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I currently have a BMW i3s REX on company lease which expires in mid April. I previously had an i3 rex, and before that a Leaf, so have been driving electric (ish - sorry, rex needed due to lifestyle/mid distance journeys!) since 2012.

On the i3 I do like the sportiness, though mostly drive in comfort. I do floor it at times for some fun/practicality, but I'm pretty sensible, honest, almost always sticking to limit and very conservative given conditions, other traffic etc. So I don't really explore it's possibilities fully... but it's nice to have reasonable power there.

My regular commute will be 160 miles twice a week. My family will all be within that same distance (return), but some driving trips around the country. Though lockdown has made clear what an expense having a car sat on the drive is....

I do value adaptive cruise, remote air conditioning, comfort access, carplay. Also like more steering & motion 'feel' not being 'remote' from the car. Though the i3s is a little too vicious all day on speedbumps/bad surfaces.

I am looking at my next car option, which will be self-financed (could be PCP, Loan, lease), and have (had?)my shortlist as:
- e-niro (which I've driven) feels a bit wallowy,FWD so a bit skitty, and a bit laggy in normal mode (but more energetic in sport). Excellent warranty, good space, competent but feels a bit too boring to me (sorry)
- tesla 3 (also test drive) - Performance amazing - I tried the LR. Slightly odd with no screen in front of driver, but tbh I'd live with it. However it is high £ - and even higher to /truly/ take advantage of the uniqueness of tesla ie going full self driving package etc.
- ID3. New, practical, more affordable. A bit quirky/buggy (but I'm always running beta sw so that's no big deal). I'll get on to questions shortly.

realistically, IMO the ID3 is my most likely choice. However I have not driven it yet AT ALL, nor even been in one, so relying on video reviews such as from autogefuhl, carwow etc.Covid means local dealers are not offering test drives.

So, I'm really after feedback. IN PARTICULAR if you have driven an i3/i3s before

I am mostly looking at the MAX or the TOUR

Acceleration - what's it like on the traffic light start? Assured? smooth? linear? Is there a lag? How about on the motorway say when joining to get to 70, or overtaking (I generally go for around 72 gps so I do not speed excessively)

Steering - how is the feel? How heavy/light is it by default? At speed? slow?

Adaptive chassis - if you have the max or other models with this how are the settings?Does it really 'add' something? (compared to i3 etc) - my default thought is the tour for range, but the max could work, and the tour does not have this feature

Adaptive cruise - I use this in the i3 a lot. It's somewhat flawed, regularly dropping out, but I can work with it. I use it on many types of road (when straight). How is the id3 for this? How about extra features like lane keep assist?

Remote access -I'm unclear if a subscription fee is payable for this? The basic feature I'd want is setting preconditioning. Ability to control charge would be nice.

Carplay - how well is this working currently. I use WAZE a lot. I presume on the i3 though, using carplay means no heads-up navigation display - in which case how good & up to date is the native id3 nav?

Heads up display - does this work in daytime? Easily readable?

Regen - The i3 is moderatively aggressive on regen when taking foot off accelerator allowing for a fair bit of one pedal driving. From what I read, even on B, the id3 is much milder. How do people find this, especially if you've come from something like an i3? I think this is probably going to be one of the bigger frustrations

Heat pump - Any UK drivers opted for this? Do you think you're seeing quite a saving? I think this would be a definite for me on the max, and likely on the tour, just to get all-weather consistency

Charging - the i3 is only 50 kW (and I have a 33 kWh battery currently). It seems as if the id3 is doing a good job of charging at a decent rate until 80%? I know the max has 100 kW, and tour 125kW - so both much higher than I'm used to. Not as high as Tesla of course. Does the id3 heat/cool battery for optimum charging/use? Can one set different charging rates? Will it work ok if charger only supplies say 6A? (in case I want to limit charging due to solar capacity)? How is the timer? Can it be set for off-peak times? Can it be controlled via an API (ie if using Octopus Agile or similar)?If not does it behave ok if the charging unit changes charge rate or goes off/on to optimize charging £?

Many thanks
Nigel.
 

