We recently just learned of the BMW 5 Series’ nomination for the World Luxury Car of the Year award, as part of the World Car Award ceremony. The ceremony will be held on April 12 in Manhattan, which will open the 2017 New York Auto Show. There, the BMW 5 Series will take on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo S90 for top luxury car honors. But BMW has another car being nominated as well, as the new BMW i3 is up for the World Urban Car of the Year award.
The BMW i3 is an interesting car in this current market. With car companies like Tesla dominating the EV headlines, the i3 sort of sits in the background. While Tesla can boast about pure battery ranges far beyond the i3’s capabilities, the little electric BMW is actually a better urban car than anything Tesla makes. Its range may be small but that’s perfect for buyers who live in crowded cities, such as New York or Chicago. The i3’s compact size also makes it incredibly easy to navigate city streets and parallel park. It even has a relatively upright and high driving position with a wide open greenhouse, making city traffic a breeze. While Teslas are brilliant EVs for long distances, they’re far too big and lumbering to be great city cars.
Up against the BMW i3 in nomination for this award are the Citroen C3 and Suzuki IGNIS. The Citroen is a funky looking hatchback that’s actually quite large for a hatch but still rather small. It has some really strange, but oddly charming, styling and the famous funky air pockets on the doors borrowed from the old Citroen C3 Cactus. As for the Suzuki IGNIS, it’s an extremely small, very quirky little hatchback. About the size of a Fiat 500, the IGNIS is the definition of a city car. However, its 1.2 liter 89 hp engine might not gain it many fans.
We don’t get either the C3 or IGNIS in the United States, so I can’t tell you how good or bad they are. I can only assume that they’re very good cars if they’re in contention for the World Urban COTY. However, it makes sense for the BMW i3 to take this one. It’s the only one that offers full BEV capability and is made from recycled materials. It’s truly an innovative and impressive urban luxury EV and one that’s almost impossible to beat in the city. It is more expensive than the other two cars, by quite a bit, but it’s still such a brilliant urban car it’s hard to see anything else taking this one. We’ll find out April 12.