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      03-10-2022, 04:15 PM   #1
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BMW i4 Test Drive Experiences -- Share Yours

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Thanks for the information in other threads on US dealers receiving demo cars. Starting this tread for others to share their test drive experience and post photos (if they'd like). I always enjoy seeing non professional photos of different angles and different specs of cars.

My test drive was short. Took it on a pretty straight local street and hopped on the freeway for a couple exits.

It was a M50 without too many bells and whistles.

Here are just some observations:
- Acceleration of the car was fast.
- Full acceleration from a stand still. Had to really hold onto the steering wheel as the cars rears felt like it moved side to side a little (not term what that is called).
- Weight. a lot of reviews talk about this feeling like a heavy car. It does feel very planted. Gives a very secure/safe feeling. But in no way did the car feel slow. Acceleration was great and a whole lot of fun. You can literally step on the gas and have your passenger's head hit the headrest from all that torque.
- Ionic Sound Sounds different in person than in videos. Quite impressive and immersive (and this is without the Harman Kardon. Wonder if that would make it sound different). Note you probably won't hear too much "acceleration" sound in this car in normal driving as the car is fast. I didn't have to step on it too far and I was easily at 60/70mph.
- The open pore fine wood oak grain was not that impressive (this is completely subjective. I personally like matte wood. But it didn't have enough variation for me. I love the matte wood in my recent Audi Etron). Sorry no pictures. Forgot to take some of the interior.
- Visibility out of rear window. Smaller due to the sloping roof line. But didn't bother me. It's better/bigger than the Tesla Model Y.
- Door handles. As others mentioned, it's not as easy to grab and just open the door. If done too quickly, I can see how ones hand might slip. But it is doable. Not ideal, but something I think one can get adjusted to and live with.
- Rear seat entrance. Smaller opening. Acceptable for people that aren't too tall (6ft+). But I think if you want to carry people that are that tall. You need to move up into the next segment.
- Rear windows. Doesn't roll down all the way. Not sure why. But that's a bit of a bummer.

Overall Impression- it's a great car. I'm gonna keep my pre-order and take delivery whenever it's available. As a daily driver, I'm going to have a lot of fun in it. The build quality is excellent and the driving comfort is superb. It's not as fast or light as a Tesla Model 3. It might not feel as roomy. But small BMW's (for me) have always been more about the driver experience. Like a fighter jet cockpit. Good looking controls/displays. Heads up display. Sports seats with bolsters that really keep you in place comfortably. It's pricier, but if your budget allows and you want luxury and a solid, fast car. This is it currently in this segment.

Here are some real world photos (with dirt and all).
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      03-10-2022, 04:21 PM   #2
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We drove the same car hehe. Nice review, couldn't have said it better !
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      03-10-2022, 04:24 PM   #3
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Here are some additional pictures of it.
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      03-10-2022, 07:02 PM   #4
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I concur about the rear visibility, it's worse than my F82. Parking assistance is a must IMHO

Great review! Yes, the quality is definitely nice, Well, mostly. The leather pad on each side of the center console is flimsy, but otherwise the entire interior is put together well and with many soft-touch surfaces.
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      03-10-2022, 07:30 PM   #5
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Nice review! Clearly, everyone has been testing the acceleration as the car shows 91 miles remaining at a 43% SOC which isn't bad but not great.
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      03-10-2022, 07:50 PM   #6
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Nice thanks for the review!!
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      03-10-2022, 08:12 PM   #7
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I won't be able to test drive this car for another week or so, until training is finished, but here's a picture of it anyway (I did get to sit in it). FWIW, I had no problem with the door handles, didn't even remember that others did have a problem.

Note the iX next to it. That belongs to a trainer from BMW (one of the three people I blurred out), who's been driving it up and down the state visiting one dealership after another. He says it gets close to EPA numbers on I-5, which has a 70mph speed limit (and everyone goes 80 or faster). He's also driven it to Reno, and says climbing the Sierras increases power consumption by about 25% going uphill, and of course some of that is recaptured going downhill the other side.

I did ask him why demo cars are lightly optioned, and he said something about (I don't remember exactly the answer) testing production of certain options or combinations of options.

This M50 has: premium package, carbon fiber trim, and the HUD, with Black Perforated SensaTec seats, Alpine White exterior, and 19" 860M Wheels with all season tires.

