Home » I Almost Bought The Holy Grail Of BMW i3s But It’s Expensive And I Need You To Convince Me I Made The Right Call Because I’m Still On The Fence

I Almost Bought The Holy Grail Of BMW i3s But It’s Expensive And I Need You To Convince Me I Made The Right Call Because I’m Still On The Fence

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$22 grand. That’s a LOT of money. Way, way, way too much money to spend on a car. Right? I mean, the most I’ve ever spent on a car is $10,500, and I had to breathe into a paper bag while the transaction was going through. It was awful, but it paid off, because I love my i3 with all my heart. But now there’s another i3 on the horizon — the Holy Grail of i3s. It’s called the i3S, and it’s got me completely obsessed right now, and I need you all to help me snap out of it

I own a 2014 BMW i3. It’s the best car I’ve ever owned. I love it dearly. BUT, I worry, because as I fall more and more in love with my little Bavarian range-extended EV, I realize its days are numbered. After all, when I bought it in 2023 with 135,000 miles on its odometer, the high-voltage battery was toast, and only through a loophole was I able to get it replaced. That loophole ends after 150,000 miles, which means that when my battery does go the way of the Dodo, it’ll be on me to replace it. That could cost me tens of thousands of dollars.

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Yes, that’s probably a decade out, but combine that nagging concern with my hatred of using gasoline (trust me, if you own an i3, you understand that the range-extender coming on means you lost), and I find myself wishing for a newer-model i3 with a better, higher-range battery. The 2017 and 2018 i3 models come with a 94Ah battery battery rated for up to 524,000 miles! Those also go about 100 miles per charge, while mine does about 70.

I guess I could try to swap one of those into my i3 sometime down the road. OR I could buy a newer i3 right now — ideally the 2019 and up model with an even bigger battery than that 524,000 miles one — 120Ah. That’s twice the size of my i3’s battery, and it should get the car about 125 miles per charge.


Having a bit more range means I’d basically never use the range extender (I think I drive about 70 miles a month on the Rex right now), and it means I could keep this car for probably 30 years, because even if the battery degraded to 50 percent, it’d offer about as much range as my current i3 (it’s a bit heavier, so it’d be a little worse than a new 60Ah model, but you get the idea). It could be my “forever car,” so to speak.

Anyway, I’ve been on the hunt for 2019 i3s for a while now, and I found this one, and it’s no ordinary i3:

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That, my dear friends, is an i3S, where “S” stands for “sport.” It’s slightly more powerful, quicker, and has a sportier traction control system than the standard i3. In truth, per online forumgoers who own an i3S, the “S” should stand for “stable,” because the wider track and wider tires apparently let the i3S track down the road with more confidence and with less propensity to get thrown around by wind or cracks in the road. It’s really not that sporty, per what I’ve read, but it’s more planted on the road and it looks awesome. It probably gives up a bit of range due to the wider bodywork, and the 20-inch wheels probably require pricier tires than my i3’s 19s, but I mean, look at this thing. It’s badass!

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This is unquestionably the Holy Grail of BMW i3s. It’s the best model-year, with the best exterior color (white on black is known as the “Panda” i3), and it’s got the best interior:

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But it’s $22,000. Add taxes and a $2000 delivery fee, and we’re talking $26 grand! If I chose to pay it off over three years, that’d put it at 30 grand after interest. That’s almost three times what my i3 cost!

I can’t do it. But I want to; I want the ultimate i3 that I can drive for the next 30 years — there’s something about knowing your car has a shelf-life that really sucks; at least with other gas-cars I know they can do 250,000 miles and 50 years if I maintain them properly. Then again, who knows what will happen in the future. I could get the new car and immediately get rear-ended, battery technology could become 100% better than it is now, NACS chargers could go away, and on and on.

But I’m not sure why I’m trying to apply logic, here? Buying this car would not be logical. It’s just a car that I want. But I can’t.


But I want it.

But really, I can’t do it.


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11 days ago

Dude, you are talking me into one of these. Is there any way to fit road bike into it without removing more than the front wheel? I wouldn’t want to use a roof rack on such an aero dependent vehicle.

Michael Han
Michael Han
2 days ago
Reply to  HooDooGuru

With the seats down I am able to fit my road bike in my i3 with just the front wheel removed

12 days ago

Do you know how many jeeps you could buy w/ that amount?! A lot!

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