I loved my i3 electric car from BMW. It was the fastest car I've ever owned. But it also drove a bit like a golf cart. And I'm used to the fine driving experience of a 3-series. So last weekend I traded my i3 in for a 2017 320i. And I have to tell you, I couldn't be happier. Here's why:
- The 60 – 80 mile range was fine for 95% of my days. But some days I really pushed the limit and scared myself. If you run out of power in an i3 it means you need to be towed, no exceptions.
- My kids didn't really like the back seats and the suicide doors.
- The stereo was more of a boombox and not what I've come to love about BMW stock stereos.
- Even though I bought the car used, I paid way to much 9 months ago. At that time they were hard to come by. Last weekend I learned there was a glut of used i3s in the market place. The value of my car dropped more than driving a new car off the lot.
- As a loyal BMW of Austin customer, the dealership worked very hard to make the deal work. I got a used "program car" with 6k miles for the equivalent of two car payments. AND I don't have to make car payments for 45 days, so the deal was nearly free. Same car payments and my insurance is less on a 2017 320i.
- The service on an i3 always required at least an overnight stay. Often it was several days, even for small things. Sure, I like being put in a new BMW loaner, but I just wanted my car to work right. And one part had to ship from Germany and took 4 weeks.
I think the future of electric cars is bright. I think Tesla, if you can afford one, is probably the most innovative car company in the world. And the rest of the automotive industry is taking notice of their success. But I don't have 100k sitting around to put into a car. I can't imagine what that car payment would look like.
Today, I'm driving a no-frills 320i, and while I miss having a sunroof or an upgraded stereo, the car is amazing. Even the low-end BMW is better than any other car I've ever driven. BMW gets me.
Thanks to Ron and the guys at BMW of Austin for putting me back in a ride worthy of the BMW name.