Alongside the BMW iX xDrive50 in Los Angeles, we also had the chance to see the all-new BMW i4 40, the entry-level version of BMW’s new electric sedan. While the more powerful, sportier looking i4 M50 is the sexier car and the one we’d normally prefer to see, having the i4 40 on hand was actually a good thing. Most customers aren’t going to buy the M50 and, instead, will opt for the less expensive model. So being around it gave us an opportunity to get acquainted with the volume seller.
Our own Horatiu had the chance to drive the BMW i4 M50 a few weeks ago and came away extremely impressed. He raved about its steering, handling, performance, and quality. Though, don’t expect quite that level of precision from the standard BMW i4 40. The sportier M50 has a sharper steering ratio, revised suspension, and, obviously, more power. However, the i4 40 will make up for that by having a further range, around 300 miles from its 81.5 kWh battery pack and single rear motor.
While the BMW i4 is a pretty big deal for the brand, acting as its first true Tesla Model 3-fighter, its looks barely show it. Not to say that the BMW i4 40 is a bad looking car (although our commenters have already expressed their issues with it), it’s just not a particularly exciting looking car. Unless you notice the fake grille or blue highlights, the i4 will look like any other Series BMW, and that’s likely intentional. Especially in the very typical shade of grey seen on the car in these photos.
The same can be said about the interior. While it’s a fine interior, essentially the same as any other 3 Series or 4 Series, it’s just not very special. Yes, the new iDrive 8 is wonderful and the updated digital gauges are cool, but the rest of it is pretty typical BMW at this price point. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing but any customers looking for something more exciting might be disappointed.
Though, the i4 isn’t supposed to be an exciting looking EV. The BMW iX is the radically designed, futuristic looking EV, while the i4 is designed to convert typical 3 Series and 4 Series Gran Coupe buyers. There seems to be two trains of thought with EV design; go radical to attract EV buyers or go traditional to attract legacy buyers. The i4 is the latter, it seems.