RE: BMW i8 | PH Used Buying Guide

RE: BMW i8 | PH Used Buying Guide

Author
Discussion

R33FAL

336 posts

123 months

Monday 29th June
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Try as I might, i would never be able to get over the "bicycle-esque" looking tires on these cars. I get range impact and all, but there should be a law against running 245 width tires on 20 INCH WHEELS!!!

And 215 width on the front... gosh. looks awful

GTRene

Original Poster:

11,637 posts

179 months

Monday 29th June
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R33FAL said:
Try as I might, i would never be able to get over the "bicycle-esque" looking tires on these cars. I get range impact and all, but there should be a law against running 245 width tires on 20 INCH WHEELS!!!

And 215 width on the front... gosh. looks awful
artikel said:
Wheels: 7x20 (f), 7.5x20 (r)
Tyres: 195/50 (f), 215/45 (r)
that would mean they are even narrower as what you are mentioning, maybe the tekst in the artikel is wrong?
otherwise that would be really small, but you can do something about that, but then you need wider wheels as well, because 7 F and 7.5 R is also very narrow if so.

Drinksleeprepeat

24 posts

2 months

Tuesday 30th June
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My only concern that stops me buying one would be the battery life cycle. BMW give an 8 year warranty, which on a 6 year old early car would make me nervous.

I know you could say that about any car, except that unlike something breaking unexpectedly it will need to be done at some stage and I understand that replacing the battery pack is a very expensive.

If you get a warranty does it cover battery replacement, being that it is in a way a consumable ? Does anyone know what the estimated life expectancy is and cost to replace?

Hairymonster

608 posts

60 months

Tuesday 30th June
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MrOrange said:
Costs me less than £200 pm to run. That's RFL, fuel, insurance, tyres, servicing and a full BMW warranty. That smarts every time I consider change, very little comes close in the VFM stakes. It has been 100% reliable (fuel flap issue aside, TADTS), the dealers treat me well (the i8 effect, I call it) and have been a breath of fresh air. It feels as if it will go forever, no creaks, no rattles, no shabby interior, no crappy paint, nothing falling off or wearing out - it looks and feels brand new.

It's more than fast enough for the roads, very few cars will best it unless *really* trying - the performance is effortless and easily exploited. It *can* suffer from understeer if driven a bit-hamfistedly, but you learn to use the power delivery - Slow-in, fast-out in one gear higher than "normal" and it covers ground very impressively.

Do I care the engine is from a MINI? No. Do I care (or even notice) the piped engine sound? No. Do I care that other cars have better 0-60 times or higher top speeds? No. The i8 is a carbon-tubbed, gull-winged, 4 seat, GT hybrid that costs buttons to run and 5 years after it's launch it still looks like it's from the future. More so than any 911 or R8, or Conti - they all seem distinctly last-century in comparison, dinosaurs.
I think this is truly having your cake and eating it.

I'd have one in a shot if I didn't need the carrying capacity of an estate.

loudlashadjuster

3,562 posts

139 months

Tuesday 30th June
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I really think these will be future collector's items. Prices won't have bottomed out yet, but with production stopped I doubt it'll be too many years before they stabilise and start to creep up.

I should bookmark this and check-in in ten years smile

Abe Froman

1,354 posts

204 months

Tuesday 30th June
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I bought one about 8 months ago and I really do have to echo the other owners comments. To the point that anxiety kicks in as to what I would/could replace it with when the time comes. Managed a 126mpg journey back from work (15 miles in wet behind lorry but you get the point) in Sport mode the mixture of both engines gives you incredible acceleration which (as has been said) feels far more than the stats suggest.

2 new rears last week - yes they are 245, but it depends on the wheel style - £175 each fitted (BMW wanted £240 each - that's another story). I have the larger fuel tank which isn't exactly large and as the article says I can't imagine having the smaller capacity tank.

Nothing but good responses from other people, which makes a change and it does feel special. I think the getting in and out helps that.

The normal commute to work can be quiet, serene and relaxing or bonkers, barmy and exciting depending on your mood.

