Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8

BMW i3s (2021) front three-quarter view

  • Very roomy up-front for a small car
  • Small size makes it perfect for cities
  • Boot not very big though

How much space is there?

From behind the wheel this car feels huge, despite its four-seat-only capacity, and that’s down to a number of factors. The dashboard with its layered effect stretches far out in front of you to a heavily curved windscreen base – the glass itself almost oversized for a car of this stature – and even burly rugby-playing adults won’t rub shoulders.

There’s no transmission tunnel, adding to the spaciousness of the cabin. In the rear, things are a little less rosy. The rear-hinged rear doors make getting in and out easier, but there’s not really enough space for two adults to want to spend any decent amount of time in it.

The main issue is the lack of kneeroom, which limits available comfort. Headoom in the rear is acceptable, but again, probably not enough for anyone other than children or people taller than about 5ft 6in. Another factor worth mentioning for parents is that the rear doors can’t be opened unless the front ones are first.

BMW i3s (2021) rear seats

Boot space and storage

Luggage-wise there’s a small space under the ‘bonnet’ at the front, and the hatchback at the rear reveals 260 litres of space. It’s not a very big boot, owing to the batteries stowed beneath the floor, but it’s the same space in all versions of the i3, irrespective of whether you’ve got the Range Extender engine or not.

If that’s not enough, folding the rear seats liberates a further 840 litres, bringing the total capacity up to 1,100 litres. It is very easy to flop the back seats forwards to extend the luggage space – they don’t fold flat, but you can easily accommodate a big box such as a dog crate with the seats folded.

BMW i3s (2021) boot space, seats up

Is it easy to park?

The BMW i3 is a surprisingly compact car, at a whisker over 4.0 metres long. That’s bang-on supermini size, yet it’s quite wide from mirror to mirror, which is how BMW manages to squeeze in so much interior passenger space.

The i3 is easy to park owing to its upright stance, good view out and those perky dimensions. You can order acoustic parking sensors front and rear as part of the Park Distance Control option for you could go the full hog and order the Reversing Assist Camera, but we’d question the need.

How big is it?

  All BMW i3 models
Length  4,011mm
Width (without mirrors)  1,775mm
Width (with mirrors)  2,039mm
Height  1,578mm

View full specs

Safety

  • Euro NCAP test result no longer current
  • Let down by lack of driver aids
  • Carbonfibre tech will help in a crash

The BMW i3 achieved a four-star crash-test rating back in 2013, which means that it shouldn’t be treated as valid any longer. According to Euro NCAP, the absence of speed recognition technology, rear seatbelt warning and a poor result in pedestrian safety is where the i3 lets itself down.

Don’t think that doesn’t make the i3 a safe car – it has stability control and six airbags, but to get the latest features, such as the Driving Assistant Plus with its adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking (AEB) and traffic sign recognition,you’ll need to pay extra. That means the i3 lags behind all of its rivals in terms of active safety prevention technology.

How many Isofix points are there?

There are two Isofix attachments in the rear seats of a BMW i3. With rear-hinged back doors, it’s quite easy to fit child seats to keep your kids safe.

Watch: BMW i3 Euro NCAP crash test

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the BMW i3 (13-22).

  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Cruise control
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Heated seats
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Air conditioning
  • CD
  • CD Multichanger
  • Central locking
  • Cloth seat trim
  • DVD
  • Headlight washers
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment

Standard Trim equipment

Standard Trim standard equipment
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Parking sensors
Standard Trim optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • CD
  • Central locking
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Headlight washers
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Leather seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment

Fluid Grey Edition equipment

Fluid Grey Edition standard equipment
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Air conditioning
  • Headlight washers
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Remote locking
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
Fluid Grey Edition optional equipment
  • CD
  • Central locking
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim

Inspired by Mr Porter equipment

Inspired by Mr Porter standard equipment
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Air conditioning
  • CD Multichanger
  • DVD
  • Headlight washers
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Remote locking
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
Inspired by Mr Porter optional equipment
  • CD
  • Central locking
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim

S equipment

S standard equipment
Same as basic equipment
S optional equipment
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Air conditioning
  • Central locking
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Headlight washers
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
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Euro NCAP Rating – 4 stars

The BMW i3 (13-22) was tested by Euro NCAP in 2013 and was awarded a 4 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

4 star rating
Test 2013
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 86%
Child Occupant: 81%
Vulnerable Road Users: 57%
Safety Assist: 55%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.