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Hello and happy holidays everyone.

I'm considering buying a pre-owned/used BMW i3, and was hoping current owners here would help provide me with some advice, things to look out for, consider, and avoid, etc.

Already I've gauged that I should try to avoid the first-gen models, but what year, the or indicator would tell me it's the next-gen (2015 onward)?

This will be my only car, I don't see my self doing more than a few thousand miles a year, the odd trip once a week.

Thank you in advance,
 

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EGGY
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Get a warranty
Get a warranty
Get a warranty
Get a warranty
Get a warranty

You get the drift ... guess the first question is how much do you want to spend, then what sort of journeys (distance, frequency ?) off street parking ?

BEV is great for simplicity so maybe a 94ah BEV post 2016 ? Rex is great for peace of mind if you new and concerned. 120ah gives you simplicity with increased range (if you need it) but no more really than a 94 rex.

I'm probably going to trade mine in for an ID.3. We have really enjoyed the car and would happily buy another but I think the 120ah are uncompetitive compared to the newer cars like the ID.3 which has more interior room, proper rear doors (not that big a deal for me to be honest) bigger boot, faster charging, bigger battery and hence quicker on journeys.

Great first EV, I sort of feel not loved by BMW which is a pity
 
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Don't. If you must, as per wise words above, get a warranty. A good one that covers everything. Stories of hugely expensive repairs are legion.
 
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Hello and happy holidays everyone.

I'm considering buying a pre-owned/used BMW i3, and was hoping current owners here would help provide me with some advice, things to look out for, consider, and avoid, etc.

Already I've gauged that I should try to avoid the first-gen models, but what year, the or indicator would tell me it's the next-gen (2015 onward)?

This will be my only car, I don't see my self doing more than a few thousand miles a year, the odd trip once a week.

Thank you in advance,
Why?
 

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I nearly bought an i3, came so close but then I discovered the VW e Golf. Better range and much more for my money. I guess for me the VFM didn’t work on the i3
 

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Go for it, very few scare stories from 2016 on. My 17 plate 94 BEV has been bullet proof so far. Cheap to run once purchased. If you are just doing a few thousand miles per year then why bother lugging around the 120kg REX unit.
 

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Not sure what to advise. Had our i3 for almost 4 years now. (From March 2017) And it has been brilliant. Still kind of ahead of its time in design. Due to its carbon fibre reinforced plastic passenger cell it is still one of the lightest EVs on sale. This makes it agile and fun to drive and helps its efficiency. And due to it's strong re-gen breaking, truly 1 pedal to drive, which helps that efficiency. Rear wheel drive and rear motor so god traction away from the lights! Ours has been reliable apart from the Rex fuel inlet cap which has "stuck closed" on+off and took BMW 3 attempts over 2 years to fix! Air-con compressor also went within the first 6 months. Both of these sorted under warranty. Because of the scare stories, I got a warranty after Year 3, which has I think come down in price, but are still very expensive when compared to ICE equivalents including BMW. However with 3 months remaining, never used it so may end up being a waste of money, but what price peace of mind?
First ever BMW. And first ever EV. Wife just got an Peugeot e-208 which is an excellent EV also but more conventional.
Like another poster above I will be looking to change now at the 4 year mark, when the warrant ends, and the new VW iD3 ticks many of the boxes I am wanting. I know it won't be as exciting to drive as the i3 but tech and battery range has improved. Either that or a Tesla, or one of the Korean brands if they remain on sale! (another forum post).
Probably best to get a late year i3 and a warranty if it does not have one. Rex no longer available but not a bad thing. Added complexity to the design. Keep EVs nice and simple. Less to go wrong. The i3 does now look very expensive compared to what else is on offer for the same or cheaper prices but there are deals to be had!
It is and will be a cult cassic (rather like an Audi A2 which was also a bit ahead of its time, lightweight, small but spacious, and expensive to build due to its aluminium construction)
 

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As mentioned, get a warranty. New BMW i3 and i3S 120Ah are £40k+ new, but a lot of this down to your budget. New, BMW give you 3 years. Even approved used are a year if outside of original warranty. The battery if properly maintained is under warranty for 8 years. If you're not doing many miles then 94Ah BEV would work. Avoid REx, as it's hamstringed with faults, and to be honest, lower miles will be an issue as the REx engine needs to be used, serviced.