When I was pulling into the dealer, that i4 was literally right behind me, being driven by my sales rep. That was my first sighting of an i4 outside of pictures and videos--in my rear view mirror. Coincidences happen.
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      03-10-2022, 09:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike i4 M50 View Post
Nice review! Clearly, everyone has been testing the acceleration as the car shows 91 miles remaining at a 43% SOC which isn't bad but not great.
Hehe. If you do the math, 91 miles at 43% means 211 miles at 100%. Given the normal test drive route for the car was up a street without much traffic and you can literally go pedal to the medal 10 times in a very short distance, and if you also take into account the use of boost and launch control, I'd say this car will easily get over 300 miles driven conservatively. Time will tell!
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      03-11-2022, 05:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffc42 View Post
I won't be able to test drive this car for another week or so, until training is finished, but here's a picture of it anyway (I did get to sit in it). FWIW, I had no problem with the door handles, didn't even remember that others did have a problem.

Note the iX next to it. That belongs to a trainer from BMW (one of the three people I blurred out), who's been driving it up and down the state visiting one dealership after another. He says it gets close to EPA numbers on I-5, which has a 70mph speed limit (and everyone goes 80 or faster). He's also driven it to Reno, and says climbing the Sierras increases power consumption by about 25% going uphill, and of course some of that is recaptured going downhill the other side.

I did ask him why demo cars are lightly optioned, and he said something about (I don't remember exactly the answer) testing production of certain options or combinations of options.

This M50 has: premium package, carbon fiber trim, and the HUD, with Black Perforated SensaTec seats, Alpine White exterior, and 19" 860M Wheels with all season tires.

When I was pulling into the dealer, that i4 was literally right behind me, being driven by my sales rep. That was my first sighting of an i4 outside of pictures and videos--in my rear view mirror. Coincidences happen.
WOW looks great in white! I REALLY wanted white, but then it would be my 4th white car in a row.

The guy who was displaying the i4/iX to me this week said he saw closer to 400 miles on the iX, but this was on FL roads between Orlando to Sarasota, where i-4 and i-75 are reliably gridlocked and when you get up to speed, you will reliably have to flow down for traffic that cuts you off

The one's circulating around Florida is a San Remo Green, Mocha Leather, HUD, HK, Premium Package, Shadow Line, All-season tires, Drivers & Parking assistances, heated/cooled seats, wireless charging, and I'm sure basically all options except the carbon and 20" wheel/tire package.
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      03-11-2022, 11:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spool twice View Post
WOW looks great in white! I REALLY wanted white, but then it would be my 4th white car in a row.

The guy who was displaying the i4/iX to me this week said he saw closer to 400 miles on the iX, but this was on FL roads between Orlando to Sarasota, where i-4 and i-75 are reliably gridlocked and when you get up to speed, you will reliably have to flow down for traffic that cuts you off

The one's circulating around Florida is a San Remo Green, Mocha Leather, HUD, HK, Premium Package, Shadow Line, All-season tires, Drivers & Parking assistances, heated/cooled seats, wireless charging, and I'm sure basically all options except the carbon and 20" wheel/tire package.
It'd look even better in Mineral White, I'd bet. That's what I have on my F30. But after a decade I'm ready for a different color, so I'm going blue. Though I may regret it in the summer.

Mocha leather, eh? I considered that. I like the two tone effect. But without an actual car to look at... plus, I'm not sure how it'd go with blue. I'll probably stick with black. But all that said, how did mocha look to you?
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      03-11-2022, 11:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtech8 View Post
- Rear seat entrance. Smaller opening. Acceptable for people that aren't too tall (6ft+). But I think if you want to carry people that are that tall. You need to move up into the next segment.
I've been lurking occasionally since deciding to back away and you have reconfirmed that this is not for me as our family car. Thanks for the detailed review!
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      03-11-2022, 12:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtech8 View Post
Thanks for the information in other threads on US dealers receiving demo cars. Starting this tread for others to share their test drive experience and post photos (if they'd like). I always enjoy seeing non professional photos of different angles and different specs of cars.

My test drive was short. Took it on a pretty straight local street and hopped on the freeway for a couple exits.

It was a M50 without too many bells and whistles.

Here are just some observations:
- Acceleration of the car was fast.
- Full acceleration from a stand still. Had to really hold onto the steering wheel as the cars rears felt like it moved side to side a little (not term what that is called).
- Weight. a lot of reviews talk about this feeling like a heavy car. It does feel very planted. Gives a very secure/safe feeling. But in no way did the car feel slow. Acceleration was great and a whole lot of fun. You can literally step on the gas and have your passenger's head hit the headrest from all that torque.
- Ionic Sound Sounds different in person than in videos. Quite impressive and immersive (and this is without the Harman Kardon. Wonder if that would make it sound different). Note you probably won't hear too much "acceleration" sound in this car in normal driving as the car is fast. I didn't have to step on it too far and I was easily at 60/70mph.
- The open pore fine wood oak grain was not that impressive (this is completely subjective. I personally like matte wood. But it didn't have enough variation for me. I love the matte wood in my recent Audi Etron). Sorry no pictures. Forgot to take some of the interior.
- Visibility out of rear window. Smaller due to the sloping roof line. But didn't bother me. It's better/bigger than the Tesla Model Y.
- Door handles. As others mentioned, it's not as easy to grab and just open the door. If done too quickly, I can see how ones hand might slip. But it is doable. Not ideal, but something I think one can get adjusted to and live with.
- Rear seat entrance. Smaller opening. Acceptable for people that aren't too tall (6ft+). But I think if you want to carry people that are that tall. You need to move up into the next segment.
- Rear windows. Doesn't roll down all the way. Not sure why. But that's a bit of a bummer.

