Archive for July 2019



When you are visiting friends and low on juice, do not lose any moment to charge your i3

To complement our earlier review about the BMW i3 (with range extender), We tested the BEV, with a stronger battery yet without the tiny ICE that acts as a generator.

You can read our review by clicking the link below:

Varol and Dan had a close look to understand how the future of e-BMW’s would be like

It is wise to think that BMW carefully paves the way to full-electrification by offering better batteries while gradually eliminating transitional solutions like range extender.

Getting used to non-luxury cabin may require some time. Not so with its spaciousness.

The new 120Ah 42.2kWh battery enables a range of up to 246 km.
This is a 100 percent improvement from the original 60Ah battery in the 2014 model.

Driving impressions

During my one-week test drive, I enjoyed the driving dynamics, the great acceleration (which is a general feature of EV’s with instant torque delivery) and the spacious cabin of the i3. I was also curious about the proposed range of 246 km which BMW promises. Would I reach this range? The short answer is: No. In hot summer days, you can hardly drive without AC on. and use of AC reduces the range. This is laws of physics. The best range I could reach was 210 or so. This is still acceptable if you drive i3 in the city with a lot of stop-and traffic.

Charging the i3 at a Mitsubishi dealer

We attended a weekend party with our friends on a Saturday. On this day, I was not able to go to a fast-charging station in the morning. And my wife experienced a range-anxiety as the range indicator warned us with less than 14 kilometers of range. And as we arrived there, I tightly parked the car just close enough to reach the plug at the wall with the standard cord. And I was able to charge the i3 for another 15 kilometers in nearly five hours.

So, charging with a standard 110V outlet at home helps a little, especially if this is your only car.


The base price for the BEV is $53,660, thus $8,650 cheaper than its sibling with the range extender, which starts at $53,600.

Our tester’s price climbed to $57,600 with options such as:
Premium Enhanced Package ($7,750), Driver Assistance Package ($2,500), Sport Package ($1,400), Glass Sunroof ($1,200) and Wireless Charging with Extended Bluetooth and USB ($350) and Eucalyptus Matt Fine Wood Trim ($350).

Fully-loaded, the MSRP reaches $57,600 and still $4,645 lower than our (again) fully-loaded earlier tester with $62,245.

For a price saving of nearly 5K, you can more excitement and better planning skills.


When you choose an EV, it is still an expensive alternative without any government incentive. When you choose a BMW as an EV, this is definitely an expensive alternative among the EV’s. And this will probably be not your only car. Then, by not giving another 5K to have a considerable less range anxiety and more flexibility?

Choose wisely and choose the model with range extender.

Article and Photos by Varol McKars

2019 BMW X2 M35i

A “transitional” design between a CUV and a hatchback. The X2 would be an alien to the BMW design language 10 years ago, but now it is well-accepted and unmistakeably BMW too

Expanding the “X”

People always want to get everything in one package, especially when it comes to the crossover market. BMW X2 offers a great package, it is capable of doing everything, but we are going to see how good it can do in this review.

The interior has a typical BMW quality. “Magma Read Dakota Leather” is a vibrant color and emits energy inside.

The crossover market gets more and more popular and every manufacturer works to expand its model range. Even at BMW, the world’s number one luxury car manufacturer, we may have more “non-sedans” than the traditional sedans soon. Remember, that there was only the BMW X5 in the beginning of the century, and then the Bavarians eventually released the X3 thereafter, and eventually they have used X seven times across their entire model range to define SUV’s and CUV’s. Why? Because the customer is the king and also BMW had to bow to the demands of its customers.

However, remember that BMW calls this vehicle SAC, “Sports Activity Coupé”. a subcategory within the X Family.

Currently, BMW offers 7 different X models which start from the X1 all the way up to the X7. You may think that X2 is the bigger brother of the X1, but it is vice versa. The X2 has sportier – “coupe-ish” design elements which are slightly lower and shorter. So, you are buying a car, which should be a “utility” vehicle, and you have to sacrifice legroom, headroom, and overall space just for the looks.

Our tester had the M35i package, which comes with sport suspension (10mm lower than its non-M counterpart), “M” badged steering wheel and sport brakes, bigger 20” rims, sport seats making you feel closer to a sports car, rather than a utility vehicle. Mind you, this is not a real M car, just a few different changes to make it livelier.

With 302 horsepower and 332 lb-ft this is BMW’s most powerful 2.0L TwinPower Turbo engine

Engine and Powertrain

BMW X2 M35i comes with a four-cylinder 2.0L turbocharged engine, which produces 302 horsepower and 332 lb/ft of torque. It is not overwhelming but definitely not slow. It is matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission which we should say, we are really impressed. Shifts are really quick, smooth when driving slowly. When you push it hard, it is super engaging and matches really well with the overall performance of the engine.

Driving Impressions

What we didn’t like about the engine is, which is probably software related issue, throttle response is not really good, especially in the first gear. It literally takes two seconds to start accelerating. You can switch to Sport mode to eliminate most of this problem, but it is still there. What we also found in the first gear is, it doesn’t matter if DSC/TC is ON or OFF the turbocharger probably boosts less than the other gears, so it doesn’t feel like 302 horsepower all-wheel-drive car until you upshift to the second gear. Our tests show that it consumed 11.8L / 100 km and we weren’t easy on it, so it is obvious that 2.0L engine is great on gas, considering its power, the overall weight of the car and all-wheel-drive system.

20″ light-alloy double spoke wheels cost $500 as a stand-alone option
As a weird design feature, the thick C-pillar bears a BMW badge on both sides.

Handling and driving dynamics are extremely good for a crossover. X2 feels more like a car, rather than an SUV, as we detected almost no body roll when the vehicle reaches its cornering limits. Also, since it has the M package, you are slightly lower than many crossovers, so you would feel like you are actually driving a hatchback. It really looks like slightly raised hatchback BMW and it feels the same way inside.

When you get in the X2, you instantly feel that you are in a BMW. It has a typical BMW interior design. Overall quality is really good for its class. However, feature-wise, there are some important missing ones, such as cooled seats, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring. Considering its price range, those features should be standard, let alone an option. It also doesn’t have Android Auto, like the other BMWs. Other than that, we have a typical BMW infotainment system, which is really good and user-friendly.


The base price is $49.200. Our fully loaded tester had the premium package costing $5.650 and three standalone options costing $1,400 in total. These additions bring the total MSRP to $56.650


This is a good choice for BMW fans or new clients who want to experience BMW sportiness and M performance features in a relatively affordable way. And affordable is relative.

Article and pictures by Dan Gunay & Varol McKars