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Old 07-05-2016, 08:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Posts: 15
Default Assessment after 13 months and 6,000 miles

I have now done about 6,000 miles over 13 months in my i3REX and my views are as follows:

The issues:
1. The fuel/gas tank is too small even for use in the UK. I had contemplated doing a 1,400 mile holiday in the i3 REX from Milton Keynes to the Isle of Skye in NW Scotland in June 2016. I looked at all the rapid DC charge points and the location of fuel stations. I concluded that although it might be possible not to run out of both battery and petrol, it would be a risk and I did not want to spoil the holiday. The issue is that rapid DC chargers may exist but are not always working or accessible. Having completed the journey in an ordinary car, I can report that the rapid DC charger at Uig, Skye, near where we stayed for a week, existed but was out of action. Fuel stations were not available when I would have wanted them. This is very sad. I have done 400+ miles in a day but that was using the main motorway network where fuel stations are at regular intervals and open 24 hrs a day. The remote areas of Scotland are not like that! I did contemplate carrying a 2 gallon can of fuel but decided that I did not think it would be safe/good idea for a 1,400 mile trip. i was worried about possible fuel smells and would not put it in the "frunk" [front boot/storage place] for safety reasons in the event of a head-on crash.

2. The ride is far too choppy on some roads and there is too much side-to side movement at times.

3. Tyre noise is getting worse: I know the UK's roads are deteriorating and surface degradation is an issue such that roads that were acceptable a year ago have now got an even more coarse surface BUT - as on my previous Golf Mk6 - I think the tyres are also a culprit as they loose tread. Has anyone else noted how "ungenerous" the tread depth was on the tyres when they were new?

4. There is too much technology getting in the way of using the car. The satnav does some very strange routing at times. The mode selector for EcoPro is a pain as it keeps going back to Comfort Mode when I stop the car. I hate the way it brakes hard with regeneration when you switch off the cruise control. The control of the media is over-complex, especially as I am new to BMW. It is far too difficult to make the voice commands do anything sensible. The automatic wiper is not very responsive to changes in rain on the windscreen.

5. The heater technology in EcoPro is not set up sensibly: as soon as the car is up to temperature in winter, unpleasant cold air comes in through the vents and so I keep on switching the fan off.

6. Does this have to be the most difficult small car to clean? There are gaps and odd shapes everywhere. The top of the rear bumper really needs a protector as it is always getting dirty and prone to scratching.

7. Driving in car parks - particularly supermarkets I have to say - is very tricky as there is no noise to warn pedestrians. You need to be very careful.

The good:
1. Electric power is fantastic: so smooth, powerful and quiet.

2. The car's design is very interesting but I would have preferred smaller A-pillars to aid visibility on tight bends and roundabouts. I am not 100% convinced by the rear door opening procedure: it causes problems at times.

3. It has not been to a BMW dealer since we bought it.

4. The driving position is good and the lack of a centre console is a real space bonus for the left leg [in the UK]. Height adjustable seat belts would have been nice though.

5. The rear boot [trunk] is larger than it looks: it goes over the plastic trim at the rear of the boot floor and I have cut a piece of carpet to show the full size. When 2-up, the rear seat can be put in a vertical position to maximise boot space while still keeping the contents out of sight.

6. The space available with the rear seats folded is far better than anticipated and you can take a lot of bags to the refuse tip. The flat loading floor is a bonus.

Conclusions:

1. Not to have owned an i3REX would have been to miss out on a really new, different driving experience.

2. If you contemplate any longish journey, you would be better off with the REX version. On several occasions I thought I would have done the whole journey on battery but all you need is, for example, a closed road and a detour and you are in trouble unless you can switch in the generator to maintain charge.

citnuti3
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