A More Affordable EV: the BMW i4 eDrive35
The BMW i4 is one of our favorite new electric cars thanks to its combination of sleek styling, excellent BMW handling, and attractive pricing. Currently available in rear-wheel drive eDrive40 and powerful all-wheel drive M50i versions, the i4 is about to get even more attractive and affordable. The brand has just announced the 2023 i4 eDrive35, a new entry-level model priced at an MSRP of $51,400.
BMW i4 eDrive35: Power and Range
The BMW i4 eDrive35 is powered by the same fifth-generation eDrive technology found in the other i4 models and the BMW iX. In the i4 eDrive35, the single rear-mounted electric motor is fed by a 66-kWh high-voltage battery – slightly smaller than the 80.7-kWh battery in the eDrive 40. EPA-estimated range is 260 miles – still more than adequate for day-to-day use. In comparison, the i4 eDrive40 has an EPA-estimated range of 310 miles, and the more-powerful M50 has 270 miles of estimated range.
From a power perspective, the i4 eDrive35 delivers 281 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, which results in an estimated 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds – enough to keep pace with many sports cars. The rear-drive i4 eDrive40 has 340 hp, and the i4 M50 has 543 hp from its twin electric motors. Fast-charging capability for the eDrive35 is 180 kW – a bit down on the 250-kW charging the higher-end models are capable of, but then again, the battery is smaller, and on the right charger, going from 10 to 80 per cent takes just 32 minutes.
Technology and Safety
While the i4 eDrive35 is down on range and power from the i4 eDrive40, it does not sacrifice any of that car’s technology. Standard and optional equipment for the eDrive40 and eDrive35 is actually identical – including the 18-inch aero wheels, blue exterior accents, and the high-tech interior with dramatic twin-screen curved display uniting a 14.9-inch instrument cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment screen.
Arguably, BMW is the leader in terms of making their technology usable. The i4 still features a good number of physical controls. While touch operation is available, there’s still the circular iDrive knob on the console along with many physical buttons, which are far easier to use when on the move.
Active safety features include lane departure warning, pre-collision braking, and a battery of parking assistants with multiple cameras that even let you see the car from a floating perspective as you reverse into a tight spot. Naturally, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, as is a wireless charging pad for your phone in front of the big cupholders. There is excellent space up front, fantastic seats, fine materials, and awesome build quality that are a constant reminder you bought a German luxury car; the i4 feels solid from the moment you slam the door.
i4 eDrive35 Price and Production
Springing for the entry-level i4 eDrive35 instead of the eDrive40 will save you $4,000 – making it a strong value proposition for a luxury EV. And that’s even before factoring in the $7,500 federal incentive and any regional and local incentives. The i4 is has everything you’d want from a luxury car, and from our own experience behind the wheel, it’s a great EV as well.
Production of the 2023 BMW i4 eDrive35 will begin in the fourth quarter of 2022; the first units are expected to arrive in the US in the first quarter of 2023.