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      05-11-2022, 01:21 PM   #1
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i4 M50 demo - 24 hrs test drive impressions from e36 M3 / e39 M5 owner

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My sales guy was nice enough to offer up to take home the i4M50 for 24hrs. I immediately jumped at the chance. It's a stripper that's Portmao Blue, black Sensatec interior with 19" inch 860M wheels. It was fully charged with 240 miles of range.

Although I drove the car at the UDE, you don't have much time with the car and the iDrive to get fully accustomed to everything it offers. I find iDrive 8 very easy to use and navigate. There are a ton of options, but I feel the menus are grouped together nicely. I know about the whole climate control debate, but it quickly goes away for me because the temp settings are always displayed. Smart execution.

Driving this car is an absolute blast! I kept in Sport Boost a.k.a "Hooligan Mode" the whole time because, why not? It's not my car and it's going back in 24 hrs! I took it on the highway and floor it and within a few seconds, I was doing 110 mph! Yeah, it's ridiculously fast. I know I can't drive like that all the time when I get my actually car because I will end up in jail. I really love 'B' mode. I didn't think I would like it because I used it on a friend's Tesla and wasn't too impressed. It just seems natural and slows the car down perfectly coming to a stop. I can imagine this will reduce brake fatigue in stop and go traffic. Nice not to go from pedal to brake all the time. I was able to stop by a friend's house and had him get in. I put it in launch control and took off. He was screaming like a kid to have me stop! You do get that feeling like a roller coaster being catapulted from nothing to insane speed. He still felt nauseous after an hour. The instant torque and speed are very addicting.

Handling - I live on the north shore of Long Island where its very hilly and has many twisty roads. I'm pleasantly surprised how well planted the car feels for a 5000 lbs car. I would probably challenge anyone to find a car at that weight that could have equal handling. It transfers the weight very well with a bit of understeer. I'm not taking this car to a track so I know that the M3/M4 is a better alternative for that. The one thing that is very noticeable is torque steer. The front end does lift up a bit and get squirrely on hard launch. Hopefully, they can fix that later.

Steering - I stopped trying to compare EPS cars to hydraulic steering racks. There is just isn't the same feel and feedback that I get from my M3 and M5. I don't think it can ever compare to older M cars. However, I thought the steering is very good on this car -- especially in Sport Boost. It doesn't feel as numb as in comfort mode. Again, a great feat for such a heavy car.

I was very sad to have to drop the car off this morning. I was happy, however, that I was able to at least get a feel for the car and tech before I got mine. I jumped back into my M5 and started up that glorious S62 engine. I enjoyed rowing my own gears on the way home. Is one better than the other? Hard to compare. They both are fantastic cars in their own respect. I will say that I love the i4. I think it does almost everything really well. It was hard to find many faults. Anybody who is on the fence about ordering one should rest assured that BMW did this EV right for its first attempt at a sedan. Especially, when you compare it to that iPad on wheels. I know the Tesla fanboys are hardcore, but there are zero reasons to chose that over the BMW. Now, the wait will kill me...!
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      05-11-2022, 04:02 PM   #2
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Great write up, I share most of your feelings. I am beyond 100% in love with my M50, and we have had other M cars in the past (2010 V10 M6, 2005 M3 Competition and a 2018 M6), and I feel the i4 M50 is very worth and deserving to have an ///M on the front and rear!!

Funny you mentioned your friend feeling nauseous. I have read this a few times now, and experienced it myself. It seems when you are behind the wheel, the brutal 0-100 mph can make you feel a little queasy, but as a passenger the sheer force of the major speed made me feel quite nauseous for almost 1/2 day.

Glad you too found the Climate controls and menu to be not an issue. I have been trying to assure those fearful, that there is nothing to fear and the HVAC system is "German intuitive" Lol.
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      05-12-2022, 01:11 PM   #3
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Nice review, thanks for sharing your experience.
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      05-12-2022, 02:56 PM   #4
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When you talk about steering feel, how much steering feel is there really in an E39 M5?

