Suggestions for BMW i3 replacement?

Hiya everyone. I’m just finishing out of my killer BMW i3 lease (thanks to everyone on here) — under $200/month. Sadly BMW has killed my beloved i3 line, so it’s time for something new.

Any suggestions? Looking for all-EV, lots of cargo space, relatively compact, and maximum range (I drive SF to LA a lot - managed to do it with only 2 stops in the i3!). I was thinking about the iD4, but I’m open to suggestions.

Edit: Less worried about budget - just want a decent workhorse car that fills the role the i3 played. Ideally, under $500 a month. i4 is too big and not enough cargo space, iX is just way too much everything.

You’re in for a rude awakening.

What’s your budget though?


Take a look at Ariya advertised at $399/mo with fees on signing.


Yeah, a lot of our $200/mo EV leases are coming to an end. I jumped from a Kona EV to Ioniq 5. It’s twice the payment, but also twice as nice. If you want to stay with an EV within your brand, the i4 is an option. I don’t think you can get any EV for $200/mo in Cali right now. The cheapest are Kia Niros, but for a little more you can get an Ioniq, ID4, C40, XC40, Q4e, or i4.

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Yeah I’m prepared for sticker shock. I’d love to stay under $500/month.

Sweet I’ll take a look. I’m less worried about budget but want a decent car. I’m frankly disappointed in BMW — the i4 is way bigger, more expensive, and less cargo space. The iX is nice but huge and 6x the price. Too much of a jump.

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Nero or Ioniq5?

Some Ariya leases work out to $289/mo all in just based on the dealer’s advertised discount alone. 7.5k/year though so may not be enough for OP.

I too had a i3 lease and ended up buying it out because I like the car a lot.

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These are the big cheap movers right now

  • Kia Niro EV Wind or Wave
  • Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD
  • Volvo XC40
  • Nissan Aryia

All under $500 right now
Note : All prices change at the end of the month, so your risk if you want to wait till August.

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AWESOME! Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I’ll check all of those out and see what I can come up with…will report back…

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Even though it has a shorter range, you also might want to check out the Volvo C40 since it’s so cheap right now.

It’s not actually cheap. It just seems cheap to customers who don’t have any understanding of leases beyond payment as a % of MSRP.

OP is in CA. There is an extra $3500 in lease cash on the XC40 in the the western states, plus $7500, combinable with Costco and A-Plan. This may make it a better deal than the C40. Sweet spot seems to be 24/7.5 on a Ultimate trim, then residuals drop off beyond that.

Leases in this structure should score around to 10-11 range depending how much the dealer can discount pre-incentive.

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I had two i3s and currently a Bolt. These would be my pick for a modern EV in the sub $600 category:

  1. Kia EV6
  2. Hyundai Ioniq5
  3. Mustang MachE

In Texas, it’s a lot easier to get an EV6 GT-Line versus the Ioniq5 Limited with desirable options like surround view camera without the range-sapping AWD. The Mustang leases have improved dramatically in the last 3 months and will only get better as the inventory starts piling up sky high. I don’t like the relatively slow charging of the Mustang, but it’s faster than the i3 you’re used to!

I haven’t really looked at the Ariya because I’m disappointed by its FWD, power, and range, but if the pricing is really cheap why not?

Otherwise, if you could wait until the fall, the updated Polestar 3 and Volvo XC40 with significantly more range and power look enticing. Also, I think the leases will continue to improve for all of these mass-market EVs; just monitor the inventory levels around you for positive affirmation.

If you want to stay in the tiny car category, I’m really interested in the upcoming Mini Cooper and Fiat 500e, but you’ll have to wait until spring of 2024 at least for those. I saw the 500e in its native environment around Milan and it looked super cute.

I hear you on the BMW disappointment; I’m sure there are a ton of folks at BMW who are disappointed in themselves too. I leased a 530e in 2019 assuming I’d get an i4 afterwards. It’s a nice car but obviously a different market than the i3, and its continuing scarcity makes it expensive right now. I’m scheduled to pick up an iX next week, but am not at all excited about parking it or paying 7x for it what I do for my Bolt. Also, what’s the deal with no BMW loyalty on electrics? You can’t throw me a $1k bone for my 10 years of early-adopter loyalty?

Lastly, I’ve also considered buying a used i3 with the new $4,500 fed rebate for sub $25k, used EVs. It has an 8 year batter warranty. And I never had any issues during my 4 years of lease-ship previously.

It looks like the 2024 XC40 gives a 31 mile range bump over 2023 on 400hp dual motor. Single motor, which is first coming out in 2024, is 293 miles.

I just want throw in Tesla MY too.
Lot of space and you might get it under $600 after all CA rebates applied.
Go with XC40 or ioniq5 if you want to stay under $500 lease.
Agree on i4 still expensive and inventory issues.
Hoping better pricing in Fall once inventory build up.

2024 has no discounts (That I know of) and would be over his $500 limit.

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Ah, yes. Maybe I should have clarified. Waiting for a 2024, losing the discounts, all for a small 31 mile bump in range doesnt seem worth it. Better just go for a 2023 if it fits OPs needs.

In terms of size and payment, the closest to the i3 is probably the Kia Niro EV.

Just want to give you guys an update – this is go-week so I checked out the top suggestions so far:

  • ioniq5: Great car. Feels like the natural progression from the i3 – drives well, comfy, more trunk space. Non-wireless CarPlay annoying, otherwise covers all the bases.

  • Niro: Meh. Felt sluggish and cheaper. Not a fan.

  • Tesla Y: Sighhhhhh I’m torn. I rented a 3 while the i3 is in the shop and that got me kinda curious about TeslaWorld. I test drove a Y yesterday (3 doesn’t have enough space) and while I agree with the sentiment of everyone here that the ioniq5 is a better-driving car, I have to admit that I am tempted by the ease of being in the Tesla network. I love the screen UI, the cameras, the range, the charging network is so good, and everything is just pretty darn seamless (the key card, the auto locking, etc.). I do understand why everyone has one around here - it feels like a really next gen kind of car.

So I’m torn between an ioniq5 which is clearly the best of the “basic” EVs and the Model Y which is just so much easier to deal with.

I’ll report back!