The BMW i3 has been on sale for over five years now and the pre-owned market has plenty of choices for you, in case you’re thinking about going electric. The guys from Fifth Gear decided to put together a short guide, to help you make up your mind in case that’s one of your priorities. They chose three cars to use as examples but the market has more choices than that.
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The choice at hand here included the BMW i3, the Opel Ampera and the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is the oldest model, being an Mk 1 model. It is also the cheapest but it could have the most issues with its battery, given its age. Then there’s the Ampera which only lets you drive in EV mode for up to 80 miles after which the engine kicks in to recharge the batteries. The BMW i3 is shown here in the REx version, but you can, of course, pick an all-electric i3 as well.
The prices for these cars have dropped significantly and they can be considered good deals. However, if you’re looking to buy an i3 you should look out for a couple of things. First of all, there have been reports about faulty AC units. If that happens, it will cost a pretty penny to replace the system and it is a mandatory operation. That’s because the battery pack in the floor is cooled by the AC system and you don’t want your batteries to overheat.
There’s also a known issue with some creaking coming in from the steering column. If that’s the case you may have to replace the front swivel joints. All things considered though, the BMW i3 is the best choice out of the three, as Vicki concludes. It has the best tech and most interesting interior so it would be worth a look.