BMW i3 vs i3S Review
14:29
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It's all happening in this review. The i3 REX is the pre-LCI which, handily, lets me show you the two cars side-by-side. The post-LCI is the i3 S - more power, more performance-oriented suspension.
Of course, we ask the question - is this a performance car? And what are you getting in the i3S?
Producer and Presenter: Peter Anderson
Camera and editing: Mitchell Ford
Co-pilot: Keith Mason @ Drive Zero
Stills: Matthew Hatton
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  • Robert Wadlington
    Robert Wadlington

    This spent more time telling about the i3 which is a repeat of other videos. We turned this on to see a discussion of the difference!!! Hey, how is the ride feel?

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi Robert - I think the ride on the i3S is better, but neither of them are plush. Also remember the range will be significantly less when it's really cold (a problem we don't have in most of Australia).

    • Robert Wadlington
      Robert Wadlington

      I agree with your points. I guess I’m gathering info so I can decide on an i3s which I like the sporty appearance versus the regular i3 suspension. For a 70’ty, don’t want to end up with a jarring ride compounded with bad roads here in the USA Midwest due to bad winters...

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi Robert. I don't watch other videos and don't have any interest in what they say, so I can't help you there. Plenty of people who watched this video have never seen another video about the i3. The ride feel of the i3 is discussed at 3:34 and at 8:33. I then talk about the i3S's suspension differences at 9:28. I talk about the handling and response at 9:58 and the ride at 12:55. So I reckon it's well-covered.

  • Rupprecht Knecht
    Rupprecht Knecht

    Now it's 2021 and the i3 is not obsolete. Last year we bought a 2020 model for commuting to replace the old LPG commuter after 12 years /210.000 mls and now we ordered an additional i3s for July to replace our second worn LPG daily driver after 16 years / 210.000 mls. The i3 range is perfect for our use as for long distance since years we use our mobilhome. Win win situation :-)

    • Rupprecht Knecht
      Rupprecht Knecht

      @The Redline no worries that was a general information and not because of your video :-) if you are behind an used i3 be sure to get the 94 Ah or better the 120 Ah version with the options comfort package - comfort access - heated seats ( very important as this comes in combination with the general pre climate function ) and the H&K audio system. Sport package or better the i3s if you use the highway and navigation system if you need. Good luck to find the perfect i3 ! Cheers from Bavaria Germany

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hey Rupprecht, thanks so much for watching. Not one but two i3! I'm hugely jealous. I don't remember saying it was obsolete, but I will absolutely keep an eye out for one for myself. The i3S is so good, too! Cheers!

  • Frank Velik
    Frank Velik

    I love myne two, is a complete different car.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi Frank, thanks for watching! It's a great car, I'd love to own one.

  • ant l
    ant l

    These are hands down the most reliable bmw ever made

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      I've never hear of any problems, I think you're absolutely right! Thanks so much for watching!

  • Garry Croft
    Garry Croft

    I test drove the i3s for 2 hours yesterday, I'm signing up for one tomorrow. Oh I'm in the UK. Lol Ps if your car is not faster than an M3 0-50 then you will not beat me away from the lights.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Brilliant. Tell me you chose the light wood interior.... ;-)

    • Garry Croft
      Garry Croft

      @The Redline yes I will let you know. I'm ordering today and should get delivery late November to early/mid December. Can't wait lol.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi there, Garry, thanks so much for watching! Yeah, I really love the i3 and the i3S is just terrific. I'd have one in a heartbeat and if I ever move to London, it's the top of the list. It's fun, it's quick and I reckon it's the city car of the last decade. Let us know how you go with it!

  • Because I was Inverted
    Because I was Inverted

    Disagree that the i3 is 'pretty much hand built' loss leader. Build on a robotic assembly line.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi there. Thanks so much for watching and getting involved. A huge number of the parts to the i3 are more labour intensive than other cars. Just about every assembly line (except Morgan or Koenigsegg) has some automation, so it's just a shorthand way of saying it's labour intensive.

  • TexMex
    TexMex

    I love my i3. But BMW Doesn't. All the power is not available from the start. BMW limits the power in software and the 2014 cars were faster. Faster than the sport model is today.

    • Mr. Tom Yum
      Mr. Tom Yum

      @TexMex thanks for the feedback.. so usually the 2017 and up I would think still have warranty? The 2014 & 2015 maybe doesn’t?

    • TexMex
      TexMex

      @Mr. Tom Yum I really prefer the 2017+ for the longer range. I would not buy the car without an extended warrantee. BMW charges insane amounts for service and there really are limited options to have anything repaired elsewhere.

    • Mr. Tom Yum
      Mr. Tom Yum

      @TexMex so would you recommend the 2014 over the newer years ones? If the range is ok for the 2014?

    • TexMex
      TexMex

      @Mr. Tom Yum You can upgrade the motor mounts, but that will not change the software that slowed the cars down. 2017 had more battery capacity, a huge plus for the car.

