Many of us have experienced the highs and lows that come with getting behind the wheel of a new vehicle for the first time.

In some respects, your new vehicle will be much better than the one you had before. In others, it may leave you wanting for more.

BMW's i3 electric car is about as new as new cars get, and after sharing his very early thoughts on his range-extended model with us, owner Tom Moloughney has now blogged about his likes and dislikes after the first 2,000 miles.

The good news, and something that Moloughney is happy to confirm early on, is that he's still "very pleased" with the i3 overall.

You might also notice that Tom's i3 is a slightly different color to that in his report one month ago.

Followers of the BMW i3 Facebook group will have seen these plans unfold, turning his Laurel Grey i3 REx into a vivid metallic red with a full-body wrap. The color now really stands out among the hoards of traditional BMW shades.

2014 BMW i3 REx owned by Tom Moloughney

2014 BMW i3 REx owned by Tom Moloughney


Color aside, Moloughney lists several likes and dislikes in two consecutive blog posts--and they're well worth a read for any potential i3 owners. Among his likes are:

Adaptive cruise control - Available on many vehicles now, the BMW's cruise control monitors the speed of the car in front and follows it at an appropriate distance. It can even bring the car to a complete halt, or speed up again, should the vehicle in front do the same. Linked to this, the car's collision warning is also a welcome feature.

The seating position - High-set, the i3's seating gives a commanding view of the road through the car's large windshield.

Charging rate - After Tom's previous car, a BMW ActiveE test vehicle, took five to seven hours to fully charge, the i3's 3.5-hour charge time is a welcome change. Tom notes his car is pulling about 6.9 kW from his home EVSE setup.

Cargo space and interior - The trunk space in both the ActiveE and previous MINI E was compromised by the vehicles' battery positions. In the i3, this isn't the case--and the i3's high-tech, airy interior (with plenty of beverage holders) goes down well too.

Efficiency - Tom's previous ActiveE was already efficient; the new car is using a quarter less energy even so. The range extender's benefits are also praised, comfortably meeting Moloughney's driving requirements.

Technology - Both the car's hill-hold function and soft speed limiter go down well--the latter helping drivers eke out as much efficiency as possible from the i3's battery pack.

Finally, Moloughney is also fond of the car's performance--even in REx trim, with more weight, the car seems capable of 0-60 runs of under eight seconds.

2014 BMW i3 REx owned by Tom Moloughney

2014 BMW i3 REx owned by Tom Moloughney


It's not all rainbows and butterflies, of course. Like any new vehicle, there are some things the new owner is less keen on...

Range - For some, Moloughney reckons, the i3's 82-mile range and the REx's 71-mile limit aren't quite good enough--though naturally, it matters less in the REx.

Incomplete displays - Both the lack of a proper state of charge gauge (it only has four, non-numbered bars) and a battery temperature gauge seem like omissions, given both were present on the MINI E and ActiveE.

Difficult to glide - Many electric vehicles feature an accelerator pedal position between acceleration and regeneration, allowing drivers to coast, maintaining speed. In the i3, this seems difficult to maintain. Tom notes he wouldn't mind a little more braking regeneration when it does happen, too--and shows concerns that under hard cornering, the regeneration sometimes stops abruptly--possibly a symptom of the car's stability control system.

Windshield glare - Moloughney doesn't mind the unusual 'Kenaf' fiber dashboard top, but does note it causes plenty of glare in sunny weather.

Software bugs - Several i3 owners have noted warning lights, check engine lights and other glitches in early days. Nothing has been too drastic so far, but all are concerns for early owners, and join a further list of minor annoyances with the new car.

You can read the full lists on Tom Moloughney's likes and dislikes blogs, but the overall impression is still positive.

BMW has clearly developed an effective--and importantly, efficient--electric car. So far, a few little bugs and annoyances don't appear to be getting in the way of overall enjoyment.


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