bmw i3 reliability

BMW i3 Reliability: Problems, Pros & Cons

When it comes to electric vehicles there is limited information simply because they are still relatively new to the market. The BMW i3 is the first fully electric vehicle by BMW first launched in 2012 and quickly gained popularity among Bimmer fans who like EVs.

BMW i3 is my favorite model due to the standard stability control, six airbags, and robust carbon fiber bodywork, and solid construction design.

The BMW i3 reliability score is 6.8 out of 10 based on reliability, performance, safety, interior design, and critics; rating. The score makes the i3 model a decent vehicle for driving in urban and suburban settings.

But the score is more of a predicted reliability rating since it depends on the past three years of historical data. I wrote this article to provide detailed insights into the BMW i3’s reliability and other vital factors.

How Reliable is the BMW i3?

What Is BMW i3 Reliability? The BMW i3 reliability is the evaluation of car performance, safety features, interior design, and critics’ ratings. These concrete research and data elements show that the BMW i3 reliability score is about 6.8 out of 10.

The BMW i3 model has fewer moving parts than its counterparts. These components make the i3 more reliable and easy to maintain though the running costs are higher than the other models.

My favorite thing about the model is the eight-year and 100,000-mile warranty of the lithium-battery pack. It helps reduce the servicing bills to match other internal-combustion engine cars.

But the BMW i3s reliability varies depending on the different model year. Modern models have advanced features ideal for improving performance and safety. These high-tech facilities make the vehicle more reliable due to the better reliability ratings.

What Makes BMW i3 Reliable?

The i3 model is among the first electric vehicles from the BMW brand. The model has been around for about a decade and has received lots of love from many BMW enthusiasts. Here are the factors that make the BMW i3 reliable:

Strong lithium-ion Battery

The Battery that you find on a BMW i3 is known to last 3-5 years without any major issues and overall the battery is solid and less prone to failure


The BMW i3 has an excellent performance score compared to other models since many people appreciate the ride quality, handling, acceleration, and braking experience. These performance features contribute to vehicle reliability ratings.

Interior Design

The overall interior design score rating for BMW i3 is about 6.5 out of 10. The styling, cargo space, comfort features, and build quality make these BMW models reliable.

The interior score also plays a crucial role in determining the reliability rating since it comes from customers’ driving experience.

Energy Consumption

Energy consumption is a performance score component since it comprises a combination of MPG estimates and automatic transmission. The i3 can handle daily commuting requirements since it has a 190-mile range from its lithium-battery pack.

Common BMW i3 Problems

Many car enthusiasts find satisfaction in driving BMW i3 vehicles. But the excellent reliability ratings do not make i3 cars invincible to problems. Here are the most common BMW i3 problems:

Rex Problems

BMW i3 cars use an auxiliary power unit (APU) to extend the mile range and get the driver to the next charging point. The system only kicks in when the battery drops below 5 percent to act as a power backup.

But many people have experienced a lot of problems with their range extender systems installed on the earliest models. The system failure usually interferes with car acceleration while switching to a gasoline engine from the battery power.

I recommend visiting reputable and authorized BMW dealers to fix the range extender problem though it is expensive. Another option is to consult an independent technician with BMW repair experience for an affordable price.

Airbags Problem

The airbags problem is prevalent among the earliest BMW i3 models due to inappropriate assembling of the internal components. The fault can make the airbags not deploy during a low-speed collision.

If you notice this problem with your BMW i3, visit the dealer service station for early fixing. But this airbag problem is limited to the front seats and not the rear seats.

Steering Complications

BMW i3 hatchback has a compact stature that facilitates easy maneuvering. But the steering is highly vulnerable to becoming stiff and producing a squeaking noise while turning. Inspect the steering to determine the root cause and fix it.

Slow-Charging Problems

Many drivers rarely inspect the car charging settings to speed up by switching to the maximum rate. Failure to check the AC and standard charging cable will cause slow charging. Besides that, the i3 chargers are vulnerable to becoming faulty. Consider buying a new charger though it will be expensive.

BMW i3 Positives & Negatives


  • Low running costs
  • Excellent reliability ratings
  • Small-size suitable for the city drive experience
  • High-tech facilities and features for safety measures


  • Small cargo space
  • A bit pricey since it is an EV
  • Not suitable for long distances drive

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