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Test-driving BMW i3 with Scepticism and Putting and Order Afterwards

Jack Mark from Boston is describing his family's exclusive BMW i3 test-driving experience.

We are a family living in Boston. Originally from the UK. About 6 years ago in 2008 we were sitting on a chairlift when we were told that we were accepted to the MiniE program. We were the happiest family in MA and the MiniE did not disappoint.

We had a vacation home in NY and although there was no support for the Pioneer program in MA, we loved driving the MiniE.

BMW in New Jersey was very helpful in getting the car back to us when we needed to bring it back to get it serviced. We drove the miniE for two and a half trouble-free years and racked up 34,000 miles on it. We used to compete who is going to drive it. I was the only person in MA with an EV. It was great fun! The Facebook group, led by Tom Moloughney, was the most valuable resource for the early adopters. The dissemination of information was extremely fast with some of the BMW technical folks online to help us troubleshoot any issues.

In January of 2012 I traded in the MiniE for BMW ActiveE. The story was very similar except now I had local support from Boston. I put 33,000 miles with only one issue (SPLINE) and I continue to be a very happy advocate for the BMW EV program.

The Exclusive BMW i3 Experience - Woodcliff Lake NJ

In November, we got an invitation for the BMW i3 inaugural test drives, especially organized for the Electronauts. However, the date, December 11, was my father-in-law’s 80th birthday. So we decided to make a family outing out of the occasion. Celebrating my-father-in-law’s 80th and the first drive of the i3.

My wife did not like the very “different” look of the i3. We all set off to NJ and enjoyed a very lavish and informative information session before we got to drive the cars. My wife ended up liking the car very much once she sat inside it (attached picture) and we ended up taking my in-laws on the drive. My father-in-law is about 5’ 11’ and they were quite comfortable in the back seat. The only complaint my wife has is the positioning of the start/stop lever, which is hidden behind the steering wheel. We also got to see the i8 which is an amazing car, but from the brief time I spent in the car I am sure it is not for us (see attached picture)… Maybe if I was 30 years younger…

When we got the early ordering IDs from BMW, we placed our order with the Boston dealer and are eagerly awaiting pricing and package information for the Electronauts. Unfortunately, this has been slow in coming and in the age of social media this has not been helpful.

Written by Jack Mark from Boston, MA.