Now four years into its life, the BMW i3 remains a unique and distinctive design. If the range makes you nervous, opt for an i3 outfitted with a range extender. The i3's 125-kilowatt (which works out to 170 horsepower) electric motor allows it to accelerate smoothly and rapidly, but its most distinctive feature is its regenerative braking that lets its be driven essentially with one pedal. Its quirky look and BMW branding are further draws. The i3 handles nimbly, with crisp responses and a 32.3 foot turning circle that makes it ideal for urban motoring. During a handling test, it was easy to get the narrow front tires to squeal on fast, sharp turns. Chunky door handles further reinforce the sturdy image but stand in contrast to the tall and laughably narrow tires and wheels aimed at reducing fuel consumption.

But since BMW includes a difficult-to-access rear seat and a fairly compact cargo area, we've had to deduct a few points. It feels like an open, urban loft, and it's full of trendy, generally sustainable materials. To address the range anxiety associated with electric cars, BMW offers an available two-cylinder gas engine for the i3. The i3 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*. It's the least successful aspect of this little car. Purchased a Certified Pre-Owned 2017 BMW i3 REx and absolutely love it. (Read more about how we rate cars.). That sounds well-equipped, but some key features like a rearview camera and an AM radio are not standard. Dubbed REx editions, these i3s come with a small gasoline engine that recharges the battery when you can't get to a plug. Touching the brake is only required when full stopping power is needed, which helps distinguish it from other electric cars that are tuned to mimic conventional automatic transmission cars.

See warranty FAQs For 2017, the big change is that a 33-kWh lithium-ion battery pack joins the carryover 22-kWh unit. Move past its distinctive looks, and the i3 is pleasantly peppy, surprisingly spacious, and easy to drive and park in the city. The rearview camera may be a must for some drivers, as the rear window is short and placed high up in the vehicle. The i3 is offered in several "worlds," as BMW calls the model's trim levels—Mega, Giga, and Tera.

We think the i3 is most successful when viewed from the front or the side. An i3 with the 94 Ah battery offers a nice middle ground when it comes to total range and price, and it’s the best fit for most lifestyles.

With the MotorTrend Fair Market Price (powered by IntelliChoice), get a better idea of what you’ll pay after negotiations including destination, taxes, and fees. There are four seats in the i3.

The 60 Ah battery has an all-electric range of 81 miles, and the 94 Ah battery extends the range to 114 miles. Front seat passengers are treated to comfortable thrones wrapped beautiful upholsteries, but the rear is hard to get into and not particularly pleasant once you're back there. The Leaf also does not offer a range-extending gas engine option. The Giga World stickers for $1,500 over the base Mega World and the Tera World tops the range for an additional $1,000.

2017 BMW i3 Review. Also, BMW has increased how much fuel can be stored in the optional gasoline range-extender's fuel tank for the new model year, bringing it in line with the i3 sold in Europe. The range-extended version of the 2017 BMW i3 also comes standard with the new 33 kWh battery pack, but also gets a 25 percent larger fuel tank for 2017, though BMW hasn't disclosed a new total range figure for the extended-range version. With its minimal footprint, the i3 is best thought of as a two-passenger car. If you didn't see the i3's blue-and-white roundel badge and twin-kidney grille (which is, of course simulated), you'd likely never associate it with the rest of the BMW range. BMW's approach distinguishes the i3 from other electric cars that mimic the behavior of a gasoline car with an automatic gearbox.

A more power dense battery is available as an option to increase range from 81 to 114 miles. Rear seat passengers sit a bit higher than those up front because of the battery's placement, deliver a small amount of knees under the chin feel back there. What's nearly totally absent is any mechanical noise; only a light hum from the electric motor penetrates an otherwise serene environment.