How much for a used BMW i3?

Discussion in 'i3' started by Domenick, Mar 5, 2018.

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  1. Just saw where a Forum member bought a used BMW i3 and seems to have gotten a great deal, so I had to check what they're going for used.

    A quick search shows that there are about 828 used i3's out there at the moment, and the lowest prices are in the $13,XXX neighborhood -- these are pretty much all 2014's -- which strikes me as being a really, really good deal.

    Even found this one with a range extender (ReX) for $13,999.

    The price jumps considerably if you're looking a a new model year. The 2016's seem to be around $25,000ish.

    Of course, these have the original, smaller battery, but they seem to hold up better than, say, those in the Nissan LEAF. This experience shows a loss of .8 kWh after about 4 years and 70,000 miles.

    I can probably score a 2014 LEAF for a lot less, though. And actually, looking at this particular deal -- 2015 Leaf with 17,500 miles for $7,805 -- makes me want to grab it right now (except I live in Florida, and I'm not entirely convinced the battery will hold up as well.)

    Argh. What to do?
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  3. Apexerman

    Apexerman Member

    Wow, that sounds like a great deal on the Leaf. I'm willing to bet the battery has a good long life, even with the heat of Florida. Reasonably low miles, three years old and under $8K. They cost more in the SF Bay Area!
    Domenick likes this.
  4. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    When I show up the public charging stations, they're full of Leafs. Could be b/c the range is such that people really do need to use the public chargers for how the Owners use them.

    USED I3'S:
    I've done some extensive research, recently from my purchase a few weeks ago. A few notes on the REX's:
    • Although the 2014's are priced significantly lower, there's also less of the warranty left and new owners need to realize their increased exposure to the issues that plagued the 2014 models (recalls and bulletins). I did see a 2014 REX with about 46k miles that was going for just shy of $16k as a CPO car. Important to note that with the influx of inventory, the discount from a private party sale is close to nothing. Much better to buy a CPO one with all the benefits including but not limited to 1 more year of extended warranty and use of a loaner car in their fleet (14x over the course of 1 year). Dealer offers may differ from place to place.
    • 2015 models are the sweet spot. As Domenick mentioned, the 2016's are priced significantly higher. I did pick a 2016 mostly for the limited edition Deka World interior, but if I were to get one w/o it, it would've been a 2015 for around $21-22k REX with the packages I wanted.
    • In my search, I've noticed the Driver Assist package is much more rare than the Parking Assist package, not to be confused with one another.
    • A tip when searching your listings to figure out which packages the car has, look at the steering wheel and center column. The left side of the steering wheel will have missing buttons if it doesn't have the Driver's Assist package. The center column will be missing the Parking Assist button forward of the electronic emergency brake button.
  5. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    They're very different cars. If you're really comparing the bottom of the pack at 15k and 8k, I'd just advise asking yourself what the $7k difference means to you - not in terms of the car, but in general. Percentage-wise which is how I tend to think of things normally, it's huge. But I'd say that $8k is ridiculously cheap for a fairly capable car (if it suits your needs). $15k is still a pretty cheap car relative to Prius C's, Corolla's, and the like which are priced similarly. Far to compare a new car with an old car? If it's your alternative, then absolutely yes.

    You may get bored of the Leaf fairly quickly. That's the only concern I'd have for you (not knowing much about who you are or what you're looking for).
    Domenick likes this.
  6. $7,000 means a lot to me (and even more to my wife :)). And I like the Leaf, and I probably wouldn't get too bored of it. (I value dependability and functionality over excitement these days.)

    It's just that I like the i3 more. So, when I saw those deals, it was kind of exciting, even if they are, realistically, outside of my budget. (I don't like buying things on credit, so it's a matter of saving up cash.) I did have the chance to do a lap of the Long Beach Formula E circuit in an i3 (as a passenger in the back seat), and so I know it can be pretty fun. Plus, I dig the funky looks, both inside and out

    Needs-wise, I don't need a ReX. I rarely travel more than 20 miles in any direction. Usually, it's more like 5 miles and then back.

    Guess I should just keep my eye on the Leafs and hopefully I'll be in a position financially to act sometime sooner than later.
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  8. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    1. If you know you don't need a REX and $7k is a lot to you, I highly recommend looking at the i3 BEV for a fair comparison to the Leaf. There's a chance you won't find anything b/c $14k is pretty much the cheapest. At that price range, you may not see any savings from getting a BEV vs a REX. Maybe you already did that research and that's how you came up with your specific i3 from that link.

    2. I suspect you'll keep the car for awhile. There won't be much resale value in selling it prematurely. The value you'll be getting is not monetary. The value will be the full use of the car itself, the experiences you'll have with your wife and guests who are lucky enough to ride in it.

    3. You'll always be taking a risk with an EV. There just hasn't been enough history with EV's to really say for certain much of anything. The battery on the i3 has an 8 year warranty. For the Nissan Leaf, it's 60k miles or 5 years. With an 8k car, you'll feel a lot less of a loss if it decides to dump vs the more expensive i3 and may care more about the warranty coverage. Something to consider.

    4. One big thing you should consider is the servicing of it. The i3 may have a maintenance warranty where you are. You'll have to check it b/c I think it depends on your area. One the maintenance warranty ends, you'll need to pay out of pocket. It may be good to ask about pricing. Just call a couple dealers and find out. I called BMW today on the way home from work and they quoted me $160 to change the oil and $190 for brake flush. Prices will vary, but it gives you an idea. I'd recommend calling around for Nissan and BMW for a real comparison for you. More can go wrong with a REX model. So if you really don't have any intention of using it on your short commutes, you may not want it even though the REX feature may be free for low mileage 2014 i3's. A BEV will be quicker off the line. 0.8seconds faster. No plumbing from a gas vehicle to worry about.

    5. I would expect the i3's brakes to last significantly longer than the Leafs. I have no proof of that, but based on the i3 having the strongest regenerative braking system, you'll use the brake less frequently (unless you're having so much fun zipping around that you drive it more aggressively than you would the Leaf.

    6. The mindset for my dad's friend which I never really considered until after he told me is that he doesn't mind buying high mileage cars b/c his commute and use of the car is so few that it'll still last him years and years. So it's not necessarily a bad thing to get a high mileage car in your situation where your daily mileage expectations are low.

    7. You said you're looking more for reliability than excitement. I find the older I get, the more excitement I want. Sounds counter intuitive. You might be the same way. Be honest with yourself. Drive both cars and give points to the one that gives you the biggest grin.

    8. For a number of reasons, the deals on the 2015 CPO models are the all around best value. They're priced so low by the dealers that you don't get much discount off private sales. It's very unusual to see such a huge boost in inventory coming all at once for a car. In this case it's 2015 lease returns. Dealers are trying to get rid of them more than private sellers are trying to rid theirs.

    9. What makes sense on paper is what it is. Don't forget your heart and what just feels right. I wish you good luck in whatever choice you make. Glad you're looking into EV's. It'll be an exciting experience either way you go.

    10. One last thing. If you ultimately decide on the Leaf, you may want to wait another couple months. My friend just took delivery of the 2018 Leaf. I haven't seen any on the road. It's quite new. When we start to see more of these new ones on the road, the prices of the Leaf you're looking at may drop even further. Perhaps worth the wait depending on what's driving your timeframe for the purchase. You do run the risk of the new Leaf drawing more attention from consumers adding to the bunch looking at buying a Leaf and they end up being your competitors for the older model b/c the new one is too expensive. I would still wait on the Leaf unless you see on with a rare trim option combination that you want to snatch.
    Domenick likes this.

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