BMW i4 vs Tesla Model 3 vs Polestar 2: verdict and specifications

The BMW i4 effortlessly claims victory in this company thanks to flawless build quality, flagship-worthy technology and superb handling

BMW i4 vs Tesla Model 3 vs Polestar 2

1st: BMW i4 – 4.5 stars

No EV short of the Porsche Taycan handles as well, or is as engaging behind the wheel, as the BMW i4. Taken together with brilliant infotainment, plentiful boot space, standout practicality and flawless build quality, it’s hard to argue that the German brand’s first electric sports saloon doesn’t deserve to claim the top spot in this test. It costs a little more than the Model 3 and isn’t quite as efficient, but otherwise the i4 isn’t just a brilliant EV, it’s an excellent car – full stop. Read our full review for more.

2nd: Tesla Model 3 – 4.0 stars

It’s easy to understand why the Tesla Model 3 is one of the best-selling electric cars in the UK, thanks to its exceptional efficiency, appealing monthly finance figures that make it great value for money and the fact that even the mid-tier Long Range version offers jaw-dropping performance. Access to the industry-leading Tesla Supercharger network only sweetens the deal. However, the arrival of the i4 has shone a spotlight on chinks in the Model 3’s armour that can’t quite be overlooked. Read our full review for more.

3rd: Polestar 2 – 4.0 stars

While it comes in third place here, the Polestar 2 is still a very likeable EV. It doesn’t quite offer the exhilarating driving experience of the BMW, nor can it compete with the Tesla’s efficiency or charging network, and the single-motor versions aren’t as quick as either. But it features great Google-powered technology and handsome styling that’s sure to catch many people’s eyes. Plus, many of its shortcomings are offset by the fact that it’s the cheapest car here in the first place. Read our full review for more.

Specifications

Car

BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport

Tesla Model 3 Long Range

Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor

List price/price as tested

£53,405 / £63,200

£49,990 / £58,080

£42,900 / £49,900

Engine

Single electric motor

Dual electric motors

Single electric motor

Transmission

Single-speed, rear-wheel drive

Single-speed, all-wheel drive

Single-speed, front-wheel drive

Battery capacity (total / usable)

83.9 / 80.7 kWh

82 / 75 kWh

78 / 75 kWh

Power / torque

335bhp / 430Nm

434bhp / 493Nm

228bhp / 330Nm

0-62mph

5.7 seconds

4.2 seconds

7.0 seconds

Top speed

118mph

145mph

100mph

Annual electricity cost (12k/20k miles @ 19p per kWh)

£600 / £1,000

£518 / £863

£651 / £1,086

Charging speeds

7.4 / 11 / 205kW

7.4 / 11 / 190kW

7.4 / 11 / 150kW

Charging times

13h / 8h 45min / 31min (10-80%)

12h / 8h 15min / 34min (10-80%)

12h / 8h 15m / 32 min (10-80%)

Official range

365 miles

374 miles

336 miles

On-test efficiency / range

3.8mi/kWh / 307 miles

4.4mi/kWh / 330 miles

3.5mi/kWh / 273 miles

BiK rate (2022-23) / total for 20% taxpayer

2% / £214

2% / £200

2% / £172

Length / width / height / wheelbase

4,785 / 1,852 / 1,448 / 2,856mm

4,694 / 1,933 / 1,443 / 2,875mm

4,606 / 1,859 / 1,479 / 2,735mm

Boot capacity (seats up/down)

470 / 1,290 litres

425 litres

440 / 1,095 litres

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