It seems like Car and Driver has saved a spot for BMW in its 10Best list for as long as I can remember. For the 2023 10Best list, Dan Edmunds of Car and Driver writes, “During our EV of the Year testing, the BMW i4 M50 was a standout performer that got a lot of buzz.” In the story’s attached video, the presenter says, “The i4 earned our 10Best award because it shows that BMW’s electrified future isn’t leaving driving enthusiasts behind.”
They were so impressed with the M50 model that comparisons to the modern M3 came into play, saying that it “produces ab-punishing acceleration”, is “quicker than a BMW M3, and has “brakes, steering, and suspension that are fully up to the task, too.” This is all despite the fact that the i4 M50 weighs nearly 1,200 pounds more than the M3. Car and Driver goes on to compare the single-motor eDrive40 to the similarly spec’d gas-powered 4 Series, saying that the all-electric version beats the gas-powered equivalents across their range of acceleration tests.
On the topic of weight and acceleration, the dual-motor i4 M50 produces some shocking real-world numbers. At just under 5,100 pounds, it rockets to sixty in 3.3 seconds, it will accelerate from 50 to 70 mph in only two seconds.
The comments section was more positive than what I’d expect from anonymous posters on the internet—meaning, there were actually a few positive comments. User MC10 responds, “It’s impressive what BMW has been able to do with their EV efficiency considering thus far they’ve been CLAR based vehicles. Look forward to seeing what the dedicated Neue Klasse architecture brings.” User edm7336 writes, “BMW is the only luxury German carmaker offering EV alternatives to its ICE vehicles with few compromises.” And jac1141 adds, “I got my i4 eDrive40 in October and love it. It drives as well and even more nimbly than the 540i that I traded in on it, and it does get pretty close to the advertised range.” Though he also said the range is cut a bit in colder weather.
Naturally, there were some negative comments to go along with the positive ones. Some didn’t like the interior, or performance vs range tradeoffs of EVs, or unknown maintenance and repairs down the road. However, as I’ve been focused and gravitating toward older BMWs, PaulLandermanGJ’s message stuck with me: “This car wasn’t even on my radar, but perhaps it should be.” —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW.]