Overall Impression- it's a great car. I'm gonna keep my pre-order and take delivery whenever it's available. As a daily driver, I'm going to have a lot of fun in it. The build quality is excellent and the driving comfort is superb. It's not as fast or light as a Tesla Model 3. It might not feel as roomy. But small BMW's (for me) have always been more about the driver experience. Like a fighter jet cockpit. Good looking controls/displays. Heads up display. Sports seats with bolsters that really keep you in place comfortably. It's pricier, but if your budget allows and you want luxury and a solid, fast car. This is it currently in this segment.

Here are some real world photos (with dirt and all).
Great review. Could not agree more with all points shared especially the driver experience being an important element.
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      03-11-2022, 01:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffc42 View Post
It'd look even better in Mineral White, I'd bet. That's what I have on my F30. But after a decade I'm ready for a different color, so I'm going blue. Though I may regret it in the summer.

Mocha leather, eh? I considered that. I like the two tone effect. But without an actual car to look at... plus, I'm not sure how it'd go with blue. I'll probably stick with black. But all that said, how did mocha look to you?
I wasn't on board with that color, but I can certainly see it as a classy choice.

What surprised me the most was that there was more of that new car/leather like smell with the G20 in the showroom that had sensetec.

The demo I sat in had 110 miles on it.
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      03-12-2022, 10:11 AM   #14
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I just drove this today, the 40 not the m50 and I have to say it is so quick, I did test drive an ix a while back and that was sooooo slow.
I'd say it feels a lot quicker than what you get on paper, I was under the impression that there is no point in the 40 when you have the m50 but I definitely changed my mind, I'd say the other way around now.
Very agile for the weight of it and it didn't feel heavy at all but I did drive it in sport mode only.
The rear window angle makes it very difficult to see anything but it did have surround view specced which I always add anyway so that fixes that.
I am not a fan of the frameless windows and there isn't much rear headroom

Coming from a G20 I still prefer this chassis vs the 4 series, to me what would make this perfect is if it was a real i3 (not that joke i3)

Too bad deliveries are already in second half of 2023 and possibly delayed even further because of that dumb Russian f**k.
Reps told me the factories in Germany will shut down for a few weeks while they try to consolidate their parts since ofc all the wire harnesses come from Ukraine
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      03-12-2022, 11:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd_dracula View Post
I just drove this today, the 40 not the m50 and I have to say it is so quick, I did test drive an ix a while back and that was sooooo slow.
I'd say it feels a lot quicker than what you get on paper, I was under the impression that there is no point in the 40 when you have the m50 but I definitely changed my mind, I'd say the other way around now.
Very agile for the weight of it and it didn't feel heavy at all but I did drive it in sport mode only.
The rear window angle makes it very difficult to see anything but it did have surround view specced which I always add anyway so that fixes that.
I am not a fan of the frameless windows and there isn't much rear headroom

Coming from a G20 I still prefer this chassis vs the 4 series, to me what would make this perfect is if it was a real i3 (not that joke i3)

Too bad deliveries are already in second half of 2023 and possibly delayed even further because of that dumb Russian f**k.
Reps told me the factories in Germany will shut down for a few weeks while they try to consolidate their parts since ofc all the wire harnesses come from Ukraine
Thanks for the feedback! All of that torque immediately will definitely make people think twice about M50.

Puke-in can f' himself
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      03-12-2022, 02:42 PM   #16
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The front really struggles with traction when starting from a dead stop. You can really feel the front end lift up and you definitely need to be hands on the wheel as it will very slightly wiggle around in your lane. I enjoyed it though. Very quiet and comfortable. More comfortable that an M440i Gran Coupe. Given that it's a lot heavier, has non run flats and more comfortable suspension. I'd love to drive one with the 20" wheels package and carbon exterior pack.
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      03-12-2022, 08:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd_dracula View Post
I just drove this today, the 40 not the m50 and I have to say it is so quick, I did test drive an ix a while back and that was sooooo slow.
I'd say it feels a lot quicker than what you get on paper, I was under the impression that there is no point in the 40 when you have the m50 but I definitely changed my mind, I'd say the other way around now.
Very agile for the weight of it and it didn't feel heavy at all but I did drive it in sport mode only.
The rear window angle makes it very difficult to see anything but it did have surround view specced which I always add anyway so that fixes that.
I am not a fan of the frameless windows and there isn't much rear headroom