    • Mr. Tom Yum
      Mr. Tom Yum

      Really the 2014 were faster than the i3s?? A lot of people ,mentioned to get the 2017 models or above because it doesn’t have as many issues as the early gen.. are there anymore problems to the 2014 models besides the motor mounts breaking?? I would love that big acceleration!! Just upgrade the motor mounts! I’m kind of torn to get an older i3 or save up and get an S model?

  • Dave Lindsay
    Dave Lindsay

    Wrong about the battery location. They are under the floor NOT under the boot/trunk

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Right you are, thank you. I'll pop that in the description. Thanks for pulling me up!

  • Clarence beeks
    Clarence beeks

    HOW DO YOU DO AN EMERGENCY STOP ?

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Everyone I know who has an i3 adores it. I'd have one in a heartbeat. The i3 S is still the way to go, too, if you're happy to spend the extra money.

    • Clarence beeks
      Clarence beeks

      Very much appreciated 🙏🏾

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Haha, no problem. It's one pedal operation, which is fancy way of saying that you use the energy regeneration to slow the car by just lifting off the throttle. It kind of turns the throttle into a volume slider, if that makes sense. But the brake pedal is still there and always available.

    • Clarence beeks
      Clarence beeks

      Sorry misinterpreted

    • Clarence beeks
      Clarence beeks

      I’m buying one in March,just confirming,I’m sure you said it had one pedal,sorry if mistaken.

  • Roger Clark
    Roger Clark

    I wish you would have talked more about how the standard i3 and the S model compare. I thought that was the point of this video from the title?

    • P1LYP
      P1LYP

      @The Redline I came to this video to see if the ride was any better in the S than the standard. I've watched the video and I'm none the wiser.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      What did I miss? What would you like to know?

  • TheLiberator
    TheLiberator

    You said it right, when you see one, it makes you smile. Love mine and leasing it for 150$/month is a steal.

    • MrChadder007
      MrChadder007

      $150??? How?

    • TheLiberator
      TheLiberator

      The Redline there are some good incentives going on in the states for EV cars.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      $150!?!?! That is an absolute steal! You must drive a hard bargain! Well done and thanks for watching.

  • Derek Dalton
    Derek Dalton

    Love the i3. Wanted to buy one but settled for 118i 3 cylinder. 35 extra grand for an electric bmw is too big am ask, (that's a LOT of petrol!) May get one in 3 years if they can price them more competitively. Love the aesthetics. A SUBLIME machine but too many $$$ In Australia

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi Derek. Thanks so much for watching and taking the time to leave a comment. You're right about the price - it's not really about saving money with the i3, it's more of a statement. You're kind of saying, "I can afford to help shape the future" rather than "this is a sensible investment." I just had one again over the weekend and it's so much fun. But a 118i is a tidy little thing too!

  • S Campbell
    S Campbell

    Agreed on quality & features. On my second i3, this last one is a 2017 Rex. Test drove a tesla before each one and the fit & finish of the Beemer was hands down winner each time. My TJA could be a tad better than "follow the leader" but I can tolerate it. REX is the best add on for an electric as outside of major cities here in the USA our charge networks suck salami. Enjoyed the review, considering a last generation i3S once they cancel in next year or so... don't believe bmw will do right by us all and give us an i3 with 250-300 miles.

  • Ob Haiti
    Ob Haiti

    7:34 it actually purrs! The sound he made is really what the car sounds like with the engine running.

    • Raven4K
      Raven4K

      Ob Haiti (pets him on the Head and He Purrs like a kitty)

    • Raven4K
      Raven4K

      yeah does it sound like that when the coupling breaks hehe?

  • mbaxter22
    mbaxter22

    Still no heated steering wheel? WTF BMW!!! No electric car should be without a heated steering wheel.

    • mattetjus
      mattetjus

      There is no option for a heated steering wheel even in Europe - there seem to be after market parts available though.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi there - this car is an Australian-spec car, so the heated steering wheel is not something that's very common on cars here. Pretty sure it's an option! Thanks for watching!

  • GeoS
    GeoS

    You wouldn't think RWD is so "cool" if you drove it in snow.

    • 112deeps
      112deeps

      With winter tyres I have driven in my bmw 3 2.0D to Austria twice and Andorra, actually got caught in snow storm and needed to put on my snow socks on rear tyres through mountain pass. Handled everything with aplomb. As long as you have right tyres it works better than front or 4 wheel drive with wrong tyres. Must say met a Spanish or French bmw 3 driver stuck in snow in Andorra trying to put on the snow socks on front wheels and I did my best to explain he should put them on rear wheels! Not sure I was successful as neither understood others language 🤣😂

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      I have (it wasn't an i3) and I do still think it's cool. But I appreciate your point. Thanks for watching!

  • Darryl of Sussex
    Darryl of Sussex

    Design over function. I couldnt get the 2019 i3 to settle properly when cornering at speed and when driving with minor steering inputs, it sort of jiggled about on its dampers. It felt like driving on solid rubber tyres. Lots of low to mid speed torque but motorway overtakes were sluggish by comparison and more like a small engined car in 6th gear. Regeneration is uncompromising and often harsh. Rear doors are a faff.

