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BMW i4 M50 review

BMW i4 M50 summary

  • Five-seat, five-door 4 Series Gran Coupe

  • All-wheel drive

  • Classic BMW drivers car

  • Seering performance

BMW i4 M50 dynamic

BMW i4 design & powertrain

The BMW i4 has an 83.9 kWh lithium-ion battery, and the M50 model has two electric motors, one at the front producing 258hp and one at the back producing 313hp, combining to deliver all-wheel drive.

The i4 is based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe so as well as looking sporty, it’s spacious, with five seats, five doors and a good-sized 470-litre boot (or 1,290 litres with the rear seats folded).

Overall the cockpit is typical BMW, which means it’s driver-focused and functional, but the i4 interior also features the very latest technology.

BMW i4 M50 wheel

What is the BMW i4 M50 like to drive?

Most new cars coming to market are SUVs, instead the BMW i4 is a sports saloon and it sits low down, so in comparison to an SUV it drives like a Touring Car.

The i4 eDrive40 is rear-wheel drive and feels like a 4 Series Gran Coupe to drive – albeit a bit heavier and with no engine noise or tailpipe emissions.

The i4 M50 is all-wheel drive, and it needs to be so that it can handle all the performance: specifically 795 Nm of torque and 544 hp of power. This translates to M car-like performance, with a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 3.9 seconds. What isn’t M car-like is the lack of the loud exhaust note – although there is a specially-composed futuristic soundtrack to accompany acceleration inputs. This is particularly evident in Sport mode, when the car also tightens up in terms of throttle response and body control. There are also drive modes of Comfort and Eco Pro.

BMW’s normal combination of sporty handling and good ride comfort is present, especially in Comfort drive mode, even with the large alloy wheels and low profile tyres, and there’s a rear-bias to the handling, despite the M50 model having all-wheel drive. There’s a low centre of gravity and minimal body roll, and the steering provides a rewarding experience when tackling corners. If you spend more time on motorways than on country roads, then the i4 is as refined as any luxury saloon.

Overall, the interior looks like that of a typical BMW. There’s a thick-rimmed M-Sport steering wheel and the driver’s seat has lots of adjustability to give a good driving position.

The gear selector is still conventional-looking compared to many new EVs, and you can knock it to the left to select ‘B’ mode to capture increased levels of brake regeneration.

Unlike many new cars, which involve the driver having to reach over to press buttons on a central touchscreen for virtually all car controls, the i4 has BMW’s excellent iDrive system, which has a rotary dial positioned between the two seats along with a number of shortcut buttons to control the infotainment system.

There’s a wide central screen which displays very sharp graphics. Satnav includes a high quality map on the central screen, with a more simple map that can be displayed in the middle of the driver’s instrument display, and key directions are also on the head-up display.

Compared to most BMWs over recent years, the i4 has lost the physical controls on the dashboard to adjust the cabin temperature – these are now on the touchscreen. And the controls for the lane departure warning system are also hidden away in the central screen.

What's the vehicle range of the BMW i4 M50?

The BMW i4 M50 has an official electric driving range of 316 miles. You’re likely to average around 240-250 miles in real-world driving, unless you frequently use all the performance on offer, in which case the range would drop even further.

The i4 M50 can rapid charge at up to 200kW, when a 10-80% charge could be achieved in around 30 minutes, or 87 miles could be added in 10 minutes. Using a three-phase 11kW AC wall box at a workplace, a 0-100% charge should take under 8.5 hours.

In comparison, the BMW i4 eDrive40 has an electric driving range of 367 miles, and 102 miles could be added in 10 minutes at a 200kW rapid charger.

Conclusion

BMW will want the i4 to take sales away from the Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 got to market first and has done very well in the sales charts, and it has one big advantage of drivers being able to use the Tesla Supercharger network.

However the BMW i4 comes at things from a different perspective: it offers all the benefits of the normal sporty yet comfortable BMW driving experience, the excellent functional and well-designed BMW cockpit and infotainment system, and BMW’s high quality engineering – and of course the i4 has a practical hatchback compared to the Model 3’s boot.

If the i4 appeals, the decision is whether to opt for the rear-wheel drive i4 eDrive40 or the performance option, the all-wheel drive i4 M50 – which obviously comes with a price premium, as well as with a reduced electric driving range.

Choose your i4

BMWi4Saloon

BMW i4 250kW eDrive40 M Sport 83.9kWh 5dr Auto

  • £5,378 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£598 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)
  • £4,482 Initial rental (ex. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£498 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)
BMW i4
BMWi4Saloon

BMW i4 250kW eDrive40 Sport 83.9kWh 5dr Auto

  • £5,281 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£587 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)
  • £4,401 Initial rental (ex. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£489 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)
BMW i4 front
BMWi4Saloon

BMW i4 400kW M50 83.9kWh 5dr Auto

  • £6,804 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£756 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)
  • £5,670 Initial rental (ex. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£630 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)

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