Saturday, November 12, 2016

Shopping for a BMW i3

With all global warming-restricting regulations and tax incentives on their way out, I have decided to get the BMW i3 over the Toyota Land Cruiser. It's the responsible thing to do, environmentally. With a leased i3, I believe I get a $2,500 rebate from the State of California. There is a $7,500 federal tax credit too. The manufacturer gets that credit and passes the savings onto me via lower lease payments.

I just requested an extended test drive, which allows me to test an i3 for two days. I am interested in examining the room in the back seats as well as the trunk. Parents out there-- How often do you have a stroller with you in the car? I'm not sure a stroller will be able to fit behind the back seat. The TSX wagon will be the primary baby hauler, but we may have to use the i3 once in a while.

Another issue I want to check is how the car transitions from all electric to gasoline-powered range extender. Will the power loss be substantial enough to constitute a safety issue?

If I do get the i3, it will be with the range extender and Tera package (leather seats) and tech package (navi).

I've never heard of this Alex guy before but his review is clear and comprehensive.

Crash tests!


@slirt said...

good decision, IMO. but the range extender does not power the car, only the batteries, so it is always propelled by electricity, if i understand it correctly. and i *suspect* (ie, guess) a stroller would fit behind the seats...

Charles Lee said...

Congratulations! Didn't realize that's why you've been car shopping. There's no way of knowing whether a baby will like spending time in a stroller, so I would suggest avoiding bulky high-end models lest it becomes a very expensive bag cart. Try and find one that reclines enough for an infant rather than one that takes the capsule directly. We spent extra for that and used it no more than a dozen times between two babies. Some strollers fold down really well and others not. Take the i3 when you shop for the stroller and test which ones would fit.

And also make sure you get ISOFIX/LATCH car seats. Makes life so much easier.

Ripituc said...

Maybe emissions regulations don't go away... and also, since California sets its own, and carmakers will always want to sell in California anyway, they have to adhere to their standards. Also, most automakers have already invested millions on reducing emissions and increasing millage, that will not go away, even more today that cars are globalized and exported.

Christopher Daily-Diamond said...

Alex Dykes used to do some car reviews for TTAC -- I always found them informative.

If you are in Oakland on your two day test drive, let me know -- never really seen an i3. Also, we have great examples of awfully paved roads (as you probably know), so that is a good test too.

Blogger 3133 said...

Strange you've never heard of alex, he was on ttac and at the same time you were.

midelectric said...

I've only had a quick drive in an i3 but both my friend or I thought a rear facing car seat would be a tight fit back there. It depends how much legroom the front passenger can afford to give up. The suicide doors look to swing in a way that makes it easier to load the tyke in than it would be in a regular car though.

The amount of room a kid takes up in the car is inversely proportional to their age. The newborn will need a RFCS, a stroller that can carry the babyseat, and a bulky diaper bag but it gets better as the car seat becomes forward facing and then turns into a booster with maybe along with an umbrella stroller. As data points, our old first gen Scion xA with the baby seat on the passenger side was workable for my 5'4" wife but definitely not 5'10" me. The LEAF was decent for both of us as was our Mazda5, the primary family hauler.

Waiting for the PHEV Pacifica and though I don't want to spend any money on cars right now, I'm anticipating the Federal EV tax credit will be eliminated as soon as the Rs can make it happen.

But finally, congrats to you and your wife on you imminent parenthood! In the end, family is our true wealth.

Maxichamp said...

@midelectric: Great info. Thanks!

Ed Kim said...

Wait - I must have missed the part about you having a baby? Congratulations!!!

I never tried to fit a stroller into the back of an i3, but there are very few cars I couldn't get our Quinny stroller into. And between my wife and I, we certainly test a lot of cars.

Since the TSX will be the primary family hauler, this probably won't be that big of a deal, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the sequential rearwards opening rear doors are something of a PITA when you have a baby or small child. In parking spots, you often find yourself "trapped" in the doors, and having to open doors sequentially can be less than easy when you have a baby carrier in one arm.

But still, I have lots of friends that made it work with extended cab pickups and Honda Elements.