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'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208
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Hi Nigel, I can’t provide any first hand feedback or opinion on the iD3, but as you’ve got the eNiro on the shortlist, I wondered if you had also considered the Kona? I haven’t driven an eNiro, but from what I gather, the Kona is intended to be, and is, more 'fun' than the eNiro.

I took delivery of a Kona just last week after having had a 120Ah i3 for almost 2 years.

Both cars were 'leased' via Onto - but on a monthly rolling basis. It may be something to consider. The beauty is, if after getting the car you decide you don’t like it, or something better or much cheaper comes along, then you just hand it back - no lengthy commitment.

More info here:

And here:

In general, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised so far. The i3 probably does feel more 'special' but it also always felt like a bit of a toy, whilst the Kona is just really capable, but also quicker than the i3 and I think more fun to drive briskly along a typical UK country road due to far better composure. I’ve also copied and pasted my rather off the cuff initial impressions on the Kona vs the i3 below, from another thread.


  1. The headlights are not very good. Perfectly passable, but compared to the headlights in the i3 they are very weak. Probably the biggest weakness vs the i3 I think. Both I and Mrs Bill agreed that low beam in the i3 is almost as good for country driving as the full beam on the Kona - believe it or not. Full beam in the i3 is significantly better than full beam in the Kona. I was also surprised to see manual level adjustment wheel on the Kona. The budget cornering light function actually works quite well.
  2. Active cruise control and LFA etc all work very well. Hugely better than the i3.
  3. No SoC readout in the instrument cluster whilst driving is a little annoying.
  4. Really like the automatic dimming of the dashboard and low bluelight settings.
  5. Love the HUD. Wish it showed some other stuff like indicator arrows (unless I just missed those?)
  6. The indicator noise is not loud enough for my liking, and combined with the absence of indicator repeaters visible to the driver on the mirrors this means I’m sometimes finding that I’m not immediately sure if the indicator is on or not, without looking down at the cluster.
  7. 2 charge port covers but only 1 hook?
  8. Ease of wheel spin in this weather (even on the factory fit Michelin’s) is a bit comical, but quite endearing in a strange way.
  9. Climate control, heated seats, wheel etc all really very good. Shame the set climate temp isn’t constantly displayed anywhere. Do not miss the fogging windows from the i3.
  10. SatNav seems to have a propensity to pick some very minor lanes.
  11. iPhone overheated when plugged into CarPlay and resting on the wireless charging pad area - not sure why.
  12. Sound system quite impressive.
  13. Faster than the i3 (but not from standstill in cold/wet) - but sometimes doesn’t feel as fast.
  14. It’s nice to have normal doors.
  15. Discovered that the head rests move forward and back - nice.
  16. Reversing beep is a little ridiculous - especially with no button to turn it off.
  17. All the various regen, paddle, auto regen, ACC permutations are a bit OTT in my view. I think the i3 had it right, and I miss (at the moment at least) being able to just lift off and come to a stop 9.5 times out of 10.
  18. Range is good.
 

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iPhone overheated when plugged into CarPlay and resting on the wireless charging pad area - not sure why.
Quite possible that it was trying to push power into the iPhone via both the cable and the wireless charging. Might be worth turning off the Qi charger, or placing the phone somewhere else.
 

