BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

BMW I4

The electric vehicle division of the German automaker makes a successful comeback to the market
BMW’s electrified automobiles, from the i3 to the i8, are innovative. The new i4 will compete with the Tesla Model 3 and Audi e-tron GT. This low-slung four-door is a more stylish alternative to the popular American EV. The BMW i4 sets new norms in user-friendliness and long-distance adaptability with up to 600 km of electric range.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

BMW i4 specifications

BatteryBattery 80.0 kWhElectric Range 600 km (WLTP)
PerformanceAcceleration (0-100 km / h) 4.0 secondsTop Speed 200+ km / hPower 523bhp
MiscellaneousBody SedanDoors 4

When driven, the 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 appears to be the same as any other 4 Series vehicle. One of the automaker’s best-selling vehicles is a four-door sedan that draws attention with its enormous kidney grilles and slim roofline. There is a good reason for this. The electric vehicle (EV) version of the car is the result of the automaker’s efforts to design a platform that is capable of accommodating a variety of powertrains. The vehicle has the appearance of a German sedan. Except for this, the best of the 4 Series is this.

Even though there is a continued push for electric SUVs, not all drivers are interested in riding in an elevated position and toting around additional weight. The Tesla Model 3, the Mercedes EQE, and the Polestar 2 are three automobiles that are legitimate adversaries for the BMW sedan. All of these automobiles are vying for the attention of the buyer of a midlevel luxury vehicle, who most likely wants something that is either a little bit more exciting than an SUV or at the very least something unique.

The I4 does not telegraph its electric underpinnings on the road, in contrast to its rivals in this market segment.

On the road, the electric foundations of the i4 are not immediately obvious, in contrast to those of its rivals. If one does not examine the badging in great detail, it appears to be just another 4 Series. Yes, the unnecessary kidney grille takes up a significant amount of space in front of the vehicle. However, if you get past that (both physically and psychologically), the i4 is a slick sedan with a coupe roofline that looks magnificent and belies its own dimensions. This is because the i4 was designed to seem like a coupe.

EVOLVING PLATFORMS

The BMW i4 and the even more cutting-edge BMW iX electric SUV are both members of the second generation of BMW’s electric vehicles (EVs). After many years of promising to produce an architecture that would tolerate numerous powertrains, BMW has successfully accomplished this goal using their own proprietary technology. In spite of the widespread presumption that this makes the i4 an inferior electric vehicle (EV), the German manufacturer managed to pull off something that can only be described as truly remarkable. While achieving outstanding fuel economy, the BMW i4 handles and performs like a genuine BMW sports sedan. All of this was accomplished in a box that, back at the manufacturer, might have had little trouble being fitted with a gasoline engine.

BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

The manufacturer of automobiles has already begun making preparations for the next phase of the evolution of its electric vehicles. The name given to the third phase is the Neue Klasse. It is anticipated that the first electric car built on the specialized platform would hit the market in the year 2025. A year earlier than that, the carmaker intends to have a dozen fully electric vehicles on the road globally by the year 2023. These will include electric versions of the 5 Series and the X1 compact SUV.

SPECS BE DAMNED TOURING EV

The BMW i4 gives the impression of being a grand tourer when driven on the open road. Thankfully, it has enough fuel capacity for the majority of car trips. The EPA estimates that the four-door sedan’s battery will last for 301 miles when it is equipped with wheels measuring 18 inches. The EPA estimates that the reduced range of 282 miles is due to the larger 19-inch wheels that were equipped on the review car that the manufacturer made available to us. The range of a vehicle is often decreased when larger wheels are used.

The I4 offered a total driving distance of 303 miles.

In my real-world range test, which consisted of 50 miles of driving at 70 miles per hour on the interstate and 50 miles of driving on backroads and in suburban areas, the i4 provided a total range of 303 miles. That is an increase of 21 miles in comparison to the anticipated range provided by the EPA.

The battery pack itself has a gross capacity of 83.9 kilowatt hours (kWh), and it has a capacity of 81.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) that the vehicle can use on a daily basis.

BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

According to BMW, even though the vehicle is situated on a platform that can handle 400 volts, it can still accept up to 200 kW of power when it is charged via DC fast charging. Again surpassing expectations, the BMW i4 was able to charge at a rate of 210 kW when we put it through its paces.

It does not recharge its battery as quickly as the Tesla Model 3, which can reach a maximum output of 250 kW. However, it can charge more quickly than the Polestar 2 and the Mercedes EQE, which both have charge rates of 155 kW and 170 kW, respectively. The BMW i4 doesn’t wow with charging rates like the Tesla and offerings from Kia and Hyundai; however, it does combine better than anticipated range and charge rates that should squelch any road trip anxieties. Sitting solidly in the middle of the pack, the BMW i4 doesn’t wow with charging rates like the Tesla and offerings from Kia and Hyundai.