Would recommend.

A Winner Is You

21,773 posts

182 months

Tuesday 30th June
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lotuslover69 said:
I quite like the I8, i have thought about one as my next car, although it does look like it is stting out a 911 at the rear.
I loved the looks until I first saw that comment on here, an image I can now never get out of my head.

BERNEV

19 posts

65 months

Tuesday 30th June
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bennno said:
Some good points, however

- Boxster comparison wrong, you could have bought a couple of Jonny Cecotto E30 M3's, or a 911 3.2clubsport or 964RS all of which would be worth x times as much again.

- There is a strong parrallel with between the i8 and NSX, both are pseudo supercars, great looks and usable but without the performance / engine character / distinct from rep mobile interior that would make them bonefide classics.

- I was due to buy an i8 last month, but suddenly saw a couple of late, low mileage, very well priced sports series mclarens. It lit up the whole cost to run and everyday usable vs supercar performance. It was a heart vs head - but after a few long days of pondering i decided the i8 still has a way to drop and looks a bit ungainly. Its special, but still not properly special.

Hi Bennno. All I was trying to reflect in the NSX comparison (which you have correctly identified has similar attributes to the i8 - eg widely admired in the press but didn't really sell) was that I bought an "outsider option" as a normal car and that over the subsequent years I have seen my initial judgement proved correct. The NSX became an icon - even if people do continue to malign the interior. By the way, while it's drab as hell in black leather and plastic, it's beautifully made and the ergonomics are faultless. The best I have experienced no question. And you really can't say that an NSX engine has no character. It is regarded as one of the best engines of its generation. We could start a thread on that but I'll close that one down here. Meanwhile, the Boxster didn't do well principally because Porsche routinely updated it effectively every four years (four cylinder engines aside) and that the earliest models are not considered precious - merely old and under-powered. A better comparison for me perhaps would have been a 996 but I could only afford a Boxster.... Of course I could have got a 964RS or a Carrera CS but I was looking for an everyday car....Indeed a friend bought such an RS at the same time and sold it in 2000 for a price he now cries over.


Edited by bennno on Monday 29th June 21:39


Edited by bennno on Monday 29th June 21:41

BERNEV

19 posts

65 months

Tuesday 30th June
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Drinksleeprepeat said:
My only concern that stops me buying one would be the battery life cycle. BMW give an 8 year warranty, which on a 6 year old early car would make me nervous.

I know you could say that about any car, except that unlike something breaking unexpectedly it will need to be done at some stage and I understand that replacing the battery pack is a very expensive.

If you get a warranty does it cover battery replacement, being that it is in a way a consumable ? Does anyone know what the estimated life expectancy is and cost to replace?
Apparently it has one of the i3 battery packs and I have heard figures ranging from £5000-£10000 to replace them when the time comes. I will leave that sort of money aside. When you think of the money for a routine cam belt service on a Ferrari it doesn't seem too bad. Or worse you suffer a mechanical failure on a 6-8-12 cylinder engine - that would do far more damage to your wallet. And no, the batteries are not covered by the general warranty after 8 years but BMW's thinking must be that they have been designed for 14 years or so life. After all look how many teenage Priuses there are in London.

We need to remember that an i8 is an expensive car. it will always be costly to maintain but less than its competitors. But, if individuals think that here is a car which will take care of itself and with no expense then dream on and buy an MX5.

