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I am considering buying a i3 REX, probably a 2015 or 2016 year. This would replace our C-Zero, which we've had for 3 years and to date haven't had any issues with. I've read horror stories of i3 REX's having hugely expensive issues over the years. Some people saying don't have a i3 REX without a warranty, but if the cars are that bad then the warranty companies wouldn't cover them, or at least the costs would be prohibitive.

Was it a case or some early cars had some initial problems,or are there fundamental design issues? Are later cars better? Would some of the early cars have had issues fixed, which are unlikely to reoccur again soon.

Unlike many EVs in my price range, the i3 does have some alluring characteristics, which elevates the purchase decisions beyond a purely value for money one.

Any advise would be welcomed.
 

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BMW i3 REx 2014
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My 2014 i3 REX has had expensive (to BMW) warranty work but they were nothing to do with the REX - steering rack, EME and parking pawl actuator.
 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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Just because an older i3 REx has been fixed or even has full dealer history doesn't make it immune from potential issues down the line.

Let's face it, if the i3 had a reasonable range, then that would effectively rule out the need to have the engine full stop.

Its an early design, and in practice does what's its meant to do but in my opinion is also its Achilles heel if it goes wrong.

Let's deal with the facts. BMW main dealers are notoriously expensive, so if it goes wrong and you get a warning light then you are looking at £100 to scan the car before they even fix the fault.

The fact it has an engine means it will have NOx sensor, fuel tank, fuel pressure sensor, fuel pump relay, the usual high voltage leads, oil filter, spark plugs, etc.

My wife's car developed a fault last year and after 3-4 visits, over £1k repair bill and subsequently running out of electricity it was eventually fixed. I pointed out to their senior electric technician to check the fuel pump relay, but he was having none of it. What was the fault eventually traced to, you guessed, the fuel pump relay.

If your heart is set on a 2015/16 REx accept it will develop a fault at some point and save for a rainy day, or tackle the repairs yourself. I bought a full copy of ISTA+ software, so can scan it, and do pretty much all the mechanical and electrical repairs now.

If you're not mechanically or technically minded, then look for something with a warranty would be my advice. They are great cars, but not at any price.
 

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I bought a '64 plate when it dropped into my budget. The REX died on the drive home from the dealer.

It eventually got rejected.

Outside the warranty BMW couldn't care and the dealer didn't want to pay BMW to fix it.
 

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40kW Leaf Tekna & 22kW Zoë Q210 dynamique intens
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Any BMW has the potential to give you BIG bills as it ages, the i3 more so because it’s not like you can take it to just any garage to have potential issues fixed..

I guess it boils down to what is your attitude to risk like and how deep are your pockets if something big and electrical let’s go?

You have to weigh the pros and cons, and look at which other cars out there would also tick the boxes.

The engine on my 225Xe let go of one of its pistons when it was just over 3 years old and the repair bill was..... ahem! £12,500 for a new one fitted and they had to ship it from Germany!

it only has 28k on the clock!

That experience cured me of BMW fever, never again! 😂
 

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This was one of my points to consider when I bought my i3 a month ago. As we use this car exclusively for short-ish trips, the range was not an issue. Therefore, I decided to go for a 94 Ah non-REX. The two main reasons for this were: 1 - I don't want to carry 150 kg (perhaps more?) of dead weight in the boot, just to use it once a year in emergency. 2 - It needs servicing, incurring additional costs and, as discussed above, it is another thing in the car that can break.

It all depends on what you need the car for. Unless the REX is necessary for your trips, you might consider a car without it. Mind you, it is not easy to find one on the second-hand market.
 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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It all depends on what you need the car for. Unless the REX is necessary for your trips, you might consider a car without it. Mind you, it is not easy to find one on the second-hand market.
There's 21 i3s for sale on BMW's site, non-REx, all 94Ah, 2017/18 models, some with as little 3,800 miles. Price around £16-17K. What I would say is don't skimp on specification, leather, professional navigation and park assist.

Add another £5k to your budget and you get into 120Ah territory, 66 cars available, LED headlights, choice of colours, negligible mileage, some with just 500 miles on the clock, remainder of manufacturer warranty on 2020 models, up to 180-190 mile range, etc.
 

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I am interested in these 120Ah cars but, as a long term i3 owner, I consider the range when vehicles are down to 50% due to degradation. With my 60Ah REX the full energy available would be 30kWh, (10 battery and 20 via 2 gallons of petrol), the 120Ah only 20kWh!
 

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ID3 1st & e-Golf
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I am interested in these 120Ah cars but, as a long term i3 owner, I consider the range when vehicles are down to 50% due to degradation. With my 60Ah REX the full energy available would be 30kWh, (10 battery and 20 via 2 gallons of petrol), the 120Ah only 20kWh!
How many decades do you keep your cars for?
 
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