I won’t lie, the BMW i3 is pretty darn Cool.
I won’t lie, most of my opinions tend to be fairly uncontroversial: I was excited about the redesign of the X5, a staple of the BMW lineup (see it here). Or my articles praising the return of the Z4 with a modernized style (here) or the 8-Series with M packaging, originally introduced in the 90s, discontinued, and now returning (read about it here). But today, I bring to you something that is a little wilder of an opinion, even if the ride is a little safer; the BMW i3 is a pretty cool, extremely underrated, vehicle! Admittedly, I do drive a MINI Clubman, so I’m a little more biased to smaller vehicles, but let me tell you why the i3 is spectacular.
The i3 is BMW’s answer to the electric inspiration and aspirations of automakers around the world, at least in early form. Although the i8 is a fantastic plug-in hybrid with all-electric modes, it’s still not purely electric; instead the i3 was developed to create a futuristic electric vehicle that encapsulates what technology will reach. With up to 180 miles on the range extended version, the i3 has the size, mileage, and comfort perfect for your everyday drive through the city. With home and public charging stations that give you 26 miles per hour of charging, the i3 should never run out of juice.
But that really isn’t why I’m saying the i3 is a fantastic vehicle (although it definitely helps the case.) Rather, the lack of a B-pillar has me astounded to this moment, and many moments moving forward. Using rear suicide doors and standard front doors, the i3 has removed the need from both a utility and safety aspect for the B-pillar, creating an open space within the i3 cabin unlike anything else. The meme about ‘so much room for activities’ may be old and overplayed, but it is definitely accurate in this situation. Adding into the ‘I need my space’ mentality, the lack of a need for a transmission system due to the full electric drive, means there’s no giant lump situation between driver and passenger, allowing for elbow room, storage, and just pure joy.
The rest of the interior is as eco-friendly as the electric drive is: for example, the dashboard and trim are made from sustain-ably grown eucalyptus trees, and the leather upholstery is tanned using olive leaf extract which creates little to no lasting effects on the earth and protects your leather from fading. Plastics and fabrics within the i3 are made from recycles materials in a German plant, ensuring a clean environment and comfortable materials. The i3 is a bit of a change of pace from the typical BMW fare such as the completely redesigned 2019 X5 or the soon-to-be Z4, yet it creates an environment in a vehicle that inspires relationships. Relationships with people due to the open space, relationships with the environment due to better materials, and relationship with easy driving because it really is a comfortable, accessible vehicle.