BMW i4 eDrive40 first drive

BMW i4 eDrive40 first drive

Zap-Map verdict: “A true, no-compromise version of an executive saloon. BMW pulls off the all-electric 3 Series in the shape of the i4; it’s a game-changer.”

bmw i4 edrive40 drive

  • OTR: £51,905
  • Category: Executive saloon
  • Tax: £0 VED – 2% BIK
  • Cost to charge: £12.90
  • Emissions: 0 g/km CO2
  • Cost per mile of range: £142

BMW i4 eDrive40: Range & charging

bmw i4 edrive40 drive

There are two versions of the BMW i4 available for buyers, the eDrive40 for a long-range focus, and the M50 for a performance option. Maximum range available comes from the eDrive40, which offers a range of up to 365 miles.

There are two configurations available:

    • ● BMW i4 eDrive40 – 250 kW – 80.7 kWh – 365 miles
    • ● BMW i4 M50 – 400 kW – 80.7 kWh – 316 miles


This BMW i4 tested is the eDrive40 version, which has an official range of up to 365 miles on a charge. It means it has one of the longest ranges on the market for an electric vehicle full stop, and certainly in its class.

Although there wasn’t time to fully test the i4’s range on this first drive opportunity, the BMW showed plenty of promise. Over a mixture of roads and driving conditions in winter temperatures, the i4 was returning more than 320 miles on a charge, calculating distance over charge used. Even during enthusiastic driving, the average miles/kWh would calculate to 280 miles on a charge.


BMW’s brake energy recuperation system is excellent, and improved further with this new generation of electric vehicles. The strong setting allows for one-pedal driving much of the time, with the low setting essentially offering a coasting option. There’s also an adaptive system that will determine how strongly to set the region level depending on road and traffic conditions.


Charging is available at up to 205 kW DC on the BMW i4 eDrive40 model, one of the fastest set-ups on the market. Matched to the long range, it makes the i4 a real long distance option for drivers. AC charging can be carried out at 11 kW, with fast charging taking as little as 8 hours for a full charge, and a rapid charge around half an hour to 80%.


The BMW i4 eDrive40 on the road

bmw i4 edrive40 drive

BMW’s compact executive saloon has been a class leader for decades, which puts quite the pressure on the i4. Thankfully, the driving dynamics are pure BMW – well balanced, engaging, sharp, and focusing on agility but not at the expense of comfort. It’s a well refined blend of systems, and the i4 continues BMW’s traditions in this sector.

What’s the BMW i4 eDrive40 like to drive?

Power in this entry-level i4 eDrive40 comes in at 250 kW, which is enough to get the BMW from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds – brisk by anyone’s standards. If additional performance is required, the M50 will do the same sprint in 3.9 seconds. The eDrive40 is more than enough for most drivers however, and deals with town and motorway driving comfortably, before really shining on an open country road.

BMW i4 eDrive40: Comfort & Practicality

bmw i4 edrive40 drive

The i4 is essentially a compact-to-medium sized executive saloon, and the interior space feels bang on for the car’s size. It’s spacious enough for four adults to sit comfortably, plus has a good sized boot. Nothing class-leading or outstanding here, but it’s a good overall offering; and the battery doesn’t really impact on space barring a slightly higher floor than usual.

Design and functionality

The cabin looks good, but is even better to use. The dual screen system is clear and responsive to use, while there are very few buttons on the dashboard. Instead, they are largely kept for the transmission tunnel, where the driver can quickly access them – though learning positions will require taking eyes off the road for a bit. Essentially, it’s all typically BMW, and existing 3, 4, and 5 Series drivers will find a familiar feel to the interior.


BMW i4 eDrive40: Tech & Specifications

bmw i4 edrive40 drive

There are two specifications available for the xDrive40 model – Sport and M Sport. Included as standard are:

  1. Heated front seats
  2. 17-inch alloys
  3. LED headlights
  4. Automatic wipers and lights
  5. BMW Live Cockpit Plus
  6. Wireless phone charging
  7. Reversing camera and parking assistant

The BMW i4 is not just one of the best electric cars money can buy, it’s one of the best cars on the road right now. All the traditional BMW executive saloon strengths, with improved response from the electric motors, a long driving range, and ultra-rapid recharging mean it’s got no weaknesses.

And how much is the road tax on a BMW i4? Use our Car Tax Calculator to find out.

All information above correct at time of publication. Official economy figures, pricing, and tax rates supplied by the manufacturer. Cost to charge based on 0-100% charge at home on a tariff of 16 p/kWh.