Poll: diesel A-class vs electric i3

Which do you prefer?

  • Diesel A-class

    Votes: 17 58.6%
  • Electric i3

    Votes: 12 41.4%

  • Total voters
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MB Enthusiast
Apr 5, 2008
A205 C220d
Lease deals for the electric BMW i3 are out. Broadly speaking the electric BMW i3 will cost the same to run as a diesel Merc A-class (total running costs).


So in a nut shell which would you rather have?

BMW offer a finance package where a BMW can be borrowed for those longer journeys - for those who have the i3 as their only car.
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Neither sorry :D

Electric technology is not there yet and I'm not a diesel fan so in a small car it would have to be petrol.
Ian, you can have a petrol A-class if you 'want', but it will cost you a bit more ;)

I quite like the look of the i3, hence the thread. Most if not all electrics have usually been more expensive than their combustion engine competitors. If you also consider that the i3 is carbon-fibre, then there's a lot of technology on offer for a relatively affordable price tag.
i3 is cool and has some trick features but if you look at the electronics its one area where BMW are not the leader. Here the front runner by a mile is Nissan with the Leaf a real world range of 124 miles compared to BMW's 80 -90 miles and the Leaf will happily run at 90 mph. Never driven the i3 so can't compare but the Leaf is surprisingly good, it amazed me how nippy it is and an involved drive.

Out of your choices as much as I do like the BMW marque it would be a petrol A class
Slightly worrying for Mercedes that BMW have had the "stones" to bring this level of new technology to the market --I'm duly impressed by the carbon fibre body thing :cool: -- whereas MB have given us a competent well finished but otherwise unremarkable Eurobox clone. There's always the electric Smart I suppose? :eek:
Am I reading that correctly?

£369 for a 36 month lease with 24,000 mile limit, after that getting hit by around 6p per mile.

On top of that the "Access" package that gives you the conventional car for longer journeys (which also eats into you 24,000 miles?) costs £75 or £80 per month.

So say £444 per month when I can get an A180 AMG Sport on 36 month/ 30,000 miles contract hire for £336?
No one said you didn't have to pay for technology :D
No one said you didn't have to pay for technology :D

Ahh I had not realised there is a (more expensive) "Range Extender" version which has a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine lashed on with a mighty 9 litre fuel tank, giving "up to 186 miles range"

Those makes more sense but at a price
I was intrigued by BMW's range extender option with visions of the salesman handing the customer a Honda generator, a set of jump leads and a long pipe to stick out the window for an exhaust! It is however a much more integrated system than that.
BMW i3 Range Extender To Offer Up to 87 More Miles, Decreases Performance

With RE


Without RE



and while this article acknowledges the technical superiority of the BMW it apparently can't compete financially with the US "bench mark" Chevy Volt.
BMW i3 w/Range Extender Vs. Chevrolet Volt


ps at last manufacturers are beginning to bring out electric cars that do give off an "attractive but futuristic" look without appearing as if the designer in charge of the battery pack designed the body on the back of an envelope in his tea break
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Just clocked the wheel & tyre combination: 155/70 R19!
Lease deals for the electric BMW i3 are out. Broadly speaking the electric BMW i3 will cost the same to run as a diesel Merc A-class (total running costs).

Does that include fuel costs?

It's amazing how far BMW have pushed the development of these cars. Aluminium, carbon fibre, etc, etc

Looked at in isolation, details like a 155/70 R19 tyre size seem completely at odds with the market. BMW seem to acknowledge that as they offer a more conventionally-sized tyre setup as an option. Persuading the marketing "experts" that an unconventional car shouldn't use a conventional marketing approach may have been hard at first but BMW is good at understanding, articulating and delivering this kind of step change

I think lots of people are really not going to get the cars at first but, as the Prius did for hybrids, so the BMWs will open up the market for electric cars

And it'll be a real breath of fresh air when the current obsession with bling & stupid wheel & tyre sizes ends. It's incredibly juvenile - but then that's why it appeals to buyers

Nick Froome
Ahh I had not realised there is a (more expensive) "Range Extender" version which has a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine lashed on with a mighty 9 litre fuel tank, giving "up to 186 miles range"

You could drive 186 miles on 9 litres of diesel anyway in the new breed of diesels city cars so that makes even less sense. :dk:
Would be interesting to know what warranty BMW offer on their powertrain battery plus motor. Toyota were offering 5years or 100,000 miles on the Hybrid Synergy Drive System (HSD System) powertrain [ 8 years on battery] with their latest Prius . BMW appear to offer a similar deal on their battery not sure on the rest of the gubbins??
Does that include fuel costs?

Yes, over a 3 year, 23,000 mile period the two cars will have broadly the same depreciation+fuel costs. Obviously the more you use either car the lower the depreciation, so there will possibly be a cross over point where one car becomes clearly cheaper than the other. But I've not bothered to calculate tat yet.
I worked out that over 10k miles the diesel would cost around £140 a month compared with £18 for the i3, that was a 1.6d doing 50mpg.

However, the i3 was costing £350 a month compared with £250 for the 1.6d (on average).

So it is not really saving anything, but more a lifestyle choice.
Get to 20k miles a year and the electric makes more sense.

In East Anglia it is only £10 a year for a card to charge the car at any one of 600 charge points in the area.

Live Availability | Source East

This means I could drive to London from Norwich and stop at Stanstead and charge my car while I grab my coffee, charge again at Cavendish square and then drive home, grabbing a coffee at Stanstead services again.

50% charge takes around 15 minutes by the way.

Once we have charge points everywhere electric cars will take off.
At the moment I think every one presumes that we only have the choice of charging at home, which puts people off.
Volvo V60 PHEV vs i3?

My electric is free from the solar panels (10kw) and hydro (7kw peak)

Demo'ing a V60 on Thursday for 24 hours. Same price as the BMW, but a much bigger car. - it does 30 miles on leccy - which is 90% of the populations commute covered, then a conventional diesel for long journeys / towing etc. Makes more sense to me.
I'm excited by the new technology. It's becoming more viable all the time. The i8 is also a very nice looking car, albeit not comparable to an A class....
The A class for many reasons;

1). Its not a BMW
2). its not electric and thus in the same camp as the Prius drivers.
3). Wont look like a tree hugging veggie numpty driving it.
4). Wont be unavailable in the event of an emergency because its flat and needs charging.
5). Far more fun to drive.
6). Has a far greater range between fill ups.
7). Fillups take about 5 minutes not five hours (or more).
8). Pedestrians/cyclists can hear it approaching.
9). Doesnt pander to the misguided green philosphy that the car is an evil.
1000. Its not a BMW
i3. A-Class is same old same old. The BMW the opportunity to sample where we are going not merely where we've been. I think you would enjoy it Will. Have you driven one yet? Can be driven with throttle pedal only apparently. (And steering wheel - before someone chimes in).

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