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Old 07-16-2014, 05:44 AM   #1
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Default BMW Rex Problems - after 15days and 800miles

Hi everyone,

I've been absent from the BMW community for some time. In the past, I've had (2) e46M3s, (2) R53 Mini Cooper S, (1) R53 Cooper GP, (1) X3, (1) 335i, (1) 135i. Yes, I have a car problem. Point being, I'm a BMW fan as you can see.

I picked up a BMW i3 REX on July 1st. It's an electronaut edition. I was intrigued by the EV trend, and decided against Tesla in favor of my beloved BMW brand. I was super excited to pick up the car, and equally excited to put tons of miles on it gas-free. I was actually contemplating getting rid of my Panamera for the i3 and telling all my friends and family about it....After 15 days of ownership, I have to be honest and say I'm absolutely disappointed.

Let me start with the positives--
1) Interior dash/ controls. Simply beautiful. No EV on the market can compare. Not as nice as the Porsche dash/compartment, but really nice. Great job here

2) Styling. I like it. This is a subjective opinion. Sure, some think its butt-ugly, but I think its sharp

3) Weight. The car is really light. Makes the car handle and feel like a BMW.

4) Size. A bit smaller than I'd like, but love that its not the size of an aircraft carrier like a Tesla. Compared to my Panamera, so very refreshing to zip around in a smaller, more nimble car

The unfortunate negatives--
1) Skinny tires. Enough said.

2) CEL. Everyone knows this issue. I have it. The light has turned on and off then on, which scares me because it signals the car is not "stable". If there's a problem, just light it up and keep it lit! At least I know the car is consistently erroring

3) Windshield noise. This is a seriously let down. My old Merdedes G55 had better aerodynamics than the i3. Anything above 50mph, you hear the wind like crazy

4) Range. This is another let down. 80-100miles? Only if you drive with no fan, no AC, and under 55mph. I live in SoCal. Can't live without air, A/C, or drive 55mph. For those consider BEV vs REX, unless you can comfortably go the day with only 50miles, you better get the REX. The REX on the other hand is much more accurate. You don't lose 1-2miles every .5 travelled when using the gas generator. I feel it was deceptive to advertise these figures in an unrealistic setting... its like saying a V12 Ferrari gets 30MPG (all downhill).

5) Low-Cost charging function. This is my biggest gripe. Basically, this function does not work. I've been using the OEM factory provided 120V charger for the last 15 days and have never had this function work correctly. Doesnt work via the app, doesn't work via the vehicle settings menu. After sending pictures, videos, and emails to iConcierge, I finally got an answer to this problem today.... The answer is this function does not work with the factory supplied 120V charger.. uh, WTF? Why did you provide a charger with the car if the charger is not compatible with one of the most important functions of the car? Any EV owner knows, the key is to charge during the super-off peak time of 12am-6am (your local Electric company times may vary). So, let me repeat..... the charger from BMW, does not allow the Low-Cost timer to work. Really?

For me (speaking just for me), being a loyal BMW fan... I left the brand for about 6-7 years as I didn't like the recent M3 (e90?), M5 (e60?). I've been in Porsche Cayennes and Panameras for the past 6-7 yrs. Now, I understand one may argue that a Porsche and BMW are not in the same market segment. I was really excited to get back into a BMW with the interesting, cutting edge CF shell, EV, etc.... but if I'm honest, it's been a huge disappointment. Especially the way this charging fiasco has been handled. To hear that final answer/response from BMW... was a bit shocking. Every current i3 owner who uses the supplied 120V charger, has this problem. We are unable to use the charge timer. I expected a better answer... like "we will re-code the algorithm with there findings, thank you" or "we'll ship you a level2 charger, which solves the problem"...... but no.

So for me, its a disappointment that a $50K car has all of these issues. It's not like its a $15K Hyundai, because then, you got what you paid for... I expected more, and expected them to protect the brand better. Truthfully, I was so irritated that I wasn't getting an answer from BMW that I asked them to take the car back.... and now after getting this answer, it kind of makes me insist on giving the car back.

