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    Thread: it DOES look good for the BMW i3

    1. 02-17-2017 02:21 PM #1
      ...or at least good for me maybe buying one because they're getting pretty cheap.

      So I posted a thread recently asking what super rare manual Japanese sports sedan I should buy to replace my German manual sports sedan. In my searching I also started to realize that the BMW i3 is actually cheaper than some of the cars I'm looking at, and my wife and I fell in love with it when we had one on BMW's extended test drive program a few years ago (Marketing: it works!™). That started my eyes wandering...

      I'm seeing non-REX models in my area for under 18k before negotiation with less than 20k miles. I assume that number will go lower in the coming months as more cars come off lease and end up in used car lots. Maybe we'll see the $15,000 i3 by the summer? I bet it's possible with negotiation. There's not a glut of inventory, but they're not particularly thin on the ground either.

      Other than the suicide door setup which makes it kind of a pain for getting kids in and out in tight spaces, it really does everything we'd need a car to do. We have the van for long trips, and my jeep for my manual fix. I may miss having a truly fast/sporty car, but I won't know that until I actually live without one, and the electric torque and tossability of the i3 is a neat party trick. And before anyone mentions them, the Leaf and Volt just didn't do it for me in the driving experience. They're fine cars, but I'd gladly play the premium for the more playful driving experience of the Bimmer.

      Downsides are the limited range of the non-REX (and even the REX models really), depreciation, and unknown long-term reliability. I'm guessing the i3 will still continue to lose some value, but I wonder when it'll bottom out? will there be 5k well maintained, low mile i3s in 5 years? Will a middle east war that raises oil prices make even 1st gen electric cars a hot commodity? who knows? I also wonder about the market for and availability of aftermarket replacement battery packs with improved range. I can totally see a case for Die Hard/Doorman "200 mile" battery pack replacements for $3000 or so as these electric cars get older. It's hard to buy a car purely based wild ass speculation though.



      What options are considered must haves for electric cars? I'm assuming it would be dumb to buy one without DC fast charging capability, but is there anything else? Discuss away!


      https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...2994/overview/

    2. 02-17-2017 03:34 PM #2
      If sub <$15k i3 BEVs becomes a reality soon, I will take a serious look at getting one to replace my Jetta.

      I had no interest in the i3 until I drove one at a BMW event. It was so much fun, and the extraordinarily spacious interior was refreshing. Now I want one.
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    3. Member Dawg Dee-Lux's Avatar
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      02-17-2017 03:48 PM #3
      Yes, who here doesn't want a light weight (1200kg), mid engined (170hp), rear wheel drive BMW built almost entirely out of carbon reinforced plastic?

      Must haves are in my humble opinion:
      D.C. Fast charge
      Connected drive
      Comfort access
      The larger Navi screen
      H/K sound system
      Wood chopping board
      LED head lights
      Interior LEDs
      Leather trim, or the lodge part leather trim

      Fantastic car, we really just want another one, and having test driven a Leaf last weekend, we decided that when the Ampera-E arrives, we are going to flip it for a profit instead of keeping it and just wait it out for the FL 2018 i3 with the 44kWh battery.

      flick
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      02-17-2017 03:49 PM #4
      8 months in with our i3 (it is a REx, tho). It has used - wait for it - 4 gallons of gas. Half of which was during the engine cycling feature just to run the thing once in a while.

      7,000 miles or so; it has been in for two software updates. That's it. I did install a GE charging station in the garage; it will charge 100% in roughly 3 1/2 hours. Really, by 2 1/2 hours there is roughly 60 -65 miles, so it's the last ten that takes the extra hour. In the winter 70-75 miles on a charge is the norm; summer it shows about 100-105 miles. The regen really charges things up quick when on the road. As far as DC Fast Charge, the chargers are so few and far between I question the need to seek out a model with that particular feature.

      The only true negative I feel is the ride. But it has a short wheelbase, and weighs next to nothing. It's height gives you a bit of head toss.

      Ours is the mid range Giga, with the wool and leather interior and eucalyptus dash and 8" iDrive screen. It is beautifully built and feels durable. As you mentioned the suicide doors, this is my case: if the kids can scramble into their own seats, just don't open them. There is a handle behind the headrest that flips the front seats forward anyway. I found it by mistake when I grabbed the seat to get into the back. i see Dawg commented too; his would be comparable to our Giga. Though I'm pretty sure all i3's in the US have LED's.

