A DRIVER who tested a major brand’s Tesla-rivaling electric vehicle has pointed out two irritating features that detract from the car’s excellent quality.
Tim Levin tried out the £54,000 engine and was largely impressed, but couldn’t help but feel it could be a bit better.
Write for insiderTim enjoyed a week with the “sporty and stylish” BMW i4 and came away with a smile on his face.
He drove a slightly more powerful version of the car loaned to him by Beemer, while the base model starts at around £41,000.
That’s around £10,000 more expensive than the cheapest Tesla, the rear-wheel drive Model 3, but is about the same price as the “performance” trim of the same model.
Tim praised the “familiarity” of BMW’s layout, saying it “feels little different” to the manufacturer’s combustion engine models.
However, he considered this a “double-edged sword” as the emphasis on continuity meant the i4 lacked some of the quirky and ingenious features that many owners love about electric cars.
He wrote: “An affordable package means the i4 misses out on some of the features that make electric vehicles so unique.”
“For example, BMW could have made room for a front trunk since there is no engine under the hood.
“Competitors like the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3 offer practical storage space up there. But BMW decided against it.”
Tim also mentioned the “hump” between the rear seats, which in a conventional car is usually there to accommodate the transmission system, but in the i4 it just restricts passenger legroom.
Secondly, he also had problems with the regenerative braking system.
This futuristic technology allows electric vehicles to restore their charge during automatic braking by using the rotational power of the wheels to generate small amounts of electricity.
All the driver has to do is take their foot off the accelerator and the car will slow down while charging until it comes to a stop.
In the i4, Tim explained, the system reacts to your surroundings, meaning it brakes more aggressively when it detects an obstacle or a curve, but is coasting on an empty, straight road.
Although this was a “good idea,” he felt it made braking too unpredictable and left the driver “in the dark.”
Nonetheless, Tim was happy with the car and felt it more than lived up to BMW’s claim as the “ultimate driving machine.”
He added: “Thanks to its safe handling, breathtaking speed and agile steering, the sports sedan is incredibly fun to drive around the corners.”
“It feels sturdy and wraps you in high-quality materials.
“Similar to the Polestar 2 it competes with, the i4 features a hatch instead of a traditional boot, meaning you get some extra vertical space for bulky cargo.”
In particular, he cited build quality as a key selling point over the Model 3, which he said doesn’t offer the same level of luxury.
BMW declined to comment.
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This comes after a major brand announced it would launch an “affordable electric vehicle” as many customers are priced out of the electric market.
Meanwhile, Google unveiled the world’s first AI car – and it doesn’t have a steering wheel.