It has a recirculating ball steering box, ffs.

The W210 E55 MAG at the time had miles better steering, being rack and pinion and all.
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      05-12-2022, 03:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by playswcars View Post
When you talk about steering feel, how much steering feel is there really in an E39 M5?

It has a recirculating ball steering box, ffs.

The W210 E55 MAG at the time had miles better steering, being rack and pinion and all.
Yes, it was. But, in Sports mode, it's still better feedback than most modern BMW's. You obviously haven't owned one if you think the Mercedes handled better. Go check the mags back then and tell me how many people rated the Mercedes over the M5. It's arguable the greatest sports sedan made.
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      05-12-2022, 03:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haywood View Post
Yes, it was. But, in Sports mode, it's still better feedback than most modern BMW's. You obviously haven't owned one if you think the Mercedes handled better. Go check the mags back then and tell me how many people rated the Mercedes over the M5. It's arguable the greatest sports sedan made.
MB E55 had a more precise steering feel, not better handling. That are obviously two different things. In the e39 V8 there was apparently no more free space for the better rack and pinion solution of the I6 versions.
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      05-12-2022, 04:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haywood View Post
Yes, it was. But, in Sports mode, it's still better feedback than most modern BMW's. You obviously haven't owned one if you think the Mercedes handled better. Go check the mags back then and tell me how many people rated the Mercedes over the M5. It's arguable the greatest sports sedan made.
MB E55 had a more precise steering feel, not better handling. That are obviously two different things. In the e39 V8 there was apparently no more free space for the better rack and pinion solution of the I6 versions.
Bingo, I was talking steering feel specifically.

Don't get me wrong, I love the E39 M5. But I brought up steering feel in the interest of a fair conversation.

Whenever people compare a modern BMW's steering feel to an E39 M5's steering feel, I can't help but chuckle.

Objectively, a modern EPS system positively obliterates an E39 M5 recirculating ball box. End of story.
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      05-12-2022, 05:23 PM   #8
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Nice review of the i4! Great to hear your thoughts.
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      05-12-2022, 08:23 PM   #9
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"Ridiculously fast" was the primary lesson I was able to extract from a great review. The future is here and all of us will adjust to the future at our own pace, including buying the last M5 or M8 as a celebratory gesture.
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      05-13-2022, 06:43 AM   #10
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Are these still tax credit eligible ?
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      05-13-2022, 07:23 AM   #11
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Are these still tax credit eligible ?
Yup. $7,500 from federal and NYS gives an add'l $2,000.
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      05-13-2022, 09:06 AM   #12
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Nice review.

So what is typical price for a M50 after rebates?

What is the typical wait in CA?

And being transparent, I am a long-time BMW 3 series owner (320i, 328i, 330i, x3, i3) who adores the brand but two years ago had to shift over to a Model Y which I love the most. The interface is surprisingly disappointing for an iPad to wheels, but the handling, acceleration and driving feel is top notch and the interior space can’t be beat. And the Superchargers and updates are also great.

Been lurking about coming back to BM for this i4. Should I? Bummed it’s a sedan though. And while I am one to like the dramatics of the monster grill, the rest of the car just looks super bmw-ordinary to me. I like a few more curves in my ride. And while there are gazillions of Teslas here in SoCal which is annoying, I do love seeing it in my driveway….?!
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      05-13-2022, 09:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddyrockstar23 View Post
Nice review.

So what is typical price for a M50 after rebates?

What is the typical wait in CA?

And being transparent, I am a long-time BMW 3 series owner (320i, 328i, 330i, x3, i3) who adores the brand but two years ago had to shift over to a Model Y which I love the most. The interface is surprisingly disappointing for an iPad to wheels, but the handling, acceleration and driving feel is top notch and the interior space can’t be beat. And the Superchargers and updates are also great.

