I woke up terribly hung over from two glasses of terrible wine last night. Like, the worst I’ve felt in quite a while.
I don’t know enough about the mechanics of vino, but if the cork is dried out/crumbly, does that mean the liquid is oxidized, and therefore AWFUL??/sigh
I did gather my brain enough to shower and head to Reeves to see the new i3. I was a little self conscious, showing up in my Beetle. My tastes and knowledge far outweigh my means, pretty much across all genres of my life. But, what am I supposed to do…not go?
The i3 is a brand new model and new territory for BMW, akin to the Tesla, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, etc. AKA, joins a sparse market, and it has the opportunity to define its own niche.
First impressions: great car. Solid, well built, and quality. All the eco-friendly surfaces inside worked in concert to give an airy, modern feel. Two high-def displays that function as gauges and infotainment looked crisp. Leather felt great.
But, it’s a BMW, it should drive well too. Ahh, you’re correct there. And, it does, actually. Weighty steering, lower perceived center of gravity, and effortless acceleration. There are fewer engineering barriers to power delivery from a bunch of batteries, so it really is quite linear and WHOOSHY.
Also, super quiet. Same reason behind lots of power…no small explosions to control and sound-dampen.
My single gripe: steering felt good but turned in too rapidly. Like “fluid, controlled moving and TOO FAR!” I had to adjust to that, it wasn’t natural. May be due to such skinny tires, which are for better aerodynamics. (in fact, much of the car’s styling, down to the rims, is for a slicker drag coefficient)
The $45,000 question: would I buy one?
Well, since I have a lease until 2016, no. But, were I to not…
No, I still wouldn’t. But, that conclusion doesn’t come simply.
For one, the i3 does make a convincing case. Aside from apparently “fugly” styling (per my Instagram followers), it is a comfortable, stylish package. Easy to operate, fun to drive. Very green, of course.
And, pretty much at the poor end of BMW offerings these days…so no huge premium for electric vs. a basic stripper 320i. Especially given the federal tax credit for this type of model ($7,500).
The drawbacks really are the range (80-100 miles per 3 hour charge), and finding those pesky charging stations. In Tampa, there are many in public parking garages, but if you live in a single-family home, that could be trickier. A DC charger connection can be had for $700. Think about how much your iPhone runs out of juice…
In the low $40s, there are a million other choices…and they’re just too good. Diesels (328d, for an alternative way to get better mileage and lower operating costs), manual rowers (320, 328, 228, etc.), and just about everything is sexier. Not necessarily as unique…but with lines to die for. I love BMW design.
Maybe the 2nd generation i3 will be the one everyone goes gaga for.
As a second car, I think it would be great. I can’t conceive of that now, but many people can. It’s a compelling choice for environmentally- and style- conscious folks with the extra dollars to throw at something different. For the rest of us, it’s just a glimpse of the future.
Thanks to Reeves BMW for inviting me to drive the i3, I had a blast!