One of the more popular US college basketball cheers takes place when a visiting superstar player has a sub-par performance and the student section cheers "OVER-RATED" followed by a rhythmic five-clap. The concept has apparently made its way overseas to a UK journalist reviewing BMW's new i3 plug-in vehicle.
While acknowledging the many very positive reviews for the all-electric version (ours from last month would certainly qualify), the reviewer for UK's Telegraph found plenty of things to quibble about when it came to the i3 and its 650-cc gas-powered range extender. Not only did the Bimmer have less-than-advertised range on both its electric motor and the range extender, but the car's control system, which restricts power when the battery charge gets low before the generator kicks in, limited the i3 to dangerously slow (by highway standards) speeds. Between those factors and the car's relatively small trunk, the Telegraph rated the i3 three out of five stars, even while calling it "a delight to drive."
The Telegraph rated the i3 three out of five stars, even while calling it "a delight to drive."
In general the car, sans the gas-powered range extender, has been praised for its roominess, quickness and regenerative braking system, among other things, but most of the early journalist drives were done in battery-only vehicles. On top of the gas-burning option, BMW is trying to get prospective buyers to take the plunge by offering a full suite of services ranging from free consultation for at-home charging station installations to ChargeNow cards to an on-board navigation system that helps locate nearby public charging stations. We hope they work better than the Telegraph's experience with the REx. Check out the video below.