Review

The 2017 BMW i3 Still Looks Like A Bulldog That Got Punched In The Face

And we absolutely condemn all animal abuse, for the record.

When it was first unveiled in 2013, the BMW i3 quickly proved that it wasn’t much of a looker. Still though, its overall design has grown on us over the past few years but we’ll never considered it beautiful. The i8? Now that’s a different conversation entirely. But for 2017 BMW has given the i3 more than just a simple mid-life update; it’s upped driving range by more than 50 percent thanks to a new battery pack. That’s quite an accomplishment considering the vehicle is only a few years old.

Our tester 2017 i3, like many other i3s, isn’t a pure EV. Its electric motor is paired to a two-cylinder gasoline engine that acts as a Range Extender, so there’s zero need for range anxiety. We were also impressed with our car’s near 50/50 weight distribution, an 80 percent battery charge in just 40 minutes and its classy, almost IKEA-like interior.

But unlike, say, the Nissan Leaf, the i3 isn’t exactly cheap, even when you do factor in US state and federal tax credits. A base 2017 i3 begins at around $42,000, but our i3, equipped with goodies such as the Tech and Diver Assistance Package, Sport 20-inch wheels and a moonroof, came to a grand total of $56,395. Yeah, uh, not cheap. Then again, the 2017 BMW i3 is a techno-packed green vehicle that could be the blueprint for all future BMWs. Special thanks to Niello-BMW Sacramento, part of the Niello Company, for letting us film the car.

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