Car shopping can be stressful. Lucky for you, we found the perfect fit – a lightly used 2019 BMW i3s. If you’re looking for an EV that isn’t a bore to drive, you need look no further. In case you forgot, the BMW i3s is the 120 Ah (amp-hours, which is a weird measurement; 42.2 kWh) version that also got a few sporty upgrades. In fact, it’s really the i3 you want – particularly if you can get the range extender (REX) version. That said, the cheaper BEV version is just fine and works for budget-conscious shoppers. Here’s why the often overlooked i3s is probably the perfect car you never considered.

Lots of Life Left

BMW i3s in the snow

With only 31,000 miles on the clock, the i3s we’ve found has plenty of miles left to explore. If you’re doing any research at all on the model, you’ll find anecdotes all over the internet hailing the minimal – if any – loss of range and capacity even years later. Samsung estimates the smaller 94 Ah units will show 4,600 charge/discharge cycles before degrading to a modest 80%. So, assuming 100 miles per charge – a huge underestimation – you’ve got around 430,000 miles to go before you might need a replacement battery.

Tired of your cars rusting out? Say goodbye forever to rust when you decide to buy an i3. The car is primarily made of carbon fiber and plastic. While there are a handful of fasteners made from steel and some aluminum components – which do degrade over time – it’s a far cry from how most vehicles rust, especially in areas with lots of road salt or moisture. Even better, our car hails from sunny Phoenix, AZ – where I call home – so it hasn’t seen much in the way of weather.

The i3s is surprisingly reliable, too. Without the range extender, there’s little to do regarding routine maintenance or repairs. While you’ll need brakes, tires, and a cabin air filter…that’s about it. The i3 does have a reputation for burning through 12-volt batteries, but even if you replace one each year (you won’t), you’re still coming out ahead. The bottom line? A 31,000-mile i3s has a lot of life left to live.

The Best of the Best

i3s in a garage with sun backlighting

Some of you already know that I think the i3 is one of the most underrated cars out there. But the i3s brings even more flavor to the funky four-seater. Along with a bigger battery, the i3s gets unique front and rear bumpers that give it a little bit more edge. While I wouldn’t call it intimidating, overall, it’s a much cooler look.

It’s also incrementally quicker, sprinting from zero to 30 mph even quicker than the regular i3. Since the regular car did it in around 3.4 seconds, the i3s could be considered genuinely quick. Plus, the i3s received wider wheels and a sport suspension with uniquely developed springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. And, all i3s models came with the most up-to-date iDrive software that the model ever received. Factor in the enhanced driving range – up to 150+ miles – and the i3s is the best of the best.

Shockingly Practical

i3 interior showing all four seats

Despite its funky looks, the model is actually quite practical. Rear suicide doors make ingress and egress easy, and the model offers 36.9 cubic feet of cargo space. The rear seats fold down, though not completely flat, and it’s still the only BMW model with a frunk. The example we picked out offers plenty of noteworthy features, too, including navigation, heated seats, and Parking Assistant.

While the i3s is an obvious choice for city-dwellers, thanks to its compact size, snappy acceleration, and tiny turning radius, it works for rural drivers, too. As long as you can charge at home, 150 or so miles of range is perfectly usable. While admittedly not excellent for constant highway use, the torquey motor makes hilly terrains manageable.

Finally, the i3s is truly green. Our selection’s iDrive screen shows 3.7 mi/kWh, which is somewhat low for the model but still outrageously efficient. Much more modern vehicles—like the Ioniq 6 and Lucid Air—return 4.1 mi/kWh on average. It’s not uncommon to find i3s with even much higher efficiency.

Buy An i3s

i3s badge on the back

At just $17,999 – before associated fees and taxes – there are few better options for budget-conscious car shoppers than a pre-owned i3s. The only other EVs that occupy this price point are penalty boxes like the Nissan Leaf (ugh). The closest true competitor I could find? A 2018 Tesla Model 3 with 197,000 miles on it and severe damage on the CARFAX. Pass. Save yourself some trouble – and some cash – and consider a used BMW i3s the next time you shop.