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In answer to the specific questions - in relation to the Kona:
  1. Traffic light start - you can’t just push the accelerator into the carpet like in the i3 (at least not in this current weather).
  2. Joining motorway or overtaking - it’s quicker than the i3 and more composed - no squiggle from the rear (obviously).
  3. Steering - a lot better than I expected. Doesn’t feel hugely dissimilar to the i3 in terms of feel or weight, though not as quick (a good thing I think). Does not feel like a numb box on wheels, which is what I feared.
  4. Adaptive chassis - n/a
  5. Adaptive cruise & lane following - really good. Huge improvement over i3. Motorway journeys are now relaxing.
  6. Remote access - yes - BlueLink app working well and quicker/more reliable than BMW. Can set preferred temp, and opt to have mirror & screen heating, plus steering wheel heating activated. Can stop and start charging, set schedules etc.
  7. CarPlay & Waze - works great and full screen. No problems, but you lose direction indicators on the Kona’s HUD. Built in nav seems pretty good, but need to try it more.
  8. HUD in daytime - yes, it’s great (although on pop up screen it’s still v good)
  9. Lots of regen / coast options. I think the i3’s simplicity is overall better though and Kona won’t come to complete stop simply by lifting off.
  10. Heatpump - yes, standard on this version of the Kona. Very good efficiency in UK winters by all accounts.
  11. Charging - in ideal conditions - 77 kW until 57 % then throttles down to 58 kW and then again another drop at 74 % to 36 kW. In winter, the first charge of the day at an ultra rapid charger will be slower whilst the battery heats up (it does not heat up on route to a charger and driver cannot manually activate the battery heater). Can set limits for DC and AC charging. Can reduce AC charging to 6A in car but not sure about via solar specifically. Timer seems to be good (I’ve only had it less than a week though. Can set hard restriction for off-peak times only (unlike the i3). Not sure about Agile.
  12. Apologies - I realise this is a lot of Kona talk in the iD3 section!
 

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I don’t think there are many, or possibly any, Max or Tour editions on the road yet. Not in the UK at least, although few folks on this forum are awaiting delivery of these editions. Same applies to the Tech which is the lowest spec with HUD so I don’t think anyone will be able to comment about HUD quality.

Haven’t driven an i3 so can’t compare directly, but I find the ID.3 acceleration to be similar to that of a rat up a drainpipe, but this is my first EV. Seriously though I find it quick at the lights and very good at getting into gaps when joining the motorway or overtaking. No lag that I have noticed, but as I say first EV so I’m comparing with ICE cars.

CarPlay wirelessly is definitely sorted in software version 2.0 and may work with a cable in earlier versions of the software.

Built in navigation seems OK, it got me to work the other day avoiding a road closed due to flooding which the TomTom in my previous car would not have, but Google Maps or Waze should have known about. Limited travelling options during lockdown make it hard to judge though.

With regard to remote access, the app is a bit flaky currently. Setting preconditioning timers in the car works fine for me but trying to set them via the app is more miss than hit. Haven’t tried charging via the app as I can’t charge at home.

The battery is not currently warmed or cooled for optimal charging but this is rumoured to be coming in a future software update.
 

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I don't think there are any Tour/Max in the country yet, but I could be wrong in that. I have the 1st.

I can't help much as I have only driven the i3 for a weekend over 3 years ago. I did have a Niro for 15 months/25k miles

What I did discover today is that with Google Maps via Android Auto the directions come up on the screen behind the steering wheel so I would expect them to appear on the HUD as well.

It is plenty fast enough off the line for me, although it doesn't feel lke it has the punch that the Niro or Kona has. I remember the i3 being similar to the ID3, it doesn't feel really fast but 0-60 isn't any slower. The rear wheel drive cars don't suffer the wheel spin of the Kona and Niro so is probably faster in most situations.
It still wins the traffic light starts again the one or two cars that have been in a hurry off the lights when I've been in the next lane.

The range of the ID3 isn't as good as the Niro, 160 miles in the ID3 would be tight for my driving style if all on the motorway. Tooks does a regular run in his ID£ and is covering 175 miles on one charge even in the current cold weather.

I would pick the ID3 over the Niro, I find the Niro too dull and didn't like the drive. It's too quick for the suspension imo.

I find the feel of the steering fine for me, I have read one comment from a previous i3 driver saying it is too light for him. It does firm up a little in sport mode.

In sport mode and 'B' the regen is just about strong enough for one pedal driving, nit sure if it is as strong as the i3 but probably close. It isn't as strong as the Niro on level 3, but stronger than the Niro on level 2. I can drive with one pedal most of the time if I want to but I would like it if the regen was slightly stronger in Sport & B mode. I'm not a big one pedal driving fan though.
In normal or comfort it isn't as strong as the i3.

I decided againest the heatpump on cost, it would take more than the life of the car to pay for itself, but it would help on your commute if that's 160 miles without a charge. The complaints I'm making about the efficiency might not be so strong if I had have bought one with the heatpump, but my longest regular run is only 90 miles and I can charge when I get there so I don't need the range.

