Read Caroline’s BMW i4 review for everything you need to know about buying BMW’s new electric car in Ireland.

BMW has been on a ‘charge’ to electrification with the arrival of many new plug-in hybrids and full electric models in recent months. BMW’s ‘i’ family is growing with the arrival of the BMW iX3, iX and now this, the BMW i4!

The BMW i4 is arguably the most interesting of them all, certainly for people who enjoy driving. According to BMW, the i4 is the brand’s first electric vehicle focused squarely on driving dynamics.

There are two versions available from launch: the BMW i4 eDrive40 tested for Changing Lanes, and the i4 M50 with even more performance worthy of the famous BMW ‘M’ badge.

The i4 eDrive40 goes on sale in Ireland priced from €65,505. Let’s take a closer look.

The BMW i4 on test for Changing Lanes!
The BMW i4 on test for Changing Lanes!

What’s so special about the new BMW i4?

The new BMW i4 is a little bit different to other electric BMWs that have come to market recently, like the iX3 and the iX – both SUVs.

The i4 has been designed as a sporty, four-door ‘Gran Coupé’, making it the real style icon of the BMW i range. This car is just beautiful to look at, with the same timeless good looks of a classic 3 Series or 5 Series. It might look quite like a saloon with its elongated rear end but in fact it’s a hatchback – just lift the boot and you will understand. But for sure the ‘Gran Coupé’ moniker is posher!

From the front, the new i4 bears the brand’s signature kidney grille flanked by slim headlights. Colour accents in blue feature in the lights and around the badge if you look closely, a characteristic linking all electric BMWs of this generation. But certainly the styling of the new i4 doesn’t scream ‘electric’, which is a good thing.

M Sport versions like the car on test for Changing Lanes (from €67,345) look the best with 18-inch alloy wheels, M Sport exterior bodystyling, and glossy black exterior trim.

Inside, the i4 has a latest generation BMW cabin with a showstopping curved digital display and exquisite quality worthy of a premium car.

Powered by an 80.7 kWh battery, BMW says over 500 kilometres of driving is possible on a single battery charge. So you needn’t really worry about range. But it’s the way this car handles that really impresses.

The BMW i4 uses a 80.7kWh battery
The BMW i4 uses a 80.7kWh battery that can potentially return over 500 kilometres on a full charge

Inside the BMW i4

M Sport versions have leather upholstery and an M Sport branded leather steering wheel. The main focal point of the cabin is now the 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch control display that combine to give a stunning widescreen effect, very fashionable in the motor industry at the moment. It certainly moves the game on for BMW interiors and is easy to use and navigate.

Yet there is a familiar feeling to this i4 cabin. The quality is excellent throughout. The driving position can be low and sporty. There is a small bit of use of blue accents inside to highlight this car’s membership of the BMW i family. But it’s subtle and does not distract at all from what is a wonderful cabin experience in a premium electric car.

The BMW i4 is a Gran Coupé so open those frameless doors and you’ll find seating for five. However, there is a large transmission tunnel in the rear so it’s probably more suited to two adults in the back. There is some compromise to headroom for the sake of that sloping roofline. It was all worth it.

The boot comes with a powered tailgate and opens just like a hatchback to reveal 470 litres of space. There’s no ‘frunk’ under the bonnet but the i4 can store its cables away neatly in a space at the side of the boot.

The interior of the BMW i4 M Sport
The interior of the BMW i4 M Sport – just gorgeous

Driving the i4

BMW has years of experience creating sporty premium cars and the i4 certainly got the memo. It was designed from the onset to be sporty and engaging, which influenced the design and placing of all the components to make the best of it.

Yes acceleration is rapid, even in this eDrive40 variant. It takes just 5.7 seconds to get to 100 km/h, and the i4 is always ready to respond quickly. Yet, the i4 just feels marvellous on the road. In the eDrive40, a single motor sends 340hp to the rear wheels and the new i4 handles like a classic rear wheel drive BMW. Praise be.

The steering is tactile, and there is a grace to the way this car handles the tarmac that belies what you might think possible of an electric car. There’s very few cars in this price range at the moment that can compete with the i4 when it comes to driver engagement, even the Polestar 2 or Tesla Model 3. It’s also sublimely comfortable.

In real world driving over 400 kilometres seems possible even with high speed motorway driving. The i4 was efficient during my time with it, averaging about 18.5kWh per 100 kilometres. Being low and sleek certainly helps.

The i4 can charge up to 205kW, getting to 80% battery charge in about 30 minutes. Up to 11kW AC charging is possible.

The BMW i40 M50 if you want even more power - 536hp
The BMW i40 M50 if you want even more power – 536hp and all wheel drive

Did you like it?

The BMW i4 is an excellent car. So good, that you will forget it’s electric. It’s a car you buy because you love driving.

For sure, there is still a premium to be paid for an electric car like the i4. But for the refinement and rapid acceleration, there is enough here to abandon your premium petrol or diesel saloon once and for all.

An SUV might be more practical, but the i4 is sexier by far. Sporty premium electric cars don’t get much better than this.

The BMW i4 compromises none of the style and quality the brand was built upon. It handles beautifully and with well over 400 kilometres possible between charges, that’s a lot of fun driving in utter comfort.

The interior quality belongs to a car of this price also and the new digital technology looks great.

If you’re thinking of buying an i4, you probably should!

The BMW i4 is fun to drive and comfortable too
The BMW i4 is fun to drive and comfortable too

Model tested: BMW i40 eDrive40 M Sport
80.7 kWh
Range: 493-590 km (WLTP)
Power: 340hp
Torque: 430Nm
Top speed: 190km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 5.7 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes