In the world where kilowatt-hours are the new displacement, the Bavarians have dropped the entry barrier to their electro-dynamic saloon series with the BMW i4 eDrive35. It's the kind of car that, at nearly £50k, makes you question if you're getting a deal or just getting dealt a lower hand.
Auto Express UK has taken a spin in this electron-powered sled and deemed it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. But let's peel back the layers of this Bavarian onion and see if there's more beneath the surface.
From the get-go, the i4 eDrive35 is playing the value card hard. At just under £50,000, it's the thrifty sibling in the i4 lineup. You're getting the "same level of tech" as the more expensive models, but with a "sacrifice" — a term I'd use lightly here, like when you sacrifice brand-name cereal for the store brand that comes in a bag instead of a box.
The eDrive35 is like that bagged cereal: you know it's not top-shelf, but hey, it's still pretty good, and you're saving a bit of cash. It swaps out a bit of battery capacity for nearly £8,000 in savings compared to its eDrive40 sibling, reducing its range by a mere 60-odd miles. In the real world, Auto Express suggests a 235-mile range, which, let's be honest, is enough to avoid any range anxiety for the average Joe or Josephine's daily jaunt.
And it's not just about the miles; it's about the smiles per mile, too. This electric Bavarian charges from 10-80% in a not-too-shabby 32 minutes. The car is just three-tenths slower to 62 mph than its eDrive40 brother. You won't be winning any drag races against the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, but then again, when was the last time you actually went drag racing?
Through the twisties, the i4 eDrive35 reportedly feels "poised," like a ballet dancer who's just finished a double espresso. It's agile, it's got spunk, and it'll make you grin in the corners without shaking your dental fillings loose on the straights.
Inside, it's all about that executive feel. The i4 doesn't just flirt with luxury; it takes it out for a five-star dinner. The infotainment is crisp, the materials are top-notch, and the driving position is spot-on. You can opt for the heated seats and cruise control without breaking the bank, and if you're feeling particularly posh, there's always the M Sport trim with its gloss black details and Alcantara that feels like it was stolen from a much pricier car.
But it's not all sunshine and rainbows. There's a bit of a cloud looming over the i4 eDrive35, and it's shaped like the Tesla Model 3 Long Range. For the same price, the American offers more range and that minimalist interior that some folks go nuts for. It's a tough call, like choosing between an espresso and a flat white. Both will wake you up, but the experience is just a little different.
In the end, the i4 eDrive35 is for those who want a taste of BMW's electric future without having to mortgage their analog past. It's competitively priced, if not a bargain, and offers enough of the i4 magic to keep most drivers more than satisfied. As the Premium Electric Car of the Year, it's got pedigree, and if you're not planning to cross continents on a weekly basis, it just might be the Beemer to wean you off fossil fuels.
So, if you're in the market for an electric chariot that blends tech, luxury, and a bit of that old-school BMW driving joy, the i4 eDrive35 could be the sweet spot. Just don't forget to tick the right options, lest you end up with the automotive equivalent of a well-dressed horse... missing the shoes.
2023 BMW i4 eDrive35
The i4 eDrive35 offers the same level of tech as the rest of the line-up, but at a lower price