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Looking for an innovative and compact electric car?

2020 BMW i3 Review | CarMax

Ever since it was first introduced in 2013, the BMW i3 has been considered one of the most interesting and unique electric vehicles, thanks primarily to its unorthodox exterior design and use of sophisticated technology. The 2020 model is part of the first generation that started with the 2014 model year, with only a few slight changes over previous models, mostly in terms of range and powertrain options.

The BMW i3 is most suitable for city driving, since it's quite practical and easily maneuverable due to its size and shape. It's a perfect choice for your daily commute as well as running errands around town.

While we currently do not have many 2020 BMW i3s on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. If you love the 2020 model, you should also consider prior model years of the BMW i3 with similar features.

Below are average prices of prior model year BMW i3s.

  • 2015 - Average prices less than $18,0001
  • 2016 - Average prices less than $20,0001
  • 2017 - Average prices less than $22,0001

Here's what we'll explore in this 2020 BMW i3 review:

Key Specs & Features:

MPG:

  • The 2020 BMW i3, with a 170-horsepower electric motor, has a combined EPA-estimated 113 mpg equivalent, or an estimated 153 miles total range.2,3

Cargo Space:

  • 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up.
  • Maximum cargo capacity of 36.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

Seating Capacity:

  • The 2020 BMW i3 can seat up to four people.

Engine Options:

  • The base version comes with an all-electric motor generating 170 horsepower, 184 lb-ft of torque, and a 42 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
  • The i3s trim is powered by an all-electric motor delivering 181 horsepower.

Tech Features:

  • iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen and Apple CarPlay® compatibility
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Keyless start
  • Automatic climate control

Rankings:

The BMW i3 has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists:

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Unique Exterior Design

One of the most distinguishing things about the BMW i3 is its design. It boasts an eye-catching futuristic look that makes it stand out from the crowd wherever it goes. It's tall and narrow, featuring unusual lines along the sides and the rear end that give the car its quirky, playful looks. If you're looking for a with a distinctive, bold design that is sure to turn a lot of heads, then the BMW i3 is one of the best choices you could make.

2. Packed with Tech Features

When it comes to technology, the BMW i3 leaves little to be desired. It is packed with features that make every ride more comfortable, enjoyable and entertaining. It comes standard with automatic climate control, start/stop button, an on-board computer with Check Control that provides you with the most essential information about the operational status of various vehicle systems while driving—as well as driver-assist features such as acoustic pedestrian detection, impact sensor, and park distance control.

3. Innovative Technology

Another factor that sets the BMW i3 apart is the use of innovative technologies and materials. For starters, its body is largely made of lightweight carbon fiber. This weight-saving structure is designed to increase range and is complemented by an aluminum Drive Module that helps provide a lower center of gravity to makes it more easily maneuverable. Inside you also get the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen and Apple CarPlay® compatibility.

4. Surprisingly Roomy Cabin

The BMW i3's cabin offers sufficient room for a comfortable ride for all passengers. Head and legroom both in the front and the back is satisfactory and even tall adults won't feel cramped thanks to the rear-hinged back doors, as well as the fact that there is no B-pillar. The entire cabin feels that much more spacious and is very easy to access from all sides. This makes it easier to put bags and other items in the back, as well. What's more, you can easily fold the rear seats down by pulling a strap, which opens up enough space to fit several smaller suitcases, a nice amount of groceries and even some sporting equipment.

5. Suitable for Long-Distance Trips

While electric cars are usually associated with driving around town, the BMW i3 is suited for longer trips as well. The estimated 153-mile range of the base version is more than enough for a road trip on one charge.3 What's more, BMW offers a range extender as an option, too.


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What You Need to Know

Available Trims

  • BMW i3: Heated front seats, iDrive infotainment system, Bluetooth® connectivity, and keyless entry.
  • BMW i3s: Includes everything from the BMW i3 trim, with a 181-horsepower electric motor, and a sport-tuned suspension.
  • BMW i3 with Range Extender: Comes with all standard features from the base i3, plus a two-cylinder gasoline range extender.
  • BMW i3s with Range Extender: Includes all features from the BMW i3s trim, and adds a two-cylinder gasoline range extender.

Available Colors

  • Capparis White
  • Fluid Black
  • Imperial Blue Metallic
  • Jucaro Beige Metallic
  • Melbourne Red Metallic
  • Mineral Gray Metallic

Interior

  • 36.9 cubic feet maximum cargo capacity
  • Seating for four
  • BMW iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen and Apple CarPlay integration
  • Heated front seats, navigation, satellite radio, and rear 50-50 bench seat

Average CarMax Prices

The 2020 BMW i3 is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the BMW i3.

  • 2015 - Average prices less than $18,0001
  • 2016 - Average prices less than $20,0001
  • 2017 - Average prices less than $22,0001

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2020 BMW i3, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features.

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2020 BMW i3, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Hyundai Kona Electric

A beautiful and spacious subcompact SUV, the Hyundai Kona Electric offers great performance and a comfortable interior. Powered by a 201-horsepower electric motor, it gets an EPA-estimated 258-mile range, or a combined 120 mpg equivalent.2,3 The 2019 model year marks the start of the first generation Kona Electric, and it comes standard with:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ integration
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Driver attention monitor

Tesla Model S

Arguably one of the most popular electric vehicles over the last several years, the Tesla Model S is a luxury sedan known for its long-range, abundance of high-tech features, and sports-car like performances. The 2017-2019 model years belong to the first generation which was introduced in 2012. All-wheel drive is standard on all 2018 and 2019 models, too. Standard features from 2017-2019 include:

  • 17-inch touchscreen
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Parking sensors
  • Forward-collision warning

Nissan Leaf

This compact hatchback is now in its second generation, which was introduced for the 2018 model year. The 2017 model is powered by a 107-horsepower electric motor and comes standard with a 30-kilowatt-hour battery pack, whereas the 2018 and 2019 models received an upgrade with a 147-horsepower motor. Some of the standard features on 2017-2019 Nissan Leaf models include:

  • Heated front seats
  • Smartphone integration
  • Rear view camera
  • Automatic emergency braking

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a compact, practical, stylish, and fun-to-drive city vehicle, the BMW i3 would be a great fit for you. This all-electric hatchback with futuristic looks is packed with convenience and entertainment features that can make every ride a true pleasure, and it uses some pretty innovative technologies that result in smooth handling and excellent maneuverability. In a word, a perfect daily driver that is bound to make an impression everywhere it goes.

Looking to learn more? Then check out these related articles:

1Based on CarMax average prices from December 2019. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include tax, title, tags, and any applicable fees.
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Actual mileage will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
3Range figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new and assume a full battery charge. Range will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.