Coming from a G20 I still prefer this chassis vs the 4 series, to me what would make this perfect is if it was a real i3 (not that joke i3)

Too bad deliveries are already in second half of 2023 and possibly delayed even further because of that dumb Russian f**k.
Reps told me the factories in Germany will shut down for a few weeks while they try to consolidate their parts since ofc all the wire harnesses come from Ukraine
It looks like the rear window and the back seat windows are tinted. Is that from the factory?
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      03-12-2022, 08:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ultbruin View Post
It looks like the rear window and the back seat windows are tinted. Is that from the factory?
In Europe you get the option to do a tint in the factory. No option for that in the states. However, a quality 3M tint (ceramic or better) would be a very good solution anyway. Factory tint doesn't have any heat rejection capability anyway. Given that it is an EV and if you live in California, you definitely want something that will help with that.

On a side note, you also get an option for a towing hook in Europe that is not available in the states.
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      03-12-2022, 11:49 PM   #19
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I had the privilege of driving a well-optioned i4 M50 today here in Portland. The car is making its way through the dealer circuit in the Pacific Northwest and I happened to pick the right day to inquire about my spot on the waitlist!

I'm ordering the eDrive40, so it was reassuring to feel how agile this substantially heavier vehicle felt. Clicking through the drive modes, I felt that Comfort was a bit vague, but perfectly suitable for daily needs. And Sport didn't ruin the steering, it just firmed it up to what you would expect and gave the boost that right amount of pluck. Torque steer is a thing, but it never felt out of control. This is the right config for some people, but I will be happy to trade the absolute max boost for a lighter car and the playfulness that RWD should encourage.

Seating position is spot on, the Hans Zimmer soundtrack does add to the ambience and gives the context of driving that a Tesla omits. It is so whisper quiet under all pavement conditions, I don't know how other more luxurious BMW model lines can improve upon it. I did not have a strong impression either way on the HUD, though I did find myself turning it off, along with a number of other warning systems that were on by default. I'm no purist, per se, but I did think these detracted from the driving experience and this does have driver's car sensibilities. A brief test of the lane-keep and other auto-cruise functions though tells me that this will be a brilliant antidote to interstate drudgery.

Back seat is larger than I had expected given other reviews, but I am coming from an A5 cabriolet so my bar for back seat space is low. I felt that the sunroof, while not a panorama, gives a decent amount of cabin levity that would be even more pronounced with a lighter interior. After driving with a black interior, I am considering changing spec to Canberra Beige or Cognac Brown.

Having just come off a few days with a Tesla Model 3, the future for electric BMW is bright. Playing in a similar price range, the BMW is clearly going to win people over who value a more connected driving experience and refinement. The i4 is one car that is not necessarily cheap but, if spec'd with restraint, seems like a strong value.

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      03-13-2022, 11:37 AM   #20
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I saw someone mention this on YouTube, but didn't confirm myself during the test drive. Is it true that whatever mode you select (EcoPro, Comfort, Sports) that after you shut off your car and come back the next time it stays in the same mode?
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      03-13-2022, 11:53 AM   #21
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I saw someone mention this on YouTube, but didn't confirm myself during the test drive. Is it true that whatever mode you select (EcoPro, Comfort, Sports) that after you shut off your car and come back the next time it stays in the same mode?
For me the car reverted back to comfort mode. You will likely be able to code daily driving mode same way you are able to do it now on idrive 7 cars.
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      03-13-2022, 08:23 PM   #22
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Acceleration: Can be brutal and take someone for surprise if not ready for it. I fully get the acceleration for EV's but it gets tiring fast and the novelty wears out quick.

Full Acceleration: Did not feel what you felt. Everything was pretty solid and did not have to hold or adjust the steering wheel in anyway.

Weight: Didn't drive anywhere to comment on the weight beside hard and quick turns and taking on on-ramps with speed, none you could really tell it was 5,000 pounds. So for most people, the weight shouldn't be an issue because you won't notice it in normal day-to-day driving.

IconicSounds: Gets pretty annoying QUICK. When you first hear it, it sounds cool but after a while, it just turns into a constant "whirl" or "hum". turned it off within 5 minutes of test drive.

Everything else: Owning a F36 440i, everything else seems like typical BMW so can't really comment.

Overall impressions, the i4 should get some serious consideration if you're deciding to get a 4er Gran Coupé. Nothing about EV's really get me excited but BMW did a good job of keeping it very BMW so if you're ok with the range and you do not want to pay the ridiculous gas prices today, the i4 will offer a typical BMW experience.
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