3 has the same system and I really don't like it. In general though, I don't like any of these driving aids. I'd much rather be in charge of the car rather than some computer. The only exception for me would be to let the car drive itself totally, and safely, on highways. Having just spent well over 4.5 hours doing the journey from Lancaster to Leamington (average speed 34mph) via congested roads almost the whole way (the M6 has been closed by Warrington), it would have been really nice just to press the "Drive me" button!
 
I test drove the I4 before delivery of my Model Y in March, having a BMW 4 series at the time. I liked the HUD, didn't like the lack of cabin light and hated the transmission tunnel. Also hated that the BMW dealer snuck into the back seat without telling us he was coming along, the only one of the 5 EVs I drove where they did that. And since it was at Omicron time and he was standing in for his colleague who was "off sick" even less impressed. Drive was OK but only confirmed that I would stick with the Tesla.
 
I test drove the I4 before delivery of my Model Y in March, having a BMW 4 series at the time. I liked the HUD, didn't like the lack of cabin light and hated the transmission tunnel. Also hated that the BMW dealer snuck into the back seat without telling us he was coming along, the only one of the 5 EVs I drove where they did that. And since it was at Omicron time and he was standing in for his colleague who was "off sick" even less impressed. Drive was OK but only confirmed that I would stick with the Tesla.
I hated the experience of BMW too - very much "in your face" and had a "genius" in the car with me. I had already ordered the car at this point so I was aware of the spec and features. When the deal fell through I got a Model Y test drive in Glasgow next day, the experience was wonderful - friendly staff and myself and wife had a 30 min test which meant we had the car for an hour - we did a good drive in that time with no pressure and no interruptions from someone in the back!
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,320
1,434
Leamington
I hated the experience of BMW too - very much "in your face" and had a "genius" in the car with me. I had already ordered the car at this point so I was aware of the spec and features. When the deal fell through I got a Model Y test drive in Glasgow next day, the experience was wonderful - friendly staff and myself and wife had a 30 min test which meant we had the car for an hour - we did a good drive in that time with no pressure and no interruptions from someone in the back!
My BMW experience was excellent. The test drive was an hour and unaccompanied and the “Genius” guy I spoke to was extremely knowledgeable. I guess it all depends on the dealership.
 
Good review and pretty much what I decided too.

I had an I4 M50 for 24 hours on January 4th , it was cold but I could not get more then 2.2ml/kW and I was going very slow at times did about 150 miles in it.

Nice car but cost of the options and the poor mileage ruled it out for me , I could only go for an i4 or an M40 the M50 was well out of budget.
 

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