Been lurking about coming back to BM for this i4. Should I? Bummed it’s a sedan though. And while I am one to like the dramatics of the monster grill, the rest of the car just looks super bmw-ordinary to me. I like a few more curves in my ride. And while there are gazillions of Teslas here in SoCal which is annoying, I do love seeing it in my driveway….?!
I ordered and waited for my 2021 Tesla Model Y Performance for a painful four months as Tesla changed my arrival date every few days for 4 months. When it finally arrived, I did not get a call or even an email (and it was not even on my Tesla page)....I just got a text, that I almost deleted because it looked like and was worded as spam.

Pickup day consisted of me going to a parking garage in a shuttered mall in Burbank, CA and was greeted by a few young kids at a pop up card table. They handed me a clipboard with the paperwork and told me on what level and what spot to find my car. Delivery, paperwork and set up....basically on your own.

My brand new Model Y: 1 headlight loose. Rear passenger door trim off and misaligned by at least 1/4 inch. Frunk panel gaps horrendous. Rear trunk panel gaps worse. 1 tail light badly misaligned. Steering alignment so bad that I had to pay to get a 4 wheel alignment the day after I took delivery (Tesla refused to do it, since I drove over 100 miles!!!!). Water pump/HVAC coolant pump was louder than my V8 G63. Streaming music only worked when there was perfect cell service. A/C was cool, but never cold.

I am shocked you think the Model Y drives so well! It is hard to find a review that does not talk about how AWFUL and ROUGH the Model 3 and Model Y are.

If you think the Model Y is great, you will think the i4 is a Rolls-Royce

Last edited by deutsch100; 05-13-2022 at 09:51 AM..
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      05-13-2022, 09:21 AM   #14
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Anyone know if bmw has anything “sportier” on the roadmap for the I-division?

Probably will comp the i4 against the upcoming Macan electric as well… thx all
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      05-13-2022, 09:25 AM   #15
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I agree with you re: the delivery experience! Hoping I haven’t become too much of a fan boy to ignore it! They are super sloppy with their fit and finish which just sucks. I had 18 areas of my Y LR marked with stickies on delivery day!

I can say the Service centers here in SoCal have been great though. Super polite and responsive. Only had to use them bc an airpod fell under the seat first week and had to remove them to retrieve it and a flat tire.

I live with silly things like water pouring in the driver side window when using washers. And admittedly when I get in my wife’s new X3 she just got, there’s no contest in the craftsmanship! And I miss CarPlay.

But I do love the way it tears around SoCal streets. With the acceleration boost I’m at 4.2 and just have so much fun.

Maybe I haven’t been in a “better” handling car in a while?
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      05-13-2022, 09:27 AM   #16
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And what do folks think…will I be disappointed in the edrive40 acceleration? Can’t see not noticing a dip from my 4.2 to 55 0-60? So the M50 would have to be the one??
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      05-13-2022, 09:28 AM   #17
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And the rear seat room and headroom will suck compared to Y, yes?
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      05-13-2022, 10:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
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And the rear seat room and headroom will suck compared to Y, yes?
Anyone 6' and above will touch the trim with their head in the rear seats. This is due to the sloping roofline of the gran coupe that is very pleasing to the eye.
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      05-13-2022, 11:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deutsch100 View Post
I ordered and waited for my 2021 Tesla Model Y Performance for a painful four months as Tesla changed my arrival date every few days for 4 months. When it finally arrived, I did not get a call or even an email (and it was not even on my Tesla page)....I just got a text, that I almost deleted because it looked like and was worded as spam.

Pickup day consisted of me going to a parking garage in a shuttered mall in Burbank, CA and was greeted by a few young kids at a pop up card table. They handed me a clipboard with the paperwork and told me on what level and what spot to find my car. Delivery, paperwork and set up....basically on your own.

My brand new Model Y: 1 headlight loose. Rear passenger door trim off and misaligned by at least 1/4 inch. Frunk panel gaps horrendous. Rear trunk panel gaps worse. 1 tail light badly misaligned. Steering alignment so bad that I had to pay to get a 4 wheel alignment the day after I took delivery (Tesla refused to do it, since I drove over 100 miles!!!!). Water pump/HVAC coolant pump was louder than my V8 G63. Streaming music only worked when there was perfect cell service. A/C was cool, but never cold.