  • Jason Bedient
    Jason Bedient

    You don't really say why the S is "soooo much better." It would nice to hear a couple definitive specific reasons.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Definitely. But wait for the next battery bump, which is due shortly.

    • Jason Bedient
      Jason Bedient

      @The Redline thanks. I got the gist of that but wanted to make sure there wasn't more I was missing. I'm looking to buy and have been on the fence about the s. Im guessing it will be more desirable as well in the future should I ever want to sell.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi Jason - sorry I wasn't clear! Happy to help - basically the suspension is better, with better turn-in, more a more consistent (if firmer ride) and it mostly seems to have gotten rid of the awkward half-lurch of the standard car. It just feels better on the road and the extra grip from the tyres makes it feel more planted. I guess the point is that for the small (relatively) extra money, it feels a lot better.

  • Chris Loh
    Chris Loh

    Thanks for the review. I just bought a used 2017 94ah i3Rex. Love all the things you mentioned....the looks, the RWD, the built and most of all the Zero Emission.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi Chris! Thanks so much for watching the video and sharing your experience. It's a terrific thing, glad you're enjoying it!

  • Rui Carvalho
    Rui Carvalho

    Excellent test drive. We have 3 of them at our household (i3, not i3s) and we love them. However I noticed you said the battery seats at the back of the car. Indeed it is at the bottom of the car under and all along the cabin.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Firstly, Rui, let me say how jealous I am! Terrific car just to own one, let alone three. Amazing! Second, you are absoutely right. I meant to say the motor was under the boot floor. My mistake, it was a busy day, had to go and film another car straight after. Thanks for watching!

  • FLJAMESFL
    FLJAMESFL

    Love my I3.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi James. Thanks for watching. Very glad you love yours - I don't know a single i3 owner who doesn't. Excellent choice!

  • cubanman2009
    cubanman2009

    Easy way to throw out $50.000 out the window

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi Cubanman, thanks for watching and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Why do you think it's throwing your money out the window? The amount or you just don't think it's a good car? Let me know, keen to hear all opinions! (sorry it took so long to reply, TRwatch didn't let me know you'd left a comment)

  • XTreMe2k6
    XTreMe2k6

    bought my i3s last week, but the 42kWh version.. so more range for more fun :D, btw i paid roughly 34000€ for this car with nearly every option available. greetings from germany, keep making these good videos

    • max chilla
      max chilla

      Dwr I3s mit 42kWh und Vollausstattung für 34K€? Bei welchem BMW Händler geht dass denn?

  • Robert Watson
    Robert Watson

    Great work mate. I 100% agree with you. Range BMW. RANGE.

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Range is coming...

  • Martijn Langeveld
    Martijn Langeveld

    Thanx Peter, nice review as always! I agree if in the near future it can have 150-200 km extra range, it would be quite perfect! Thanx again, regards from Europe, Martijn

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      We're a bit behind at the moment, but more are on the way, I promise!

    • Martijn Langeveld
      Martijn Langeveld

      @The Redline and thank you for making these reviews! I really enjoy them. Looking foward to the next one!

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      You're a good man, Martijn, thanks again for watching and leaving your thoughts!

  • Richard Piper
    Richard Piper

    It was a pity that you were not able to test a standard i3 LCI against the i3s because I think you might have been surprised at the improvements to the steering and ride over the older 94ah. I test drove both before recently exchanging my 2015 60ah REx for a new 94ah REx i3s. I was actually very surprised at the LCI’s maturity and added refinement over my older car. Steering was sharper than my old car and suspension more supple without any discernible loss of handling feel. I opted for the i3s because I had previously owned MINIs and live in he country so like a car that can handle the bends. The i3s roadhplding is better but ride is definitely harder. However for me that’s ok as I have been used to cars with run flats. Unless you are a bit of a car nut I would recommend the standard car over the s because for most driver’s it will strike a better balance of ride over handling. Performance difference only really noticeable when accelerating above about 50mph. Great car - first time in over 40 years car ownership that I have bought two successive models of the same type.

    • Mr. Tom Yum
      Mr. Tom Yum

      I drove the normal 2017 i3 Rex and also a 2014 Rex as well. They were both quick! I thought the 2014 might have been slightly quicker? So the i3s is a good decent amount faster? Worth the price difference between i3s and the 2015 models? I see the i3s are very rare?

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      Hi Richard! Thanks so much for watching and for your very thoughtful comments. I was quite happy with the pre-LCI, it's just a different proposition to a "normal" car. I also think the i3S is so worth the extra cash, so well done! Thanks again for watching, don't forget to subscribe!

  • Boosted Media
    Boosted Media

    "You just WHOOOOORP!!!" Haha! It's so hard to describe the feeling of driving a "powerful" electric car. You did well!

    • The Redline
      The Redline

      It really is! Thanks again for watching, you're the best.

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