2019 BMW i3s: A fun ride with limited technology


The 2019 BMW i3s scores high points in performance, but same cannot be said about its technology. How's that so? Click here to see all the features!

BMW unveiled the i3 in 2014 – a futuristic car with environmental appeal. Indeed, the i3 was pleasantly different. The automaker had never produced something like it.

Fast forward to 2019, the i3 is still present but obviously different from its debut model. The car has undergone a number of changes in a bid to make it better. With the 2019 BMW i3s, BMW is still keen on preserving the environment and setting the pace for future.


The i3s is futuristic and prevents environmental pollution

2019 BMW i3s Design

They say nothing is new under the design. With the automotive industry spanning over a century, designers are faced with an almost impossible task of coming up with unique designs. BMW was able to break that barrier with the design of the pint-sized model. One cannot point an already existing car that it looks like.

The i3s combines the designs of a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and a Smart car in its design. Given the small size of such cars, BMW did a good job to create space by not making the hood conspicuous. Nonetheless, there is adequate space for the driver to sit comfortably, and have a good view of the road while driving. This is very commendable especially as most small cars do not offer such luxury.

Wheels of the car are not your regular ones. Despite having a large diameter, they are quite thin. They can be mistaken for bicycle tires that are oversized. Such a design reduces the frontal area, creating an aerodynamic appeal.

Taking a cue from the BMW 8, body of the i3s is created from reinforced plastic of carbon fiber. Despite being very strong, carbon fiber is not heavy. It makes the weight of the car light, which is a good thing. But it is quite expensive.  Carbon fiber is mostly used for super cars and race cars. When combined with plastic, they are more cost effective to produce.


The model is made from carbon fiber and plastic 

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2019 BMW i3s Interior highlights

Interior of the i3s is far from being ordinary. Sticking to the car’s electric nature, the automaker went for carefully sourced materials that are sustainable. The wood trim is made with unbleached open-pored eucalyptus. Without being told, one would think that it is regular wood as it does not look different. Other materials used to design the interior include kenaf and recycled plastic.

According to the automaker, more than 80% of materials in sight are gotten from renewable or recycled materials. If you are passionate about saving the world from environmental pollution, owning the i3s is a must-have.

The interior looks so bright with the Ikea palette of color. The driver seat offers enough leg room, but it is way too behind. It makes you feel disconnected from the steering like you are sitting in the middle.


The front row is spacious, but it takes up the second row space.

Considering the small size of the car, making it a 2-seater would have allowed for more interior space. But the automaker created four doors instead. The back doors are best described as half doors; they are smaller than the front ones.  The back seats are so tiny, sitting there is not comfortable. There is barely leg room especially for tall passengers.

Just like the rear seat, cargo area of the i3s is very small too. You will have to cut down on the items you want to carry along with you on a ride.

2019 BMW i3s Technology

No doubt, the design of the i3s is futuristic. But the same cannot be said about its technology. Most of the tech features offered are outdated. Automotive technology changes rapidly. For a 2019 model, the car did not adopt the latest trend. 

Although there is Apple CarPlay, it can be used for free only for one year. Looking for Android Auto? It is nowhere to be found. The automaker compensates with an iDrive control. You get to navigate through the menu easily.

The infotainment system has a very simply outlook. For a luxury car that the ride is supposed to be, the features for infotainment are basic. More features would have made it more appealing.

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The infotainment system is scanty with a few features

Driver aids offered are limited too. BMW offers basic adaptive cruise control as an extra option. With contenders like the Nissan Leaf offering ProPilot Assist and Tesla Model 3 offering Autopilot, the i3s does not stand tall in this area.

2019 BMW i3s Performance

The 2019 BMW i3s makes up for what it lacks in technology in performance. When you take a ride in the car, you are convinced that the automaker has created an electric hot hatchback in a class of its own. Boasting of light weight, thanks to its carbon fiber and plastic materials, the car feels so light on the road. Driving on its 184 horsepower and 199 pounds ft is nothing short of fun.


The light weight of the i3s makes it fun to drive

2019 BMW i3s Pricing

To buy a base model of 2019 BMW i3s, you are expected to pay $48, 645, equivalent to ₦17.5 million. The price for as tested models (with additions) is a bit higher, around $50,995 (₦18.4 million).

However, these are just the suggested retail price list, excluding delivery fees or any pop-up cost to get a i3s shipped to your place in Nigeria.

>>> For more car reviews, always visit Naijacarnews.com!

Chris Odogwu
#BMW cars