I haven't tried rapid charging the ID3. Charging at home with a Zappi isn't entirely simple. Like all things with the ID3 the software is the issue and it isn't working as it should yet. I can set the Zappi to charge at 6 amps and it will follow the excess from the solar panels as it increases but if the Zappi pauses the ID3 doesn't start again. It can be worked around with the Zappi in the right setting and a charger like the EO wouldn't have an issue as it doesn't stop the charge like the Zappi does but it depends on what you have in mind. The latest Kona and Niro also have issues the Zappi from what I've read.
 

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I think that you won't get UK user views on the Max or the Tour for at least three months.

Since I have never driven an i3 I can't help you there either. But I have had my poverty spec Life with heat pump for a month and can respond to a few of your points.

Acceleration is instant smooth and continuous up to all legal speeds. Plenty for the traffic light Derby, overtaking, joining motorways and accelerating out of trouble if needed. Not a Tesla, of course.

Steering is nicely weighted and responsive in my opinion at all speeds.

Can't comment on timers etc as I haven't used them. Similarly ACC and I'm beginning to find lane assist less objectionable as time goes by.

Your 160 mile round trips should be easily possible in all weathers with the 58KwH battery so I can't see that the Tour would be an advantage to you. Remember the disadvantages - only 4 seats and no Panoramic roof allowed.

Strikes me that you are comparing three very different sizes of car. i3 = mini, ID3 = medium hatchback and M3 = large saloon. Why?
 

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If Onto ever get the ID3, and once the software issues are all sorted, I would probably prefer it over the Kona due mainly to looks and RWD.

This video is a bit of fun (shame it doesn’t include the ID3 though)
 

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Bjorn’s acceleration test results. ID3 is quick off the mark thanks to RWD. The Kona here is on the crappy Nexen tyres though, which Hyundai no longer fit thankfully.
140075
 

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What I did discover today is that with Google Maps via Android Auto the directions come up on the screen behind the steering wheel so I would expect them to appear on the HUD as well.
No way! Ok, I may be a nerd, but this bit of info makes me very happy... :LOL: Someone else had mentioned it might be the case on another thread, but it sounded too good to be true. I really hope they’ve implemented it for Apple CarPlay too. And, if so, hope they’ve done it for Apple Maps as well as Google Maps.

Do the directions on the drivers display use the Google graphical design, or the VW design? Also, does the ID light notify you for turns when using Google Maps?

Thanks!
 

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I posted elsewhere about this, can give you my topline. I had an i3 for a year, and test drove the Niro, Kona, and the ID.3 with a view to change for a car with more range and more practicality. Didn't consider a Tesla because I don't like the "look at me" effect they have, and also don't like saloons - especially for dogs. I find sedans/saloons not very practical for an 'outdoorsy' life.

I have always thought that the i3 is: fast, fun, comfortable, deceptively spacious, amazing interior, great software.
  • The Niro is famously brilliant for range, as is the Kona. ID.3 is good - but those cars are renowned for having good range in all weathers.
  • The Niro, to me, felt like any SUV on the market. Buttons everywhere, screens everywhere. I found it too much like a rental car with lots of space that I didn't quite want.
  • The Kona, I liked the interior of, and thought it was tidy, minimalist, but not to the point of frustration. I also just felt it was really functional. The HUD is good.
  • The Niro drove like any SUV. I don't care for the 'soft' wallowy ride of SUVs, so it's not for me, but I can see someone liking it simply because it's like being in a nice cocoon.
  • The Kona drove like a little Polo GTI (aka Mk2 Golf)! Very fast off the mark and sticks like glue to the road. Seriously fun to drive.
  • The ID3 drove like a really nice VW - and I think that's the thing about it. It's just a really nice drive that feels familiar and planted, and balanced. It does go off the line nicely, although the Kona still felt nippier - but that might be that the seating position is lower in the Kona.
  • The ID3 out of all of them has the best size:space. I couldn't believe how big, and well designed the boot was, how spacious the front was, and even the rear seats. The Kona by comparison is a disappointment size wise in the rear and the boot, especially coming from an i3. The Niro is spacious but has so many ICE hangover design elements that it doesn't feel particularly impressive as a package.
  • The Kona - as it stands, is only 50KW charging and that killed it for me, as I want more charging speed when I do go for a rapid in Europe. I was also sure the Kona doesn't have a heat pump here, and the dealer said the same, but maybe I'm wrong. Again that swung it for me with the ID3 that does.

