Car Review: BMW i3 Sport combines funky style with a fun, drive-efficient package

The BMW i3 Sport looks different from other BMWs and operates on electric power most of the time.

This i3 also has a small two-cylinder gasoline range extender that allows it to travel more than the 150 miles with just battery power, upping the range to over 200 miles before you need a stop to charge.

The i3 Sport is a fun drive. Its handling is its strong suit. The electric motor provides an adequate punch. The instant power makes city and highway cruising and passing mere simple tasks.

The look is not like other BMW models; i3 models are small, and a bit tall and boxy. The front end with the twin kidney grills looks familiar but from there, it’s a vehicle with funky shapes and lots of glass.

The interior is also a departure from the norm. The cabin is airy and the colors are lighter and more inviting with a mix of cloth, leather and real wood trim. The audio, NAV and climate control systems will be familiar for current BMW owners, even if the style isn’t what you have in mind when thinking Bimmer.

Cost: $51,500; as tested $58,695

MPG: Used less than a gallon of gas in more than 300 miles of mixed driving
Safety: Active cruise control, park distance control front & rear, LED lighting/cornering lights, acoustic pedestrian protection.

Options: $1,800 Giga World; $2,350 tech+driving assist package; $1,000 moonroof; $500 wireless charger; $550 Jucaro Beige metallic paint with frozen color.

Things to know: The BMW i3 Sport with Range Extender removes much of the range anxiety of having an electric vehicle. With a small gas-powered engine, i3 can continue on when the battery runs out.

Pros:

  • Spacious interior for a small vehicle
  • More fun to drive than most small electric cars
  • With fast charging capability, charges in less than an hour

Cons:

  • Price can be steep when fully loaded
  • Rear cargo area isn’t very large
  • Rear doors can only open when front doors are opened

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