BMW's electric i3 is slowly marching its way to dealers. It might not be happening quite fast enough for customers, though. For you anxious individuals, head over to the BMW consumer website and build your ideal i3 in the new configurator.

Before we talk about all the stuff this build tool can do, we need to address the naming of BMW's trim levels for the EV hatchback. The 328i, for example, is available in Sport Line, M Sport Line and Luxury Line. That's good; it makes sense. The i3, though, has Giga World, Tera World and Mega World. Seriously. We've no idea what BMW was thinking when it came up with this (this is the same company that regularly uses the phrase "Sport Activity Vehicle," so...).

Silly names aside, let's try and translate where each trim fits in. The Mega World is the base trim. The Giga, at $1,700, adds stylish leather-and-wool seats in a clean two-tone color scheme, along with 19-inch wheels and a leather-covered IP. The Tera World demands $2,700, but makes up for it with its own 19-inch wheels and a full leather interior. Both lines (worlds?) add satellite radio and eucalyptus wood trim.

Color choices are limited to six, with four metallic items and two non-metallics. Interior colors, meanwhile, are locked into the three trim levels. Each trim has a pair of packages, with the $1,000 Parking Assistant Package adding automatic parking, park distance control and a rear-view camera. For $2,500, i3 buyers can add navigation, adaptive cruise with stop-and-go tech and BMW apps.

Prices for a base, all-electric i3 start at $41,350. The priciest we could build our i3 (with range extender) was to $56,025. which included a optional 20-inch wheels on our Tera World trim ($1,300), a $700 DC fast charging station ($700), heated front seats ($350) and a Harman/Kardon stereo ($800). The i3 is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax incentive, which drops the max total to $48,525. Hop over to BMW's consumer page and have a look at the i3 and its configurator.


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  • 40 Comments
      rick_kop
      • 8 Months Ago
      It could be me but this seems way overpriced for such a butt ugly design. I'll pass.
      rubley00
      • 8 Months Ago
      Way to be on top of things Autoblog. The configurator has been live for months. PS The first batch of cars are all the top level trim, making the conifugurator meaningless right now.
      ferps
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm waiting for the Peta World model
      mumbojumbo
      • 8 Months Ago
      I test drove the i3 yesterday. As a Leaf owner I have a baseline for the performance expectations, but the i3 is a lot different than the Leaf. The only negative was the slight clunk of the gears when put into drive from park, and the regenerative braking was ridiculously strong. The upper level trim had some beautiful interior craftmanship and materials compared to the Leaf. The handling and acceleration are better than the Leaf. But the trunk is a little smaller, it's only a 4 seater, and the suicide rear doors aren't as convenient either. From a practical standpoint the Leaf is a good bit cheaper too. Overall I was impressed. I would consider it as a Leaf replacement after a year or two just based on the driving performance.
      diffrunt
      • 8 Months Ago
      I would liked to have been a fly on the wall when it was being sketched. I'm sure they were smoking something stronger than pot.
      scraejtp
      • 8 Months Ago
      "a $700 DC fast charging station ($700)" This is ability for the car to connect to a DC charging station. It would cost much more to have your own DC fast charger to install at your house.
      Barry Hubris
      • 8 Months Ago
      Drove one. It's quick. Eerily quiet. The fact you only need to use the gas pedal is kinda neat. RWD on a car like this is entertaining, especially in city traffic. The tall greenhouse makes the car feel tippy even if it has a low center of gravity. Backseat is worthless. Materials inside the car feel awful. Will like this drivetrain in a real car when they expand carbon fiber to the 3's chassis and body. But the i3 isn't worth the time.
      jsell26965
      • 8 Months Ago
      Our 2006 Lexus RX400h hybrid just hit 120,000 miles, without a single problem. Only tires, brakes and small battery. Average mileage (23 - 28 m.p.g.); not great but not bad for a luxury ride!
      Brain Roopull
      • 8 Months Ago
      I saw some of these at a "Drive the Future" event in Atlanta at a BMW dealership. Not since the Aztek have I seen such a hideous and absurd looking vehicle. It has no good angle. It looks horrible sitting still. It looks horrible in motion. It's just... bad. This was a per-invite only event, so one could assume that the attendees were tried & true Roundel fans. Still, as I watched a prospective customer approach this "steed," the look on his face was of disbelief. He glanced around as if he were looking for cameras. Was this a joke? Was he on Candid Camera? Was someone going to wait for him to pretend to like it & then bust out laughing and say, "Ha! We got you! The REAL i3 is over here..." Yeah... it's bad.
      Kuro Houou
      • 8 Months Ago
      Ugliest car of the decade award right here! Meet the Aztec of the 2010's!
      Joe Liebig
      • 8 Months Ago
      Trim levels is a US thing. Because many consumer can't handle complexity. Not out of stupidity, but laziness. Cars are bought within minutes, not months. Go to VW.de (and use some translation tool). Pick a Golf. Start the configurator. Be blown away by the number of options.
        Barry Hubris
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joe Liebig
        Yep american consumers are not very thoughtful. And they have been programmed by Honda and the idiot American carmakers to embrace packages. BMW over the last 10-15 years has been trudging down this path too. My first 3 series could be highly customized. 10+ years later my 4th one had very few options.
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joe Liebig
        Or it could be that a German car in Germany has more options
          The Friendly Grizzly
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          That is true, but Herr Liebig would not have his opportunity to call Americans lazy, and how we can't handle complexity.
          The Friendly Grizzly
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          That is true, but Herr Liebig would not have his opportunity to call Americans lazy, and how we can't handle complexity.
      Aaron
      • 8 Months Ago
      I can't believe the heated front seats are a $350 option, when they come standard on the 2014 i-MiEV.
        mumbojumbo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        Even the base model Leaf has multi-level heated front and rear seats and steering wheel!
        Joe Liebig
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        Well, it's a BMW, so it's not for *******.
        mumbojumbo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        Even the base model Leaf has standard multi-level heated front and rear seats and steering wheel!
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