Anyway, I'm sure I will get flamed by all i3 fans here. I really wanted to get excited again about BMW, with this new platform and all. I'm just one guy, so I'm sure nobody cares.... but if you're an i3 owner, try plugging in the car tonight with you 120V charger and see if you experience the same error. If you do, ask yourself, is this what I paid for?
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:20 AM   #2
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My wife and I just got an i3 Rex and have some of the same issues. The CEL is annoying and will take a full day or more at the dealer to fix. We've put over 800 miles on the car in less than a week and we love the car.

But I'm not sure I understand your complaint about low cost charging on the standard level 1 charger. If you do only low cost charging for 6 hrs a day you only get about 6-10 miles of charge with a level 1 charger. Off peak hour charging on a level 1 charger makes no sense to me unless you only drive 5 miles a day to and from work.

With a level 2 charger then off peak charging makes sense. I have solar on my house and when I charge during the day on my level 2 charger I can actually see my meter go from running backwards to running positive because the power draw is very high.

On top of that, if you can afford the Porsche and the I3, is an extra cost of charging the car for 20 hours a day really going to break you financially. We are talking about maybe an extra $20 a month in electricity. Still far less than even a single tank on that Porsche that will most likely only last you a week.

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Old 07-22-2014, 07:27 AM   #3
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Default BMW Rex Problems - after 15days and 800miles

I understand your frustration, as I had my share of problems. I was however prepared to meet them. It's a very new car made in a new factory. I would dare say no car has been this new for a long time, perhaps you would have to go back to WWII to find such a clean sheet design.
My unit had a deactivated AC, some (mildly irritating) charging problems and a few other minor issues. It does charge when I program it. I am using a reduced intensity because I find that is enough to get me a full charge in the morning and think it is nicer with the batteries. BMW has been working on the problems, some they already solved and I believe all will be solved. They need time to debug the software, though.
I don't quite understand your complain about the tires. Sure they are skinny and not as aesthetically pleasing as those in bigger beemers, but they do their work and are economical to run, which is the whole point. So what is the problem?
I think it all boils down to expectations and reality. I was expecting about what I got, problems and all, and I'm happy, though I'll be even happier when the car is debugged enough. I think your expectations were mostly reasonable (save for the tires), but you didn't think you'd get your share of problems. After all, you usually don't expect problems with a $50k BMW. Having said that, I am not returning my car and I think you would be better off keeping yours but it's of course your choice.


Last edited by AlfredoSola; 07-22-2014 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:49 PM   #4
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I regularly got 80-95 mile range on mine before it was declared a lemon. But in order to achieve it you need to drive very differently and keep it under 65 mph. Slow starts and lots of pedal play to get the car driving as efficient as possible. On some days with a cool battery and a departure time I was able to get 100 mile range on the freeway. Not so on the way back with a really warm battery that was recently charged.

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Old 10-16-2015, 01:42 PM   #5
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I seriously considered an i3 about a year ago, despite my misgivings about it's ugly looks. But at the time there was several months backlog on deliveries so I bought a Nissan Leaf instead.

I am now very glad I did, after reading about all the problems with the car, some serious, on here and elsewhere.

Pleased to say that the Leaf has been 100% reliable with no problems at all, and lovely to drive.

What I am really looking forward to is the electric version of the new Mini Clubman, but am told that it's still years away...
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Old 10-16-2015, 02:01 PM   #6
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Default Leaf vs I3

I have been driving a I3 Rex now for almost a year and have had zero issues if you don't consider a recall that BMW took care of immediately.

In my opinion, it is one of the best looking cars on the road today, electric or not... in regard to the previous comment about buying a Leaf, which to me looks like a toy car that you would find in a kids magazine..

I do about 70-80 miles on a full charge and I live in Texas, so a/c is always running...the convenience of the extended range comes in handy on those days when needed.

I would recommend it to friends in a heartbeat... it turns heads when on the road and has been reliable

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