BMW i8 Roadster reliability & safety

The i8 Roadster mixes its advanced engineering to deliver strong reliability and safety with conventional technology where possible

The BMW i8 Roadster mixes its advanced engineering to deliver strong reliability and safety with conventional tech where possible so that it’s easier to get on with and simple to live with.

BMW i8 Roadster reliability & problems

Despite the hi-tech engine combination compared with its more conventional rivals, much of this technology is sourced from areas where it has already proved reliable (the engine from a MINI, for example), while the more advanced areas such as the battery and electric motor haven’t highlighted any reliability problems.

While the 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine is producing more power than in other places where it’s used, this is still well within the engine’s parameters, as you’d expect.

BMW didn’t perform too well in our sister title Auto Express’s Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, taking 25th place out of 30 brands, but the i8 Roadster takes much of its make-up from more conventional cars in BMW range, so it uses proven technology to boost reliability.

It’s worth mentioning the i8 Roadster’s ultra strong but lightweight carbon fibre passenger cell. This material means occupants are well protected, but it's very expensive to repair.


Euro NCAP hasn’t crash tested the BMW i8 Roadster, but thanks to its strong carbon safety cell, the car should shrug off lower speed crashes. Although this is no assurance as each impact is different, it should be at least as good in a hit as more conventional rivals.

There’s lots of standard safety tech to stop things developing to that point though. Stability control and ABS is included, which is good given the level of power on offer (you won’t notice these features working, as they come on in the background to keep things feeling safe), while those £5,100 laser headlights we’ve already mentioned improve visibility at night. 

The Driving Assistant tech is standard, which brings Approach Control Warning to tell you you’re speeding towards something in front a little too quickly, while high beam assist that flicks the main beams on and off automatically and a rear-view camera are also included.

Pedestrian detection for the autonomous emergency braking system helps, too, and for £85 you get an 'eDrive sound emitter' that warns people that you’re moving when in towns and cities in near-silent eDrive mode is a feature worth considering, as there’s no engine noise in this setting.