Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8

BMW i3s (2021) rear view

Should you buy one?

If we were being coldly objective, the answer has to be no. There are many more capable electric cars that go further, cost less and fit your family in more easily for the money. But for many, the i3’s appeal transcends rational factors such as this, and as a second car, limited to commuting, it still offers a lot of appeal, thanks to its unconventional styling and posh, well-made interior.

But in reality, newer rivals such as the Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric and the Volkswagen ID.3 are much better bets, offering significantly better battery range, newer technology, and considerably better packaging.

However, good leasing and PCP deals do come up regularly, lessening the sting of its high list price, making the i3 a whole lot more competitive. When that happens, and presented with a monthly price of less than £300, the idea of getting hold of one of these well-made, good-to-drive electric cars suddenly looks a whole lot more appealing.

What we like

The i3’s interior has a lot going for it, as long as you’re not going to be carrying rear-seat passengers regularly. It looks good, the infotainment system works really well, and those funky rear doors are a conversation starter. It’s also perfectly sized for cities, is good to see out of, and perfect for ducking and diving in traffic.

The steering and handling are also great fun, making this a car to put a real smile on your face during the daily commute.

What we don’t like

It’s expensive (unless you can find a good deal), and cramped for any more than two people. The relatively small battery leaves it with a range that lags behind all of its rivals – and most tellingly for us, its poor ride quality leaves its an uncomfortable proposition for all but the smoothest roads.

In short, although it’s likeable, there are better places to spend your hard-earned money on an electric car.

Dealwatch special

Our leasing partner, ZenAuto is offering BMW i3s from  per month. The usual terms and conditions apply.

View deal

Further reading

Find out more about all electric cars here