BMW i4 Review
The BMW i4 is a high-tech electric car with up to 365 miles of range per charge. Here’s everything you need to know about it
Strengths & weaknesses
The BMW i4 is an electric large hatchback that’s similar in size and shape to the BMW 3 Series Saloon and 4 Series Gran Coupe models, but without any combustion engines at all. It’s sometimes called a Gran Coupe, as it has a sloped rear end, but the four side doors mean that it looks more like a saloon car - even though it has a hatchback boot, rather than a separate one.
Those are just technicalities, though. What you really need to know about the BMW i4 is that it’s a family car with electric power and a range of up to 365 miles from a single charge. That’s for the entry-level model, as the more performance-oriented models have a range of around 320-350 miles, making the i4 one of the growing number of electric cars capable of more than 300 miles from a single charge.
There are two versions, the eDrive40 and the M50. The former has two-wheel-drive and 340hp, while the latter has four-wheel-drive, upgraded suspension and 544hp. It can go from 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds, so it’s a serious performance car, despite its family-friendly interior.
The i4 is about the same size as a BMW 3 Series, but the cutting-edge tech means that it’s a lot more expensive to buy. The i4 is an alternative to cars such as the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, or perhaps the more SUV-like Jaguar I-Pace as well.
Read on to find out more about the BMW i4 including the technical details, trim information and which one is best for you.
Should I get a BMW i4?
✔ Good range and fast charging
✔ Fun to drive
✔ Well equipped
✘ Quite expensive to buy
✘ Not enough rear legroom
✘ M50 model loses range
The BMW i4 is an excellent electric family car. It has plenty of range and is great to drive, plus it has lots of standard equipment and is roomy enough for most. It’s not ideal if your kids are grown up, as the rear seats are a little tight, but the hatchback boot is useful for carrying bigger items.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Batteries and range
- Charge time
- Best BMW i4 for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
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The BMW i4 is a five-door family car that uses an 80.7kWh battery pack and rear-wheel-drive. The eDrive40 model is the base version and has a range of up to 365 miles in Sport trim, or up to 352 miles in M Sport trim.
As a brand new car, even the entry-level model costs way over £50,000 and the M Sport car is nearing £60,000. This means that the i4 is much more expensive than the BMW 4 Series, despite the similarities in size and shape.
The eDrive40 model has 340hp and takes around 31 minutes to charge from 10-80% at a public rapid charger. If you charge at home overnight using a wallbox, it will take about 13 hours to charge from zero to 100%.
BMW i4 M50
The i4 M50 is the high-performance model and it has an astonishing 544hp, allowing an extremely fast 0-62mph time of less than four seconds. It has the same battery as the eDrive40 model, which means there’s a bit less range on a single charge: up to 318 miles.
This is because M50 models use additional electric motors to provide more power and four-wheel-drive, but the good news is that the charging time is identical to the eDrive40 version at home and using a public charger.
It’s also by far the most expensive model in the range, and costs more than £65,000 when bought new.
|Sport||Limited stock: Sport is the entry-level model for the i4, and comes with LED lights, sports seats, a large touchscreen media system with sat-nav and cruise control. It also has large 18-inch alloy wheels and a reversing camera.|
|M Sport||From £43,995: M Sport models come with different wheels and a sportier look, plus upgraded upholstery inside for a more special feel.|
|M50||Limited stock: M50 models are all about the performance, but do also get larger alloy wheels, adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes and different steering that should help it feel sportier.|
There is only one battery choice in the BMW i4 range right now: it’s an 80.7kWh unit that provides a variable amount of range depending on which model you choose - as this is affected by factors such as power and weight.
The entry-level Sport has the most range, at 365 miles, since it has aerodynamic styling and the lowest weight, while the M50 model has the least range - up to 318 miles - because it’s the heaviest and has four-wheel-drive.
When connected to an AC power supply - such as a home charging point or a regular public charging point - the BMW i4 can charge at up to 11kW. This means a full charge of the 80.7kWh battery in around eight hours, or about the same time as it would take a smaller Peugeot e-208 with a 50kWh battery to charge with a 7kW supply. It's worth noting that most homes are unable to receive an 11kW power supply, and are capped to 7kW, which means a full charge would take around 13 hours.
Rapid (DC) charging is up to 210kW, however the fuller the battery, the slower the rate of charge. Headline figures are 0-80% charge in 34 minutes. However, finding a 210kW rapid charger can be a challenge, with many limited to just 100kW.
There are only three possible choices in the BMW i4 range for now, which makes picking which one you want quite a bit easier. All versions are a good choice for someone, so while we’d usually pick out one to avoid in this section, we’ve decided to leave that out for now.