My conclusion in the end was an ID3 Tour because:
  • I wanted enough range to do a straight 190 mile run down south to relatives without stopping, almost guaranteed.
  • I wanted longer stints for drives in Europe, rather than lots of short stints.
  • I liked how understated it was and practical it was as a car.
  • It was big enough for a dog in the boot without it feeling cramped (Kona is really pushing it here)
  • It was fun to drive, and felt 'different' like the ID3 did inside.
But, I still left all cars thinking the I3 is the best car I've driven and been in, and would rather one of those with more range - and maybe sensible doors. Oh, the doors.
 

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Agree on the i3 being a good drive, although I was getting to the point of getting a bit fed up with the ride on the neglected UK roads. Over in France / Germany on their nicer roads it was lovely. An updated i3 with a bit more range, faster charging, better ACC, and some other tweaks would be great. BMW really took their eye of their ball unfortunately.

The Kona - as it stands, is only 50KW charging and that killed it for me, as I want more charging speed when I do go for a rapid in Europe. I was also sure the Kona doesn't have a heat pump here, and the dealer said the same, but maybe I'm wrong. Again that swung it for me with the ID3 that does.
The Kona will charge up to about 75kW on suitable chargers, up to about 56% (provided the battery is not too cold). I'm 99% sure all UK Konas, at least those currently available to order, have a heat pump as standard.
 

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I've just traded the i3 (owned it for 3 years) for an ID.3 and i have a model 3, I'll pop some comments in at some point but rammed with work at the moment
 
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  • The Kona - as it stands, is only 50KW charging and that killed it for me, as I want more charging speed when I do go for a rapid in Europe. I was also sure the Kona doesn't have a heat pump here, and the dealer said the same, but maybe I'm wrong. Again that swung it for me with the ID3 that does.

My conclusion in the end was an ID3 Tour because:
  • I wanted enough range to do a straight 190 mile run down south to relatives without stopping, almost guaranteed.
  • I wanted longer stints for drives in Europe, rather than lots of short stints.
Just out of interest (and because the big battery ID3 really appeals to me) I had a look to see how ABRP thinks it would compare to the Kona on a journey from London to the south of France, using only Ionity, at 20°C.

As expected, the 77kWh ID3 is quicker, but not all that much. 1h26m or 9.4% faster overall.

(Caveat is that perhaps the ABRP model for the ID3 is too conservative and will become more generous as more data becomes available)

Kona 64:
140100


ID3 77:
140101
 

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I’ve had a few Leafs, now an i3 and tried the ID.3 for a couple of hours so my 2p is as follows.

While the acceleration to 60 is similar on paper the i3 felt perkier, probably as it weighs over 500kg less - power to weight is a fair bit higher on the i3. The steering is also much quicker on the i3 and regen is much more aggressive (even when on max on the ID.3) - ID.3 feels pretty conventional to drive, the i3 more like a go kart!

Of course the ID.3 is vastly more practical, has a bigger battery a lots more tech. I can’t really comment on the latter as I didn’t have it long enough, and that’s obviously a moving feast with the ID.3 anyhow.

As a wild card how about the later i3 (42kWh)? The facelift model is meant to have a better ride and dependent on how fast your travel it should do your 160 mile trip most of the year, with a top up required in the colder weather. (presumably no charging at the destination?)
 

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I've had two i3's - most recently an i3S - which was a big step up in traction and ride.
We tried a Kona , and the handling and especially the traction was poor. It's FWD vs RWD and the latter always wins. Having said that the Mini electric is a lot of fun.
The interior of the Kona was quite a shock - so many chrome effect buttons. Yuk.
Kona range - that's a different league to the i3.
 

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Both great EVs and great cars - I would really like an i3S with more range, faster charging and updated driver assistance, particularly if I lived somewhere with well maintained roads. Kona is no where near as nice as an object, not 'special' like the i3, but the better option for longer trips.

 
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