Video review: BMW i4 2023
BMW set out to create not only a car that could hold a torch to Tesla, but to mix in the unique driver-focused qualities the brand is so well known for. In the i4, it’s done just that.
Howard recently had the pleasure of driving the new BMW i4 – what is arguably one of the most significant cars in the brand’s history.
He discovered that BMW hasn’t just continued to make cars that are pleasurable to drive; the i4 might be the finest example of the sort of cars we can expect from the brand in the future.
Watch the full video, or if you prefer to read about it, here’s everything you need to know.
What is it?
The BMW i4 is a significant car for the brand. It shares many of its design cues and characteristics with the excellent 4 Series Gran Coupe and slides it all on top of one of the best electric platforms available today.
Design-wise, it’s one of the more understated high-end EVs.
Design-wise, it’s one of the more understated high-end EVs. Its sharp front end and swooping rear end is a classic shape, and certainly less divisive than other electrified BMWs like the iX.
Of course, the iconic kidney grilles are present, and their size might not be to everyone’s taste. But in our opinion it’s one of the best-looking BMWs currently in production.
What’s it like to drive?
If you’re in the market for an electric car that’s as engaging as many sporting petrol cars, then stop searching. We’re not saying it’s a BMW M3, but BMW has managed to work its magic, disgusting the car’s heavy weight well – something that some EV manufacturers struggle to achieve.
Whichever model you pick, the i4 is a seriously quick car.
Whichever model you pick – whether it’s the entry-level eDrive35, the middling eDrive40 or the range-topping M50 – the i4 is a seriously quick car. The eDrive40 clocks the 0-62mph run in 5.7 seconds, with the M50 slashing this to 3.9 seconds.
The eDrive produces around 330hp and uses a single electric motor that powers the rear wheels (in true BMW fashion). Plump for the M50 and you get BMW’s excellent xDrive system and two motors split over both axles.
That’s handy, considering the 530hp it produces. Both versions feature the same 83.9kWh battery pack, which is enough to give the eDrive40 a range of 365 miles. Howard found that you can expect more than 300 miles of charge in the real world.
The more raw experience of the eDrive40 arguably makes it the more fun of the range on the backroads.
Handling is sublime, with the i4 having the ability to neatly deal with bends thanks to an advanced traction and suspension system. Obviously, if outright road-holding is the name of the game, then you’d plump for the four-wheel drive M50.
But the more raw experience of the eDrive40 arguably makes it the more fun of the range on the backroads.
What’s it like inside?
In creating a fantastic driving machine, BMW hasn’t forgotten about creature comforts. The i4 is a supremely comfortable car, and the interior is a very pleasant place to spend time.
Two large screens dominate the dashboard, with the infotainment system utilizing BMW’s latest operating and iDrive systems. Of course, you can also plug in your phone thanks to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
No matter the trim you pick, everything feels premium and high quality.
The materials used in the cabin include Alcantara and, no matter the trim you pick, everything feels premium and high quality. The seats offer great support and comfort for longer journeys.
Its sloping rear end does mean the i4 compromises on practicality somewhat; space in the front is great, with plenty of passenger room and storage options. In the rear, however, you might find it a little cramped for adults.
Its 470-litre boot also falls short of some SUV-based rivals, but the seats to fold flat to provide more than 1,000 litres.
What’s the verdict?
If you’re after a dialled in driver’s EV that is also a capable family car, the i4 might just be for you. More fun to drive than an SUV, BMW’s trademark driver focus remains in what we think is its best electrified vehicle to date.
It offers something special and a little left-field compared with electrified rivals like the Tesla, and in all it’s a package that we think is a better proposition.
In short, the i4 is a cutting-edge EV that builds on the outstanding ride and handling we’ve come to expect from the brand. You can check out lease deals right now by hitting the button below.