      Being all electric, repairs should be relatively easy to diagnose even in the long term. Where the value may end up is a crap shoot, but if you bought one for $15K and in five years is was worth $7500, you've also not spent $4-5K in gas during that time. The battery packs are actually designed to have individual cells replaced as needed, rather than the entire pack. I wouldn't be surprised if upgraded packs became available through the aftermarket and/or BMW.

      It is, without a doubt, one of the top 3 cars I have ever had the pleasure of owning.
      Last edited by TDIBUGMAN; 02-17-2017 at 03:53 PM.

    5. Member Dawg Dee-Lux's Avatar
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      02-17-2017 04:01 PM #5
      Yep, the US Giga is similar to the one dubbed High Voltage here at the time (now Fully Charged). We have done 28000 miles in about 14 months now, and all of those without so much as a hint of trouble. First service scheduled later this month where a couple of actions will be carried out. A software update and a preventive measure on the moon roof.

      As with Burman, I don't heasitate ranking it at the top of the list of cars we have owned. Truly a car enthusiasts car for a number of reasons, and surly a future classic (that will never rot away).

      flick
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      Quote Originally Posted by thisisdog View Post
      The internet has gotten significantly better since Russians started buying video cameras.

    6. 02-17-2017 04:13 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Dawg Dee-Lux View Post

      Must haves are in my humble opinion:
      D.C. Fast charge
      Connected drive
      Comfort access
      The larger Navi screen
      H/K sound system
      Wood chopping board
      LED head lights
      Interior LEDs
      Leather trim, or the lodge part leather trim
      oh, so it needs everything

    7. Member Dawg Dee-Lux's Avatar
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      02-17-2017 04:14 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by zmt2 View Post
      oh, so it needs everything
      You noticed

      flick
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      | Listen to No Agenda!

      Quote Originally Posted by thisisdog View Post
      The internet has gotten significantly better since Russians started buying video cameras.

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      02-17-2017 04:15 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by zmt2 View Post
      oh, so it needs everything
      I bet most of what you will find are Giga's, since that was the car with the very attractive lease rates.

    9. 02-17-2017 04:35 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by TDIBUGMAN View Post
      Being all electric, repairs should be relatively easy to diagnose even in the long term. Where the value may end up is a crap shoot, but if you bought one for $15K and in five years is was worth $7500, you've also not spent $4-5K in gas during that time. The battery packs are actually designed to have individual cells replaced as needed, rather than the entire pack. I wouldn't be surprised if upgraded packs became available through the aftermarket and/or BMW.

      It is, without a doubt, one of the top 3 cars I have ever had the pleasure of owning.
      Good to hear. If I'm going go give up rowing my own gears, it might as well be for a car with no gears right? I still have fond memories of chucking that thing around town while we had it. it's by far the most fun to drive electric car I've driven.

      My reliability concerns are more for the parts of the car with no other production equivalent; namely the CFRP structure and how it'll hold up on its own as well as wherever it's bonded to the traditional metal panels and subframes of the car. Stuff that would be pretty much impossible to fix if it did break. Only time will tell if any problems show up though, and even if so, it's not like we're out a ton of money if something like that were to happen with no recourse (class action suit, etc.).

    10. Member
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      02-17-2017 05:19 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by zmt2 View Post
      Good to hear. If I'm going go give up rowing my own gears, it might as well be for a car with no gears right? I still have fond memories of chucking that thing around town while we had it. it's by far the most fun to drive electric car I've driven.

      My reliability concerns are more for the parts of the car with no other production equivalent; namely the CFRP structure and how it'll hold up on its own as well as wherever it's bonded to the traditional metal panels and subframes of the car. Stuff that would be pretty much impossible to fix if it did break. Only time will tell if any problems show up though, and even if so, it's not like we're out a ton of money if something like that were to happen with no recourse (class action suit, etc.).
      The CFRP frame is actually designed to be cut and new pieces glued back in after a crash. If you look at the exposed frame when the doors are open, you can see the "cut" lines. The resulting bond is stronger than the original frame. There is a very interesting video online that reviews how that car is built. It's fascinating how simple it all goes together.

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      02-17-2017 05:41 PM #11
      Used EVs in general are pretty cheap. Most people can't plug them in easily so values are depressed. You can also get a very low mileage Leaf for $7500-$10,000 btw.

      The only reason we don't have an EV is due to the inability to charge it. Otherwise I'd be all over these deals.
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      You're a self-serving Japanese car-hating asshat.
      I drive two Japanese cars.

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