I am shocked you think the Model Y drives so well! It is hard to find a review that does not talk about how AWFUL and ROUGH the Model 3 and Model Y are.

If you think the Model Y is great, you will think the i4 is a Rolls-Royce
Tesla is sneaky about delivery. They want you to sign on the dotted line then inspect and take delivery. Once you sign, it's yours and instead of refusing the car; it goes in for repair.

They deliver in bad lighting so you can't see bad paint.

My best friend had to threaten to sue because they delivered a car (M3LR) with a defect in the paint the size of a dinner plate. Then told her it would be in the shop for a month.

It took 3 more cars to get one that had paint good enough to accept. This was a 2021 model at the beginning of last year.

If you gave me a Tesla I'd sell it.
The quality on my previous Fiat 500e, 2017 and 2020 Bolt are all head and shoulders above any Model 3 I have been in or seen.
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      05-13-2022, 06:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techwhiz1 View Post
Tesla is sneaky about delivery. They want you to sign on the dotted line then inspect and take delivery. Once you sign, it's yours and instead of refusing the car; it goes in for repair.

They deliver in bad lighting so you can't see bad paint.

My best friend had to threaten to sue because they delivered a car (M3LR) with a defect in the paint the size of a dinner plate. Then told her it would be in the shop for a month.

It took 3 more cars to get one that had paint good enough to accept. This was a 2021 model at the beginning of last year.

If you gave me a Tesla I'd sell it.
The quality on my previous Fiat 500e, 2017 and 2020 Bolt are all head and shoulders above any Model 3 I have been in or seen.
YUP! Bad lighting, pressure to sign, telling you it can all be fixed, it's no big deal, all cars have this, lies, lies, lies.....

My 2021 Model Y Performance was the most stressful, bad, uncomfortable and awkward delivery of any car ever!!! I try to say never, but I am pretty sure never again a Tesla for me!!
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      05-14-2022, 12:40 PM   #21
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The delivery of my Tesla Model 3 was so easy and even the paperwork. Called me and said it will be in my driveway the next morning. Woke up at 7am and it was already in our driveway. Followed the steps to open it and was off and about.

Our car had no issues and have not had any since ownership.

Thinking about getting an i4 because I honestly love BMWs since I was a kid. Plus the price of our Model 3 went up considerably and we are leasing. Ok one more thing is not having Apple car play.
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      05-14-2022, 02:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techwhiz1 View Post
Tesla is sneaky about delivery. They want you to sign on the dotted line then inspect and take delivery. Once you sign, it's yours and instead of refusing the car; it goes in for repair.

They deliver in bad lighting so you can't see bad paint.

My best friend had to threaten to sue because they delivered a car (M3LR) with a defect in the paint the size of a dinner plate. Then told her it would be in the shop for a month.

It took 3 more cars to get one that had paint good enough to accept. This was a 2021 model at the beginning of last year.

If you gave me a Tesla I'd sell it.
The quality on my previous Fiat 500e, 2017 and 2020 Bolt are all head and shoulders above any Model 3 I have been in or seen.
Yes! I was a bit shocked when Tesla said I had to sign and take delivery of the car (Model Y LR) to be able to get access to it to inspect it! I took delivery outside in bright sunlight (which actually worked against me as it masked the paint issue). The car had different shades of white on different panels. Didn't notice till the car was in my garage. Initially thought it was lighting, but confirmed it was actually an issue. Tesla didn't even want to fix it and just had me return the car.

I really didn't like the ride of the car. Very stiff and bumpy (and the roads where I live aren't even that bad). Tesla cars give the driver the impression that you are going faster than you really are. It just doesn't feel like your that stable/planted.

The i4 is definitely better than Tesla's in this sense. Ride comfort is great and you really feel safe driving fast. Think Rocket Tank! Going with the i4 is definitely the better choice.
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