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2024 bmw i4 edrive35

2024 BMW i4 eDrive35 is a Throwback EV at a Sharp Price

We’ve all heard the saying, “there’s no base model in our line-up,” but that might actually be true with the BMW i4 eDrive35 which starts from AUD$85,900 plus on-road costs in Australia. It arrived to our market at the end of last year and slots neatly below the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) threshold of AUD$89,332 for fuel-efficient vehicles and the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) for novated leases.

Most importantly, it’s AUD$17,000 less expensive than the next most expensive model in the line-up, the BMW i4 eDrive40 (AUD$102,900 plus).

RELATED: 2024 BMW i5 M60 xDrive Review: The Top Electric ‘M’?

Previously, you could pick a cut-price entry-level model for its blank buttons, small screen size, plastic materials, and the list goes on. However, today, cars are like rolling tablets with wheels, and you would struggle to tell the difference between the BMW i4 eDrive35 and eDrive40 from the inside.

There’s a thinner steering wheel and less expensive Sensatec leatherette used on the seats (heated up front). However, you still get the large 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 14.0-inch infotainment dual-screen display running BMW Operating System 8.0 with wireless Apple CarPlay, head-up display, a wireless phone charger, dual USB-C ports in the rear, a fold-down central armrest, and climate control buttons for rear passengers.

2024 bmw i4 edrive35 boot space
2024 BMW i4 | Image: BMW

Space-wise, there’s plenty of rear legroom and headroom for two passengers and ISOFIX points on the outer seats. However, we’d probably avoid carrying five people due to the raised rear floor hump that shows off the i4’s internal combustion roots.

If you’re heading away for the weekend, you can easily fit large bags in the boot, which has 470 litres of space and 1290 litres when you fold the rear seats flat. That’s more than the 425 litres of space in the Tesla Model 3 (without the underfloor well) and more than the 400 litres of space in the BYD Seal. The large automatic liftback lid will make loading or unloading luggage easy.

Bmw i4 edrive35 review
BMW i4 eDrive35 | Image: Man of Many

We road-tripped the BMW i4 eDrive35 to Canberra to test how the vehicle fared at highway speeds. Surprisingly, we still managed a highway consumption figure of 21.6 kWh per 100km, and when you divide that by the size of the 67kWh lithium-ion battery, you get around 310km of highway range, which is admirable. In the city, we managed 16 kWh per 100km, so expect that range figure to get very close to that claimed range of 430km (ADR). Ultimately, this is more than enough for most people.

When it comes time to charge the i4 eDrive35, you’ll get a maximum DC charge rate of 180kW, which is good for a 10-80 per cent charge in around 30 minutes. Plug it in at home and you’re looking at 0-100 per cent in around seven hours using the 11 kW AC Type 2 charge cable.

2024 bmw i4 edrive35 on road
2024 BMW i4 eDrive35 | Image: BMW

The BMW i4 eDrive35’s driving experience has a throwback element that stood out during our week of testing. The brand hasn’t tried to add excessive sportiness, but this seems to come naturally with a rear-wheel-drive layout and sub-2-tonne tare weight (1990kg). Yeah, it’s a tad slower than other EVs at this price, but with 210kW of power and 400Nm of torque, it’s good for a 0-100km/h sprint in 6.0 seconds, which is more than quick enough for most manoeuvres.

The suspension has been tuned for comfort and day-to-day commuting, but this results in a more compliant ride over most road surfaces, including the coarse chip highways and endless expansion joints we encountered on the way to Canberra.

Modern cars also offer a technological advantage, and the BMW i4 eDrive35 has a smart adaptive regenerative braking system that uses the front camera to maintain a gap and adjust the regenerative force accordingly. The lane-centring system also deserves mention as it’s smooth and takes the headache out of micro adjustments on long highway journeys. Around town, you get safety features like high-beam assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and speed limit recognition without any of the annoying vehicle speed warnings and driver attention monitoring cameras that are plaguing the new car industry and ruining vehicles.

2024 bmw i4 edrive35 on road 2
2024 BMW i4 eDrive35 | Image: BMW

The BMW i4 eDrive35 is priced from AUD$85,900 plus on-road costs in Australia and is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Being a BMW electric vehicle, the high-voltage battery is warranted for eight years or 160,000km, whichever comes first, and you can get a six-year BMW Service Inclusive Basic plan for AUD$1980.

Buy the BMW i4 eDrive35 to enter the luxury electric vehicle market at a fair price point. This car will give you the full BMW ownership experience with the latest technology and features, backed by a driving experience that has become synonymous with the brand. It’s particularly suitable for those who want to use this car for their daily commute and have access to a charger at home or nearby.

On the other hand, if you don’t have access to a charger or regularly drive long distances, we’d probably consider the petrol-powered BMW 330i (AUD$93,400 plus on-road costs) as an alternative.

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