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2023 BMW i4: Choosing the Right Trim


The 2023 BMW i4 offers an alternative to the Tesla Model 3, providing styling, ride, and handling on par with BMW’s gas-powered sedans, but with an all-electric powertrain and range up to 301 miles.

Throughout 2022, the i4 will be offered in two versions: the rear-drive i4 eDrive40 and the all-wheel-drive i4 M50. Those interested in maximum range and a minimal price will want the eDrive40, while performance drivers will want the more powerful M50.

Both trims come nicely equipped and feature BMW’s latest technology, including driver assists and infotainment.

In the first quarter of 2023, a BMW i4 eDrive35 will arrive.  It’s a rear-drive model with a smaller battery and reduced range, plus a lower price of entry.

In addition to competing with the Tesla Model 3, the new 2023 BMW i4 has other rivals such as the Polestar 2, Kia EV6, and to a lesser extent, midsize electric SUVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Audi e-tron Sportback.

2023 BMW i4 eDrive35 (starting at $51,400)

Employing a single electric motor and a 66-kWh battery pack, the rear-drive BMW i4 eDrive35 produces 281 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. When it arrives for sale in early 2023, it will have a starting base price of $51,400, plus a $995 destination fee.

BMW says the i4 eDrive35 has an expected range of 260 miles, and that it will hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. What’s more, using a fast DC fast charger, the eDrive35’s battery can be brought from a 10% charge to an 80% charge in only 32 minutes.

Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, as is the BMW Curved Display dash, which features a 12.3-inch information display and a 14.9-inch control display behind a seamless glass cover.

A full range of available ConnectedDrive digital services and over-the-air updates will be available. In fact, BMW says the new 2023 BMW i4 eDrive35 will have the same standard and optional equipment as the eDrive40 (outlined below).

When factoring in the $995 destination fee, the 2023 BMW i4 eDrive35 costs $52,395. Financing that amount for 60 months at 3% interest with zero down equals a monthly payment of about $941.

2023 BMW i4 eDrive40 (starting at $55,900)

Employing a single electric motor and an 81-kWh battery pack, the rear-drive BMW i4 eDrive40 produces 355 horsepower and can sprint to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. The maximum range for the eDrive40 is 301 miles.

As with any BMW sedan, the i4 comes installed with the latest safety and driver assist systems. Some items, like adaptive cruise control, are still extra-cost options.

Standard equipment includes forward collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot monitor, lane-departure warning, speed-limit info, and an active detection system that preps the car in the event of an unavoidable collision.

Additional driver conveniences include rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, automatic high-beam headlights, and acoustic pedestrian protection that generates noise so people can hear the electric i4 as it approaches.

The i4 eDrive40 rides on gunmetal gray alloy wheels shod in 18-inch run-flat tires. LED headlights are standard, as are programmable daytime running lights. The i4 features heated side mirrors with a driver’s side auto-dimming driver’s mirror. A power liftback also is standard.

The i4 includes a self-leveling rear air suspension, an integrated regenerative braking system for one-pedal driving, and three driver-selectable modes: Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport.

Luxury touches include a power sunroof, faux-leather upholstery, power front seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, and BMW’s Comfort Access keyless entry, which allows you to lock and unlock the car by touching the door handle.

The i4 includes a multi-zone automatic climate control system with a microfilter and automatic air recycling. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the Live Cockpit Plus curved display, which consists of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch central information display.

BMW’s iDrive 8 system operates via voice, the touchscreen, or the iDrive touchpad controller. The system includes navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, and BMW ConnectedDrive services, including helpful features such as real-time traffic information, stolen vehicle recovery, and on-street parking info.

The i4 offers numerous optional upgrades such as larger wheels, metallic exterior colors, and upscale interior materials, including Vernasca leather.

The Premium Package adds Iconic Sound Electric (pumps various simulated powertrain sounds into the cabin depending on drive mode), ambient interior lighting, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and driver’s seat lumbar support.

The M Sport Package adds an adaptive M suspension, variable Sport steering, an M steering wheel, and a choice of wheel designs and interior accents.

Other options include a head-up display, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, adaptive LED headlights, a wireless charging pad, various Shadowline exterior packages, M Sport brakes with blue calipers, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio upgrade.

With the $995 delivery fee, the 2023 BMW i4 eDrive40 costs $56,895. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $1,022. See the 2023 BMW i4 eDrive40 for sale

2023 BMW i4 eDrive40 includes:

  • Curved display – This massive digital display hosts driver information, infotainment features, and readouts for the EV systems and battery.
  • Automatic high-beam headlights – They automatically dim when sensing approaching traffic, then turn back on once the coast is clear.
  • Power sunroof – A great way to get more light or air into the cabin (when fully opened).

2023 BMW i4 M50 (starting at $67,300)

The BMW i4 M50 is the performance variant, gaining an additional electric motor for a total output of 536 hp and a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds. The M50 features all-wheel drive and has a range of up to 270 miles.

In keeping with its performance image, the M50 adds a Sport Boost feature, M Sport brakes, an adaptive M suspension, variable sport steering, and BMW’s Iconic Sound Electric. This system plays synthesized powertrain soundtracks (composed by Hans Zimmer) through the car’s speakers, which differ with each selected drive mode.

Also notable: 19-inch wheels fitted with high-performance run-flat tires replace the eDrive40’s 18-inch wheels and tires on the i4 M50.

The M50 gains Shadowline trim, an aerodynamic body kit, an M Sport steering wheel, and a SensaTec faux-leather dash pad.

The M50 offers more optional upgrades, including the Driving Assistance Performance Package that adds adaptive cruise control, Traffic Jam Assist, and Steering Assistant that can steer the vehicle for a limited distance without driver input.

The Parking Assistance Package adds Active Park Distance Control with rear automatic braking, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and a 3D Surround View camera.

Other options for the i4 M50 include a high-performance tire package, BMW’s Drive Recorder, a carbon-fiber exterior trim package, and BMW 50 Years emblems.

With the $995 delivery fee, the 2023 BMW i4 M50 costs $68,295. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $1,227. See the 2023 BMW i4 M50 for sale

2023 BMW i4 M50 includes:

  • All-wheel drive — Helps with traction in the snow. You also get better cornering abilities on dry pavement.
  • Adaptive M suspension – Automatically adjusts shock dampers according to varying road conditions.
  • Sport Boost – Delivers the M50’s final 67 hp from its 536 total rating all at once. You can get repeated quick bursts of power as long as the battery remains sufficiently charged.

FAQ

What is the best 2023 BMW i4 trim?

If you’re buying an EV for its range and price, the i4 eDrive40 is probably the right choice. However, if you’re a traditional BMW buyer and love the M treatment regardless of the model, then the added performance from the M50 is the obvious choice.

How long does it take to charge a 2023 BMW i4?

When using a DC fast-charging station, the i4 can go from a 5 to 80% charge in about 30 minutes, or receive about 90 miles of range in about 10 minutes.

Using a Level 2 charger hooked to a 240-volt outlet, charging times for the BMW i4 increase to under eight hours.

Which 2023 BMW i4 trim level offers the most safety?

The i4 has yet to be crash tested, but based on BMW’s other 3 and 4 Series models, we expect it will perform with top marks in all categories.

Opting for other driver-assist systems is the best way to get the most safety from the i4. But even when left bone stock, the i4 is well equipped.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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