If you've never driven an electric vehicle before, it can be an unusual, and not unpleasant experience. The instant torque, the silence, the ease of use--all reasons electric vehicle owners rave about their cars.
BMW has turned the cameras on several drivers getting their first go in the i3 electric city car. Its quirky looks and high-tech cabin make it even more unique an experience than most other electric cars. While the German automaker is unlikely to scatter clips of people hating the experience throughout its promotional video, the general, unrehearsed impressions do seem to signal enjoyment and intrigue. It has to be said, when was the last time you cracked a huge smile driving a regular econobox?
i3s are now rolling silently into the hands of owners across the globe, with both all-electric and range-extended models available, according to preference. But there are a whole lot more options than that, as demonstrated by the automaker's comprehensive configurator. The choices are so wide they effectively replace regular trim levels, letting customers choose different "worlds"--Giga, Tera and Mega--before mixing and matching colors, advanced options like automatic parking or adaptive cruise control, or a fast charging station.
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Pricing starts at $41,350, before local and federal incentives and rebates. You can spec up the car well past that though, with careless box-ticking taking the sticker price past $55,000. Mega World is the car's base trim, with Giga commanding an extra $1,700 and Tera an extra $2,700--though equipment levels and interior niceties reflect the pricing structure. You can build your own i3 using BMW's configurator--or test the car at your local dealership to see if it really is as fun as BMW's promo video makes out...