E for Excited, I for Inspired: The BMW i3 Thinks of It All

Bmw I3
Hello electric: the BMW i3 in solar orange

BMW i3 hits it out of the park.

Bmw I3

The hatchback, plus folding rear seats, make cargo toting easy

Practical is not the word most associated with luxury cars, but BMW managed to merge a sensible and sensuous experience with the i3 series.

For those who do not subscribe to both Mother Jones and Motor Trend magazines, the BMW i3 is the platonic ideal of an electric car, both utilitarian enough for an everyday car, but exciting enough for a gear head.

I got to take the car for a spin and came away wanting more. The all-electric car is whisper quiet, emission-free and eye catching, particularly in the bright orange model we drove.

Bmw I3

The cute half door makes getting into the rear seat a bit challenging – but there is plenty of head and leg room

The smooth drive and guilt-free driving combine to make this an ideal city car. With the extended range, you can go about 150 miles before plugging in again; (there’s also a tiny gas tank, holding just a couple of gallons in reserve) perfect for zipping around the city, going to the beach, a suburban shopping mall or visiting the grandparents.

If you need to recharge on the road, download the CarCharging mobile app, to find an EV station.

And if you need to take a longer trip—maybe you moved cross country to escape said parents? – BMW has thought of that, too. Just take your i3 to your dealer and swap it out for a gasoline powered car for your trip. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

Bmw I3

The rear seats fold down

Of course, in a place like New York City, where most of us don’t have driveways, you need to find a public garage with 220 volt charging, but I live near a Whole Foods with electric car charging. Just think – you could eat at the rooftop restaurant, (with outdoor seating and kids’ play area) buy all your groceries, and re-charge your car for free.

pAnd there’s no skimping on the latest technology. The car’s navigation system includes a ConnectedDrive Service that navigates while figuring out the most efficient way for you to get where you are going. There’s also a parking assistant that parks the car for you.

Sign me up.

Judy Antell, who is TravelingMom.com's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell