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Model 3 vs BMW i3

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Hitman007, Jan 21, 2018.

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  1. voltinme

    voltinme Member

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    I leased a BMW i3 and did not like the bumpy ride. I did not think it handled well. Having said that I understand the Model 3 has a very stiff ride and many have complained about the bumpiness of the ride. I have not ridden in an Tesla Model 3 yet. Can you comment which vehicle handles better over bumps. I have a reservation for a model 3 but living in Maine many roads are in bad shape. What is your opinion with at the road handling between the two vehicles?
     
  2. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    People complaining about the i3 ride can just change the tyres.

    My wife wants one, and I want the Model 3.

    We will compromise, and perhaps get one of each
     
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  3. Electroman

    Electroman Active Member

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    me too.. Interested in knowing this.. thanks.
     
  4. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model 3 VIN #2942 Model S VIN #5785

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    We leased a 2014 BMW i3 BEV for three years while we waited for our Model 3. Overall I actually kind of liked the i3 (at least from the inside) but it did feel a little unstable when you turned sharply and there was a portion of the freeway on-ramp on my way to work that was a little bumpy and the i3 felt kind of like a bucking bronco whenever I would drive over this. In contrast, driving my 2013 Model S with air suspension over this same stretch of road felt like sitting in a bank vault. We picked up our Model 3 LR with the 18” aero wheels on January 10th and it handles the same section of road MUCH better than our i3 BEV did. The Model 3 isn’t as smooth as an 85 kWh Model S with air suspension. But I find it just fine for the roads I’ve driven on.
     
  5. PhantomX

    PhantomX Member

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    We are on our second i3 lease, and it's really a great little commuter. BMW would not have invested in a new production system if it's a compliance car. Heck, not even Boeing and Airbus go through the vertical integration of carbon fiber supply chain like BMW has done. If nothing else, both i3 and i8 are great pathfinders for building cost effective carbon fiber cars, which is a good way to achieve energy efficiency in conjunction with better battery technology.

    And to be honest, I often like driving the i3 more than our Model X or the Model S loaners I have gotten from service. i3 is quieter, it has an user interface that works while driving (I can't use the model x touchscreen to do most things while driving, especially with auto hiding tool bar). Also, the suspension tuning feels more compliant than Model X (with SAS) when driving on bumpy road.

    I do think model 3 is much more bang for the buck than i3 though, so BMW better pick up it's game soon!

    p.s. can we stop referring to Model 3 as M3? M3 in the automotive world refers to the BMW M3, which has been around for 30 years. It is especially confusing when reading it in a discussion that involves BMW.
     
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  6. xav-

    xav- Active Member

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    I highly doubt that a single tesla fan is threatened by anything out there.. the competition as it stands right now is a joke.. as soon as the federal credit runs out sales will stop.., except for Tesla's.

    All these I3 sold in the US by the way were massively subsidized.. I know because I was looking into getting one for $200 - $250 a month with very little down.

    You don't lease $50k cars for $250 a month.. ..unless you get $7,500 from Uncle Sam. That alone slashes the monthly payment by $208.
     
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  7. RayK

    RayK Member

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    #47 RayK, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
    Southern California Edison customers can knock off a little more than $20K from the purchase of an i3, similar to what us PG&E customers up here in NorCal can now do.

    ref: Southern California Edison Offers $10,000 Incentive On BMW i3 | CleanTechnica
    ref: PG&E Joins The Club Offering $10,000 BMW i3 Discount In California

    edit: I still wouldn't buy one, even with the discount. Had one as a loaner while my E46 was in the shop. Very limited range, even with the REx option. Bicycle tires. Illogical rear passenger door.
     
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  8. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    Also the i3 has a Sport variant now. Better acceleration, more range, faster top speed, bigger tires, lower stance, performance suspension settings.

    Right now, a loaded i3s is cheaper than a Model 3LR base.
     
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  9. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    If so, then the i3 should easily out sell the Model 3.
    Simple economics?
    But then Madison Avenue gets paid for ads. But Elon thinks of customers and the product and won't pay Madison Avenue.
    Elon/Tesla business model is an important part of the disruption. (Can he keep bankster/Wall Street at bay?)
     
  10. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    There are virtually zero choices for tires for the i3. You can get the summer tire, winter tire, or the all season tire.
     
  11. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    The i3s still lacks a roomy interior, has only jumped to 114 mi EPA, is still slower with less acceleration.

    It's a better i3, but it's not a great EV. But it is better than what they sold last year.
     
  12. Electroman

    Electroman Active Member

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    and those silly suicide doors..? what genius thought it is a great idea for rear left passenger can only open their door, only after driver opens his door.

    If you think that is stupid, it gets even more idiotic that opening the rear right passenger door means the driver has to stop the car come around open the front passenger door first. Think of a situation of dropping a child at the school.
     
  13. GetawayDriving

    GetawayDriving New Member

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    Let's be fair here.

    I just ordered my Model 3, but have two i3's in the family currently and have had both for over 2 years. I consider the i3 to be the best car I've owned to date (I've owned BMW, Acura, Infiniti, and a string of Hondas).

    i3 is fun to drive, has an amazing interior and tons of tech. They've proven very reliable, and the range extender is a surprisingly livable solution. I'd take 100 miles of EV range + series hybrid range extender over a 200 mile EV. Only at 300 miles does the EV tip the scales.

