Each variations of the i4 are powered by a 83.9-kilowatt-hour battery pack, of which 81.5 kWh is definitely usable. The i4 can settle for DC quick charging at speeds as much as 200 kW, which suggests it is theoretically doable to deliver the battery from a 10% state of cost to 80% in about 30 minutes. Plugged right into a Stage 2 outlet, the i4 costs at 11 kW, so it takes simply over eight hours to totally replenish the battery. Not unhealthy — each of those charging speeds are on the higher facet of aggressive for compact EVs.
The place the 2 i4s differ probably the most is energy output. With its single-motor, rear-wheel-drive setup, the bottom i4 eDrive40 produces 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, permitting this 4,680-pound sedan to dash to 60 mph in a good 5.5 seconds — faster than a single-motor Tesla Mannequin 3. The twin-motor i4 M50, in the meantime, presents a extra substantial 536 hp and 568 lb-ft, and consequently, is sort of 2 seconds faster within the 0-to-60 run, regardless of a 338-pound weight penalty.
Curiously, regardless of the substantial efficiency disparity, the i4s’ EPA-estimated driving ranges aren’t wildly dissimilar. With its base 18-inch wheels, the i4 eDrive40 is anticipated to go 301 miles on a full cost, whereas the i4 M50 with 19-inch wheels ought to do 270. Within the grand scheme of issues — particularly for folk who cost on the common — 31 miles is not a make-or-break distinction.
All of this would appear to make a case towards the i4 eDrive40, however there’s brilliance on this base mannequin. The eDrive40’s efficiency specs are much like that of the gas-fed 430i Gran Coupe; the EV is a bit more highly effective, and because of this, barely faster. The chassis is splendidly balanced, snug sufficient to deal with Los Angeles’ often nasty metropolis streets however taut sufficient to make the i4 entertaining on a canyon street. The naturally low middle of gravity afforded by the battery pack helps right here, too, as do the elective Adaptive M suspension’s electronically adjustable dampers that allow you choose a stiffer journey for higher dealing with.
On prime of that, with solely two pushed wheels, the i4 eDrive40 feels a bit extra playful than the M50, even when it is not as highly effective. The eDrive40 has a slower digital energy steering ratio than the M50 — 15.5:1 in comparison with 14.1:1 — however the wheel itself is properly weighted and turn-in is a lot fast and progressive, particularly in comparison with the M50, which may often really feel just a little darty.
The curved show is what separates the i4’s inside from different Four Sequence fashions.
Dwelling with an i4 eDrive40, I by no means discover myself wishing I had extra energy. All EVs pull laborious beneath preliminary acceleration due to quick electrical torque, and there is sufficient supplemental increase out there at larger speeds to make freeway passing a breeze. Is the i4 M50 extra enjoyable to drive? Positive, in fact. However as a every day driver, the eDrive40’s stability, composure and total deal with journey consolation makes it a peach. I do not suppose I might ever want greater than this.
Each i4 fashions include a full suite of energetic and passive security tech, together with full-speed adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision warning and computerized emergency braking. You too can splurge on the Driving Help Skilled Package deal ($1,700) to get BMW’s Prolonged Site visitors Jam Assistant that enables for hands-free steering help at speeds as much as 40 mph on choose roadways. A $700 Parking Help Package deal with a 360-degree digicam system is obtainable, as nicely.
Cabin tech is dealt with by BMW’s new iDrive eight software program, sprawled out on a big, curved show that spans throughout two-thirds of the dashboard. This single housing incorporates a 14.9-inch digital gauge cluster and 12.3-inch central infotainment display screen, with colourful, high-res graphics and tremendous fast responses to instructions. I will admit, the iDrive eight menu construction is just a little overwhelming at first — the principle dwelling web page is awash with small tiles for varied capabilities — but it surely simply takes some getting used to. Homeowners must be fantastic after the preliminary studying curve. Plus, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are customary, so be happy to let your smartphone do the heavy lifting as soon as you’ve got arrange all of your normal preferences.
The liftback form makes the i4 fairly purposeful.
As a result of the i4 is sort of actually an electrical Four Sequence, it does not have any of the wild new inside design options present in BMW’s different new EV, the iX. It actually is only a Four Sequence Gran Coupe with some blue trim accents and that fancy new curved show, so the general design is acquainted, if a bit boring. Artificial and actual leather-based upholstery choices can be found in a variety of colours, and the rear seats aren’t truly all that cramped, regardless of the sloping roofline of the Gran Coupe physique model.
There is a hidden profit to the Gran Coupe form, too. In contrast to, say, a Tesla Mannequin 3, the BMW i4 shouldn’t be a sedan with a standard trunk — it makes use of a liftback design that makes the rear cargo maintain immensely extra purposeful. In its customary configuration, there’s simply 10 cubic ft of area behind the rear seats, however fold them flat and you’ve got 45.5 cubic ft of usable area — a determine that rivals many compact crossovers, to not point out the electrical Polestar 2.
Talking of which, the Polestar is arguably the i4’s closest rival, however the Tesla Mannequin Three is a formidable competitor, too. At $56,395 (together with $995 for vacation spot however excluding any potential tax credit), the i4 eDrive40 is dearer than these single-motor rivals, but it surely has a higher-quality inside and a greater loadout of cabin tech. Furthermore, the eDrive40 proves you needn’t spend an additional $10,500 for the M50 to get a nice-driving, well-rounded i4.