BMW i4 review: reliability & safety rating
BMW has been building reliable electric cars for some time, but on the safety front the i4 only scored four out of five in Euro NCAP crash-testing
|4 stars (2022)
A final verdict on reliability will have to wait until the i4 has been in customer hands for sufficient time to allow long-term data to be gathered, but we do have a definitive appraisal of the car's safety credentials in the form of a four-star Euro NCAP score awarded in mid-2023.
BMW i4 reliability & problems
The i4 hit UK roads in late 2021, so long-term reliability data is thin on the ground for the moment. However, BMW’s pioneering electric city car, the i3, was on sale for nearly a decade without major issues to speak of, so it’s safe to say the brand knows how to build a reliable electric drivetrain.
In the 2023 edition of the Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, BMW ranked a disappointing 21st out of the 32 brands evaluated – although, it did come out ahead of key competitors Audi (30th) and Mercedes (25th). Despite 22% of BMW owners reporting a fault with their cars within the first year of ownership, the Bavarian brand’s first EV, the i3, was revered by owners, putting the newer i4 in good stead.
The i4 was evaluated by independent crash-testing experts at Euro NCAP in early 2022 and in July of that year the organisation awarded the car four out of a possible five stars for safety. Individual segment scores were 87% for both adult and child occupant protection, but a somewhat below-par 64% rating for the BMW's safety assistance technology was the main reason it lost a star on the overall rating. In comparison, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 scored 90% in the same category, while the Tesla Model 3 got 94%, and both received the full five-star safety from Euro NCAP.
In terms of safety kit on the i4, every model comes with BMW’s Driving Assistant package that consists of a reversing camera and radar-based systems that help prevent collisions. Further safety functions are offered as part of the Technology Plus Pack, which adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, lane keeping assistance and cross-traffic warning with the Driving Assistant Professional system.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe electric equivalent to the BMW 3 Series offers performance and refinement, plus technology and superb build quality
- 2Range, battery & chargingClaimed range figures are promising, but making the most of the i4's performance will see the numbers tumbling
- 3Running costs & insuranceThough the i4 is pretty expensive to buy, reasonable insurance, low tax and strong residuals mean the savings quickly stack up
- 4Performance, motor & driveEven the entry-level i4 is quick, but the range-topping M50 boasts supersaloon-like performance; both handle superbly in the best BMW tradition
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainmentInterior quality and layout are both excellent, and BMW's infotainment system is incredibly responsive - if a little confusing at times
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityBoot space is very close to that of the petrol 4 Series, but rear-seat passengers might feel the squeeze
- 7Reliability & safety rating - currently readingBMW has been building reliable electric cars for some time, but on the safety front the i4 only scored four out of five in Euro NCAP crash-testing