Discover Worst BMW i3 Years to Avoid and Best Used i3 Models to Buy

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Shopping for a used car can be challenging, especially when you’re considering an electric vehicle such as the BMW i3.

While it’s important to do thorough research on any used car, there are certain years of the i3 that may be better to avoid.

In this article, we’ll provide you with helpful information about which BMW i3 years to steer clear of and why.

With this knowledge, you can confidently narrow down your choices and find the perfect used i3 for your needs.

Bad BMW i3 to Avoid

Model Years to Avoid

2015 Model Issues

Although the 2015 BMW i3 can offer substantial savings compared to a new model, it’s essential to be aware of some issues that could affect your ownership experience. Here are a couple of potential problems for the 2015 model:

  • Limited Features: The 2015 model may lack some of the features available in later years, leaving you with fewer options for convenience and luxury.

2017 Model Concerns

While the 2017 model comes with improvements over previous years, you should still be cautious when considering this model for your electric vehicle purchase.

  • Reliability Rating: Consumer reports suggest that the earliest models, such as the 2014 BMW i3, may have reliability issues. Although the 2017 model features enhancements, you should consider researching its reliability more before committing to a purchase.

Remember, when looking for a used electric vehicle like the BMW i3, it’s essential to research model years and potential issues thoroughly.

RELATED:  We also published full BMW i8 Problems, the common issues and solutions as a compliments to i3 issues explained in this report.

Factors Affecting Reliability

Battery Range and Charging

When considering the BMW i3, it’s important to take into account its battery range and charging capabilities. The i3 comes in two variants: all-electric and range extender models.

Both versions offer decent electric range, but the range extender model additionally features a small petrol engine to increase overall range.

Remember to check the overall condition and age of the battery, as it may impact the range and charging performance over time.

Performance and Power

The performance and power of your BMW i3 can also play a role in its reliability. With a rear-wheel drive setup, the i3 provides a smooth and agile driving experience.

Ensure that the electric motor and power delivery systems are functioning efficiently as they significantly contribute to the car’s overall performance.

Interior and Design Features

Lastly, evaluate the i3’s interior design and features. The styling and build quality contribute to the vehicle’s reliability.

While the interior design score for the i3 is rated at 6.5 out of 10, ensure that comfort features, cargo space, and rear seat practicality meet your needs.

Review the boot space to ensure it’s sufficient for your requirements, as well as the overall build quality and design elements, which can impact the long-term satisfaction and reliability of the vehicle.

Comparison with Other EVs

Tesla Model 3 and Model S

When comparing the BMW i3 to popular Teslas like the Model 3 and Model S, you’ll notice some key differences.

Tesla’s vehicles provide longer range and better acceleration, offering a smoother driving experience. However, BMW’s i3 has a distinctive design and compact size, making it perfect for city driving.

In terms of charging, Tesla’s network of Superchargers gives the Model 3 and Model S an edge over the i3 when planning long road trips. Check the complete Tesla Model S to avoid and various issues explored.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 share similarities in their compact designs, making them ideal for urban commuting. However, the best Nissan Leaf boasts a larger interior space and lower cost of ownership.

The Leaf additionally offers more affordable used options.

One essential difference is that the Leaf has an entirely electric powertrain, while the BMW i3 is available both as a purely electric vehicle and with a range extender. Go further to discover all the Nissan Leaf years to avoid and reasons for such issues and solutions explained.

What is The BMW i3 Best Year Models?

When considering a used BMW i3, there are a few key years to look out for. The 2015, 2019, and 2020 models offer the most value for your money.

2015 BMW i3: This year model has excellent savings and a lower mileage average compared to newer models.

Although it doesn’t offer all the features of the 2020 model, the 2015 BMW i3 provides most features through the 2019 model, making it a solid choice for a used electric vehicle.

2019 BMW i3: As the last year before a significant redesign, the 2019 model comes with updated features and technology seen in the 2021 model. It strikes a nice balance between affordability and modernity, giving you plenty of bang for your buck.

2020 BMW i3: Although a bit pricier than the 2015 and 2019 models, the 2020 BMW i3 offers the latest technology and features available in the i3 series. However, don’t expect a significant range improvement compared to earlier models.

Every year model comes with its own set of pros and cons, but these three stand out as the most attractive options for a used BMW i3 purchase.

Which year of BMW i3 has the best overall reliability?

When looking for a reliable BMW i3, the 2017 model stands out as the best choice. This particular year offers a great balance between performance and practicality, making it a smart pick for your electric vehicle (EV) needs.

With its above-average reliability ratings and good safety scores, the 2017 BMW i3 is a compelling option for eco-conscious drivers like you.

Cost Considerations

Leasing vs. Buying

When examining the BMW i3, consider the benefits of leasing versus buying. Leasing could offer lower monthly payments, allowing you to drive a newer model with updated features.

However, buying a used i3 could provide significant savings compared to its original MSRP, especially with a 2015 model. Keep in mind, purchasing can result in even greater savings over time.

Depreciation and Resale Value

Depreciation is an important aspect to consider when it comes to resale value. The BMW i3 reportedly experiences substantial depreciation, which could be detrimental to its resale value. Moreover, Consumer Reports advises against buying used 2014 i3 models.

Pricing and MSRP

A used 2015 BMW i3 can have a price of around $15,975, which is 66% lower than its original MSRP ($49,563). This presents an impressive savings opportunity if you’re looking for a more affordable way to experience BMW i3 ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will BMW i3 battery last?

Your BMW i3’s battery life can vary depending on factors like usage, maintenance, and driving habits. However, BMW offers an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on the i3 battery, which should give you peace of mind.

Which BMW i3 years have the most reported problems?

While no specific year is particularly notorious for issues, some used BMW i3 models made between October 9, 2015, and November 4, 2015, had an issue with the regenerative braking system.

Research and owner reviews can help you determine any other problems among different years.

Can BMW i3 battery be replaced?

Yes, your BMW i3 battery can be replaced if needed. Although the original warranty should cover most common issues, replacement costs beyond that coverage might be expensive, so it’s crucial to investigate and maintain your battery properly.

What are some common concerns about the BMW i3’s long-term performance?

Some common concerns regarding the long-term performance of the BMW i3 include battery degradation, low resale value, and maintaining the unique carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body structure.

How much does it cost to replace a 12v battery in a BMW i3?

The cost of replacing the 12v battery in your BMW i3 can vary depending on factors like the battery model and labor fees. You can expect the price to range between $150 and $300.

Has BMW addressed reliability concerns in newer i3 models?

Yes, BMW has made improvements over the years in response to user feedback and advancements in technology. With continuous model updates, new or used BMW i3 owners should experience fewer reliability issues.


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