The onboard charger is capable of level 2 AC charging at up to 11 kW when the vehicle is parked at home. According to BMW, the charging period from zero to one hundred percent will take approximately 8.25 hours, which is more than sufficient time for the i4 to be ready to go first thing in the morning.

SMART SPORTS SEDAN

BMW, a luxury German company that places a primary emphasis on the enjoyment that its customers get out of their time behind the wheel, takes great satisfaction in the fact that it creates the “ultimate driving machine.” It takes the “sports” part of sports sedan seriously, and the i4 is proof that BMW wants you to be engaged even with an electric vehicle like the i4. Although it comes in two different flavors, I decided to go with the i4 eDrive40 rather than the more performance-oriented i4 M50. The i4 M50 is the first M-branded electric vehicle produced by the carmaker.

I’ve had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive M50, and let me tell you, it absolutely lives up to the M tradition with 536 horsepower and a time of 3.7 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. However, the majority of drivers will find that the eDrive40 provides an enjoyable driving experience even without the addition of a second motor.

THE EDRIVE40 PROVIDES A FANTASTIC DRIVING EXPERIENCE IN SPITE OF THE ABSENCE OF A SECOND MOTOR FOR ADDITIONAL POWER.

The rear-wheel-drive i4 has 335 horsepower and can reach 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds. While these numbers aren’t record-breaking, they are more than adequate to handle approximately 95 percent of all driving circumstances. The base price of the eDrive40 model is $55,400, while the base price of the M50 variation is $65,900.

On the highway, the i4 eDrive40 might not have the same raw power as the M50, but when put into Sport mode, it is a delight to drive on winding roads. It is possible to have oversteer with a rear-wheel-drive configuration, particularly if the traction control system has been disabled. The steering is precise and well-focused, and the suspension smooths out the majority of the road irregularities. Although the weight of the battery pack becomes noticeable when really pushing the vehicle into corners, the BMW engineers have done an outstanding job of limiting the influence that it has on the vehicle’s handling.

BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

The ride in regular mode is more composed both on the highway and in the city, making it acceptable for driving in normal conditions on a daily basis. Although it is not quite as smooth as what is offered on the Mercedes EQE, it does serve to bring to the attention of the driver the fact that this is a high-end luxury sports sedan.

The acceleration noises were produced by Hans Zimmer, and I really enjoy them. It sounds like a combination of a spaceship and a low-end-heavy V8 engine, almost as if ET’s parents had picked him up in a BMW M8. If drivers would like not to be bombarded with phony motor noises, they have the option to turn it off and enjoy the peace and quiet that can only be obtained from an electric vehicle.

Most of the time, braking is a hit. Even after a number of stops at high speeds, the i4’s brakes never became less effective when operating in the standard recuperative braking mode. The feel of the brakes is consistent, and there is none of the feedback wackiness that I experienced in the Mercedes EQS. It provides consistent feedback throughout the duration that your foot is on the pedal. While slowing down, the system is able to recuperate up to 116 kW of power and send it back to the battery, which contributes to the vehicle’s range of more than 300 miles.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE “ADAPTIVE ENERGY RECUPERATION,” THAT’S WHEN THINGS START TO GET WEIRD.

The part called “Adaptive Energy Recuperation” is where things start to get strange. BMW has devised a new mechanism that operates in addition to the conventional degrees of recuperative braking. It functions in a manner quite similar to that of adaptive cruise control in the sense that it decides the amount of recuperative braking to apply based on the conditions of the road.

When you are the only vehicle on the road, the recuperative braking system should be adjusted to a setting that is somewhere between light and medium. In the event that you are following another vehicle, the rate at which you recover accelerates. Additionally, navigation data is used by the system to modify the brakes in such a way that tighter turns result in more recovery. In principle, it looks like a good approach to make adjustments to the regenerative braking system on the fly that are appropriate for a wide variety of situations. In point of fact, I discovered that it lacked predictability.

Although it would always increase the amount of braking power behind vehicles, there were times when it would do so while rounding a bend in a congested residential neighborhood where there was a vehicle parked beside the road. When driving on routes with a lot of twists and turns, it was also difficult to estimate how much braking would be necessary. After a few of days, I changed over to regenerative braking on a regular basis.

BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

It’s possible that this will turn out to be a fantastic system in the not-too-distant future as the software improves, but for the time being, all it did was give drivers a feeling of unease behind the wheel, which was never truly threatening but was largely just bothersome.

However, BMW’s driver aid package remains to be impressive when traveling on highways. The lane-keeping helper was responsible for maintaining the vehicle’s center of gravity and driving in the appropriate lane in close proximity to exit ramps without drifting off the highway. The i4’s adaptive cruise control allowed it to keep up with the pace of the vehicles that were in front of it. When another vehicle would cut into the lane, the BMW would gradually slow down without applying any panic brakes, and if the tracked vehicle pulled into the next lane, the i4 would gradually speed up in order to establish speed in proportion to the traffic around it. That is to say, it did not mash down on the gas pedal in an effort to climb back up to the permitted speed.