    Where I take issue is calling the i3 a compliance car. It's clear that BMW put a LOT of innovation into this car. From the carbon fiber composite that other manufacturers still can't figure out, to the use of recycled materials (seats made from recycled plastics, fast-growing eucalyptus for wood, hemp composites for door and dash panels, etc) to the efforts put into manufacture (wind powered factory) and lifecycle sustainability (battery second-life programs), BMW put more effort into this car program than any EV manufacturer short of Tesla. If anything, it's a mission statement. A test-bed concept car that actually made it to market.

    The result is a rear-engined, RWD German hatchback made of carbon fiber that'll reach 60 faster than an E30 M3, with the turning radius of a shopping cart. It's the perfect urban runabout, and has proven more than capable on long hauls.

    With all of that said, the i3 isn't without faults. In the mountains, the range extender struggles to keep pace and the suicide doors are not so great in tight spaces. It's not going to win any auto crosses on skinny tires and the exterior styling is polarizing (I love it, but I get the counterpoint). It's also true that BMW has sat on their hands while other manufacturers have gained ground, and those who engineered the i3 have moved on. As a result, they're now behind in the EV race, with a range of plug-in models that aren't terrible compelling.

    I'm psyched to take delivery of my Model 3. But I'm going to miss my nerdy i3 quite a bit.
     
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  14. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    Just took a look at the i3. Think the critics have missed the mark.

    The goofy styling makes the back seat passengers feel much less claustrophobic,

    The tiny tires give it additional range. The scooter sourced gas range extender handles range anxiety, and when the battery is low, you can drive it just on the extender for 50 miles or so, or to the next gas station.

    The pricing is far lower on the window sticker. Leases are heavily subsidized and government/electric company incentives are substantial.
    With a list price of $51,000 you get -$2,000 dealer discount, free service for 3 years, a small range extender motor that charges up the battery when low, $10,000 SGE discount, $2,500 State of California discount, $7,500 Federal tax credit, $450 SGE additional discount, State of California white car pool sticker (small sticker charge), $100 gift card for BMW gift card.

    So with a real price about $30,000 it is not a bad commuter car/grocery getter.

    Now when the Model 3 becomes available at $35,000, and does not have more than a year's waiting list, the comparisons beoome more valid.

    The little BMW runs clean, charges quickly, is nimble and fun to drive. Visability is fantastic and it has a pretty comprehensive array of electronics.

    Bonus is the all aluminum chassis and carbon fiber superstructure.

    On the other hand, it is kind of a glorified golf cart...
     
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  15. kzod

    kzod Member

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    Still can't understand why all the hate on the i3 and yet the Bolt is somewhat respected. The i3 is a GREAT ev. It's just not a great car and so it can't compete with a Tesla. But, it is no compliance car. It is everything that the original eco-weenies who loved the GM EV1 said they wanted in a car and more so! They said that 40 mile range is plenty, an efficient form factor is perfect, and give us some extra cargo space and we're happy. BMW met and exceeded everything that Green consumers said they were looking for. This is an AL Gore approved ride! Unfortunately most people lie when asked what they want. Most people don't want EV's or hybrids. Tesla succeeds because they don't try to make what people say they want. Musk builds cars that he wanted for himself.
     
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  16. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    Probably the 114 vs. 238 is why. Range matters.
     
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  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    As a card carrying Eco-weenie, I approve of the i3. The interior is sublime, and for our uses it is an EV with an emergency ICE back-up.

    OTOH...
    No BMW dealerships near me
    Always suspect reliability with BMW
    Always the potential for very expensive repairs, and I'll presume expensive insurance
    German manufacturer with the stain of WW II slave labor they have not tried to make amends for.

    So in the end,
    if I can enjoy the car cheaply, I will. But I have no desire to support the company like I do in the case of Tesla.
     
  18. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    I don't really feel that way.

    Imagine if a car company could make an EV that covers 355 days of the year's driving; and with a snap of the fingers the car becomes an ICE vehicle. Rather like the early EV days when the manufacturers also gave vouchers for ICE rentals. It was a good idea but no where near as convenient as having an ICE in the trunk.

    I get the "100%" EV, all the time" message, but an ICE for emergencies is a very practical convenience. It sure speaks to my wife, and the corner cases she worries about.
     
  19. Electroman

    Electroman Active Member

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    Very nice analysis. I agree with most of you said. I had one for an overnight extended test drive. Just can't get over the suicide doors. Just dumb.
     
  20. ZooSean

    ZooSean ZOO

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    I was looking into i3 while I bought my leaf. I ended up with leaf because it is a better EV. I drove BMW hybrid X1 in another country, but here in North America my next Car will be Model 3 decided. Period.
     
  21. kzod

    kzod Member

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    I really liked the i3. Was considering a REX but was concerned after reading about the potential to lose control when the car tries to regen on snow or ice while turning and slowing down. That was the biggest issue. My 10 year old didn't like the suicide doors, but I seem to recall that he was able to reach over from the back to open the front door. Even now just months (year?) from the Tesla finish line I'm tempted to pick up a used i3. They offer great value at current prices. It's a great drive and the best interior of any car I've ever been in. Came close to buying one a couple of years ago. They had good deals on the remaining 2015's and we have great EV rebates here. Then decided that if I could get a used one that already took the depreciation it was a no-brainer. In fact the dealer with the most aggressive discounts had a couple of used one's on site. But they were asking more cash for the used ones than the new one would have cost me! Even when I explained this to them their only answer was that I should buy the new one.
     

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