As a minimum I'd be looking for 2 years warranty. Driving electric takes a bit of time to get used to. the electric network, getting a wall charger installed at home and dealing with range anxiety.

Specification wise, then leather interior, professional navigation, upgraded sound system, and rear reversing camera would be on my list. Sunroof is nice but pointless. 19" alloys do the job. The diamond cut alloys even in turbine guise look incredible but in the northern hemisphere with damp roads and road salt will be looking sorry for themselves. Powder-coated winter wheels and tyres is the way go.
 

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From what I’ve read (and from talking to an EV trader) it was 2015 that they became more reliable, so when I was looking I decided I’d go for one with dark mirrors as they came in sometime then, presumably with other tweaks! (earlier ones had body coloured).

The i3 Facebook group has lots of useful information in “the knowledge”, would recommend joining that if you’re seriously looking, also has cars for sale plus a tame dealer or two that specialise in them.

Ended up recently going for a late 2016 94Ah (33kWh battery) from BMW so it has a years warranty which gives peace of mind, tho’ I think they’re generally pretty solid by then.

NB about 75% of the 60Ah and 94Ah are REx, I specifically didn’t want one and so it did take a little while to find.

Good luck, they’re quirky little cars with a unique set of attributes that make them very good fun, the Lotus Elise of EV’s!
 

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Ouch, some negativo vibes here! We had a 60Ah REX from new in 2015, did 55k miles until it was written off by someone crazy (see "death of an i3" on a popular video site - it was a reasonable hit but I was OK and the car did remarkably well). Then got a late 2016 94Ah REX to replace it and have done another 15k miles since.

Pro nav and HK audio are essential, as are LED headlights IMHO. I also have hardwired front and rear dash cams, LED main beams (ace in the countryside, prob not required in the city) and LED front indicators. Sunroof and camera-based auto cruise control seem to be a waste of time, based on these forums. I just retro-fitted CarPlay into our car and it's a total game-changer for the in-car system. We had the light-coloured Loft interior originally, and now have the basic blue / grey. Both have worn exceptionally well. I have 20" wheels for the summer and 19" for winter tyres, I also run 5-10mm wheel spacers which improves handling.

No big issues and no repairs outside warranty on either car for us (touch wood), even the BWM-i wallbox we had installed has been faultless. Every couple of weeks when I'm driving it I think "damn, this is a great little car!" FWIW we have a couple of little ones and they love it too, so any whining about the door design for car seats or kids is entirely personal preference. Currently running about 2-3p/mile, roughly :)
 
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Already I've gauged that I should try to avoid the first-gen models, but what year, the or indicator would tell me it's the next-gen (2015 onward)?
BMW call next-gen LCI. BMW like acronyms. The LCI came in the Model Year 2018. This is also the first year for the i3s. Any i3s is LCI. The standard LCI i3 will have a metalic stripe along the roof.

The 94Ah battery came in July 2016. The 120Ah battery started in January 2019. These are build dates, not model years.

If you insist on getting an older one be certain it has a full service history from a BMW dealer. If / when you get hit with an insanely expensive repair BMW might make a good will gesture to help with the costs. They will only do that for cars that have always been serviced at a BMW dealer.

It also helps if it was sold to you by a BMW dealer.

BMW have been improving the car since day 1. The newer ones are always better. 2016 is my recommened cut off. MY 2017 is better.

I'd also avoid the Range Extender if you can. If you can manage it, try and get an LCI one. They are better in many ways.
 

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EGGY
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My eldest moaned about the rear doors when we got it, now she's distraught we're thinking of selling (almost 21), the kids love it.
Worth considering that by nature forums tend to have a lot of people with problems looking for help, people are less inclined to post "I've had this car for 5 years and it's been faultless"
 
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The only optional extra I would possibly look at is LED headlights. I don't know how good they are, but the standard halogen headlights are rubbish. Otherwise, the standard spec is pretty good.
After 3 years of owning a Rex I only used the engine in anger on a couple of occasions. It was bought with the best of intentions, but at the end it felt like I was dragging around the weight of the engine for no good reason.
As long as you don't regularly carry rear passengers, it is a great car and I do miss it.
 

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LED headlights are always something to go for where possible.

Is there more tyre choice around now for the i3 now? Other EVs have a lot more choice in tyres.
 
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