THE HANDS-FREE TRAFFIC The Jam Assistant Function is comparable to what GM is providing with the Super Cruise function.

The hands-free Traffic Jam Assistant function comes very close to matching what GM is delivering with their Super Cruise feature when it comes to navigating around traffic jams. The BMW system is restricted to divided highways and enables drivers to go at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour without using their hands. The driver is still responsible for maintaining control of the vehicle, and an in-car monitoring system follows the driver’s head and eyes to ensure that they are paying attention to the road. This camera is not for fooling around, and if you think you can use this opportunity to mess around with the infotainment system, you should prepare ready for the vehicle to reprimand you for your behavior.

THE SAME ON THE INSIDE OF IT ALL

In the same way as with the exterior, there is very little indication that the BMW i4 is an electric vehicle until you get inside. Once more, this is because of the modular architecture that BMW uses. It’s possible that this was a car fueled by gas. In point of fact, there are remnants of that platform, complete with the tunnel running through its center. That is normally where the transmission as well as the driveshaft will be found in a vehicle. Even though it’s not actually necessary in an EV, the feature is still included.

Putting that peculiarity to the side, the fact that there are no truly distinctive EV design flourishes demonstrates that BMW did not attempt to incorporate technology only for the sake of including technology. It’s ideal when things perform as advertised without surprising the user with a novel or interesting approach to completing a simple job. In particular, I’m thinking of the additional button that must be pressed on the Volkswagen ID 4 in order to operate the rear window controls.

BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

The current iteration of BMW’s infotainment system, iDrive 8, is shown on a touchscreen measuring 14.9 inches and located front and center. There have been some changes made to the user interface, and there are now more panels available on the homescreen. There was very minimal to almost no latency experienced whether swiping left and right or launching functions. Everything started off very fast and with very little commotion.

BMW has also improved its voice assistant, which will come in handy for drivers who would rather retain both hands on the wheel. In most cases, the questions that were asked were answered with the appropriate information. The directions, activating features, adjusting the climate controls, and navigating to the radio stations were all taken care of with less faults than some of the other systems currently available on the market. If you aren’t in the mood to say “BMW” every time you want to plug in an address with your voice, you have the option to modify the wake word to something else of your choosing. This is a fun feature that is also available.

In addition to support for Apple CarPlay, BMW now also works with Android Auto.

There is some encouraging news coming out of Germany for individuals who would prefer utilize their mobile devices. In addition to Apple CarPlay, BMW now supports the Android Auto interface. Support for Android Auto was omitted from the vehicle manufacturer’s infotainment system for a long time, but as of recently, it is now prepared to accommodate your Android-based lifestyle. Both smartphone platforms have the capability of supporting wireless connectivity.

If the destination is further than the capacity of the battery’s current state of charge, Apple Maps will begin surfacing nearby charging stations later this year. The turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps will appear in the displays of vehicles with Android operating systems as though they were the turn-by-turn directions from the native navigation system.

When it comes to the remaining portions of the cabin, the materials are precisely what one would anticipate from BMW: excellent without being excessively flashy or showy. Both the front and the back seats offered a level of comfort that was satisfactory. The side bolsters on the front seats are just the right amount, so they won’t squeeze your sides too tightly while still keeping you firmly planted in your seat even in the most intense driving situations. Anyone seated in the front seats should have enough of room for their head and legs. Taller passengers may have a more difficult time finding a comfortable position in the back of the vehicle.

BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

As a result of the coupe design, the trunk of the vehicle is in the form of a hatchback, which is convenient when you need to transport items. This is usually an improvement because it makes it easier to get heavy objects into the car and having a larger opening makes this possible. The space in the trunk is equal to 10 cubic feet. That is significantly less space than what is provided by the cargo area of the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2. In spite of this, it is more than sufficient for a long weekend for two to three people or for a trip to the grocery shop once per week. However, individuals who are looking for additional space are probably also considering purchasing an SUV.

BETTER THAN EXPECTED

Everyone enjoys a surprise. Well, most people adore a surprise. The BMW i3 was a nifty little car, but its primary purpose was not to fulfill the promise of becoming the ultimate driving machine. Rather, its primary mission was to demonstrate the viability of the electric vehicle concept. It was wonderful to me, but many people hated it with a passion.

BMW I4 REVIEW: WELL ABOVE WHAT I EXPECTED

In its next performance, I anticipated BMW would make enhancements to its compact electric vehicle for the city. The manner in which it accomplished this immediately pleased me, and it well exceeded any sports sedan expectations I had. The only way the i4 was able to continue to outperform expectations was by exceeding its estimated range and charging faster than was claimed.

The German manufacturer of automobiles created the electric vehicle (EV) version of the ultimate driving machine, which is also superior to the conventional gasoline-powered 4 Series. The BMW i4 is an excellent look into the future of BMW, provided that one can get beyond the big kidney grille and disable the adaptive regenerative braking system.


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