Here are our picks for which one might work best for you, depending whether value, practicality or performance are your main priority.
|BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport: The entry-level model is the best value for money. Not only is it the cheapest, it also has the longest driving range on a single charge. It still offers plenty of performance, and it’s just as practical as any other version in the range.|
|BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport: All versions are just as good as each other when it comes to family life, but you might want to move up to the M Sport model if you’re not on a tight budget. It looks smarter than the entry-level car.|
|BMW i4 M50: The M50 is the ultimate version of the i4 and it has a stunning 544hp power output. It can go from 0-62mph in less than four seconds, which means it’s faster than most dedicated sports cars - yet it’s still a great family car.|
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The BMW i4 has a handful of rivals, and you should consider whether some of these are better-suited to you. The Tesla Model 3 is the most obvious alternative, and it’s a tough choice: the Tesla is also good to drive, very fast and packed with tech. It’s a hugely popular model and it’s easy to see why, as it also has impressive electric range plus use of Tesla's very useful Supercharger rapid charging network.
There’s also the Polestar 2, which is a more niche choice but it has the edge over the Tesla for quality. Its interior is superb, it’s smooth to drive and feels very luxurious. There’s also the Jaguar I-Pace - it’s an SUV, so not necessarily a direct rival for the BMW i4, but it’s still a worthy option because it’s practical, good to drive and comfortable.
BMW i4 practicality: dimensions and boot space
The BMW i4 is around 4.8m long, 1.85m wide and 1.4m high. This means it’s a bit longer and wider than the BMW 3 Series, and a similar height. The Tesla Model 3, a close rival, is a bit shorter at 4.7m long, but it’s about the same width and height as the i4.
Another alternative, the Jaguar I-Pace, is also shorter than the i4 at 4.7m long, but it’s wider and much taller (1.6m) than the BMW. This is because it’s more of an SUV in shape, although both the BMW and Jaguar have hatchback boots (so the rear glass opens with the boot door, improving access to the boot). You can read more about the BMW i4’s dimensions on our dedicated page linked to below.
|Length 4,783mm||Width 1,852mm|
|Height 1,448mm||Weight 2,125kg - 2,290kg|
The BMW i4 has a 470-litre boot in both the eDrive40 model and the high-performance M50 version. This is accessed by a tailgate door rather than a saloon boot like in the BMW 3 Series, so it’s a useful space. You can fold down the seats in the back to increase the total boot space to 1,290 litres.
This means it’s more practical than the Tesla Model 3, which has 425 litres of boot space and a small boot opening. The Jaguar I-Pace is a more practical choice because it has 577 litres of boot space with the seats up and 1,453 litres of space with the rear seats folded.
|Seats up 470 litres||Seats down 1,290 litres|
As electric cars have fewer moving parts than traditional cars, they’re said to be much more reliable. You certainly won’t have to worry about things like oil changes with a BMW i4, but there’s very little data on the car’s reliability yet.
BMW didn’t do very well in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, though - which means the ownership experience of the i4 in general may not be as good as expected. The brand came in 21st place out of 29 manufacturers, although it’s worth noting that other premium car makers like BMW also did poorly in the poll.
The BMW i4 gets a warranty covering it for three years and with no mileage limit, which is pretty good but not outstanding; it’s exactly what you’d expect and matches virtually every other car maker. Only Lexus offers a longer warranty in the luxury car sphere, but Lexus doesn’t have a true rival for the i4 on sale right now.
The battery is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles, so you’re also protected for longer against problems with the power unit, which provides additional reassurance.
|3 years||Unlimited miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £721
If you’re looking for an electric car that has lots of range, is practical and crucially is really good to drive then the BMW i4 is one of the best options out there. It’s quite expensive, especially as it’s still so new, but it justifies that with its fantastic driving experience, long range, fast charging and high-quality interior.
As a result, if the BMW i4 is one of the cars you're considering and you like the looks, drive and practicality, it's a top choice, though you may want to consider the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 before making your mind up.
The entry-level BMW i4 eDrive40 is the best value model in the range. It’s the cheapest, but also offers up to 365 miles of range on a single charge. It comes with plenty of equipment, including keyless entry, ‘laser’ lights and parking assist technology.
The mid-spec eDrive40 M Sport version looks sharper than the entry-level car, and offers nearly as much range. It comes with different alloy wheels and bumpers, plus more driving assist tech and other features.
The top-spec M50 model is pricey, but it’s also really fast and powerful, so if you want the sportiest model and can afford it, it's still a good option. It has a lower range than the lesser models as a result, but it can still achieve more than 300 miles from a full battery. It comes with a sunroof, sports seats, an upgraded stereo and sportier suspension as well.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.