BMW i3 (2013-2022) interior, dashboard & comfort
It’s spacious for four people, but the BMW i3's suspension makes things a little too bumpy on typical UK road surfaces
Its electric drivetrain means the BMW i3 is hushed and calm on the move, although you're more aware of wind and tyre noise than you might be if there was an engine to drown them out. The ride quality is just too firm at times, with the UK’s often-poor road surfaces making their presence known. It’s roomy for four passengers though, and the stylish interior gives the i3 an upmarket ambiance.
BMW i3 dashboard
The i3’s dashboard has a high-tech, futuristic feel, thanks to simple but elegant design and screens in place of instruments. The ergonomics of the controls and driving position are up to BMW’s usual high standards, too. The final touch is the use of unusual renewable materials like eucalyptus wood as an option for the dashboard trim; this lends the interior a particularly attractive feel.
Equipment, options and accessories
The i3 seems pricey at first glance, but it does come with a generous amount of standard kit. Outside you get LED headlamps and indicators, as well as LED rear lamps, plus stylish 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside, BMW’s Professional Navigation is fitted to all cars, while three interior trim packages are available above the standard Atelier grade, called Loft, Lodge and Suite.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
A 10.25-inch central display uses the BMW iDrive controller to flick through the i3’s extensive menus. The car also gets BMW's 'i ConnectedDrive' services, so you get parking and charger info as well as range factored into your navigation – the system will even account for rest stops at charging stations in on longer drives. There’s voice-recognition, too, while Apple CarPlay ensures you can connect supported smartphones.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe BMW i3 was one of the first electric cars to make everyday drivers sit up and take notice, with its cool styling, decent handling and useful range
- 2Range, battery & chargingA battery upgrade that arrived in 2019 gave the BMW i3 longer legs, with a real-world range of around 160 miles
- 3Running costs & insuranceWhen new, the BMW i3 was pricier to buy than some less premium rivals, but day-to-day running costs are as low as for any EV
- 4Performance, motor & driveGreat handling and nippy acceleration make the BMW i3 one of the best electric cars to drive, although ride comfort is particularly firm in the i3s
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingIt’s spacious for four people, but the BMW i3's suspension makes things a little too bumpy on typical UK road surfaces
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityCompact dimensions belie the BMW i3's roomy interior, but it only has seating for four
- 7Reliability & safety ratingCrash safety is good for occupants, and BMW ranks well for reliability in customer surveys