bennno

6,271 posts

224 months

Tuesday 30th June
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BERNEV said:
Hi Bennno. All I was trying to reflect in the NSX comparison (which you have correctly identified has similar attributes to the i8 - eg widely admired in the press but didn't really sell) was that I bought an "outsider option" as a normal car and that over the subsequent years I have seen my initial judgement proved correct. The NSX became an icon - even if people do continue to malign the interior. By the way, while it's drab as hell in black leather and plastic, it's beautifully made and the ergonomics are faultless. The best I have experienced no question. And you really can't say that an NSX engine has no character. It is regarded as one of the best engines of its generation. We could start a thread on that but I'll close that one down here. Meanwhile, the Boxster didn't do well principally because Porsche routinely updated it effectively every four years (four cylinder engines aside) and that the earliest models are not considered precious - merely old and under-powered. A better comparison for me perhaps would have been a 996 but I could only afford a Boxster.... Of course I could have got a 964RS or a Carrera CS but I was looking for an everyday car....Indeed a friend bought such an RS at the same time and sold it in 2000 for a price he now cries over.
Agreed, just imagine what the Honda would be worth if it had a 3.5L V8 with 450bhp and a more unique interior - would be hugely valuable.

Both are left of centre, very interesting cars, sometimes its good not to go with the obvious option.

BERNEV

19 posts

65 months

Tuesday 30th June
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In response to Bennno Ha! You are talking about the new NSX (more or less) and that isn't selling either. Despite Honda's great achievements in F1 (as a manufacturer and engine supplier) and in MotoGP - not forgetting being the greatest motorcycle manufacturer - Honda just doesn't resonate with those with £100k plus in their pockets - shades of Accords and Jazzes. The same applies to BMW but to a lesser extent. It's a shame but there you go. Honda is a little to blame though - their dealership network had no idea how to sell the the original NSX and buyers are (or were) treated no differently from a Civic owner. When you spend loads of money this isn't good enough frankly. Honda then made the mistake of only selling the new NSX from Honda Chiswick (or so i am led to believe). While this is a great showroom it is still full of Civics (and lawn mowers).....

Bimmer800

2 posts

1 month

Tuesday 30th June
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I purchased a 2015 coupe from a local BMW dealer last Nov on 6k miles. I also have a Gen 1 997 C2s and some modern stuff as dailies. For me the car is incredible value. OK its not got McLaren performance but the build quality and technology of my 5 year old car is in a different league (in my view) to a friend's 570GT.

The i8 is often misrepresented. Its quicker across country than my 911 (which I find really light and floaty at the front end and terrible in the wet), looks incredible and feels a real "event" to drive. Like most people on here, I have had some quick cars, but I have never felt short changed with the i8s grunt - really torquey and sounds really good - yes its amplified, but the "real" noise is nice too.

I drive mine in Sport always, and remain amazed at the integration of the 2 electric motors and the petrol engine - it definitely feels so much bigger than a 1.5. In my experience most people think it's an electric car, and mock it when they discover it has a "Mini" engine. Without doubt that damaged its credentials and has driven down its value. But £50k buys you a minter and what else for that price compares when you consider drama, performance, handling?




ravon

540 posts

237 months

Tuesday 30th June
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I'm on my second one in five years, which is Gen2 Coupe, couldn't be more pleased with them both, more than fast enough for the road, remarkable fuel economy for the performance available. Can think of no car I'd rather use for long European road trips, brilliant car completely misunderstood by the masses. Loved the comment earlier on in this thread about the terrible ride, obviously a schoolboy pretending to be an adult and failing !

FeelingLucky

852 posts

119 months

Tuesday 30th June
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ravon said:
I'm on my second one in five years, which is Gen2 Coupe, couldn't be more pleased with them both, more than fast enough for the road, remarkable fuel economy for the performance available. Can think of no car I'd rather use for long European road trips, brilliant car completely misunderstood by the masses. Loved the comment earlier on in this thread about the terrible ride, obviously a schoolboy pretending to be an adult and failing !
Funny, I thought exactly the same thing whist reading that post.

Clearly somebody who has never driven or even been in one.
If you have an axe to grind it's probably best to stick with verifiable facts.

I always felt the ride in my i8 was exceptional, night and day better then the turbo S, I'd just come out of.

Iwantafusca

345 posts

30 months

Tuesday 30th June
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Only modern car i have stopped to take a picture of. Stunning!

Chubbyross

804 posts

40 months

Tuesday 30th June
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BERNEV said:
There is quite a lot of twaddled talked about the i8. Anyway, I think the reason BMW axed the i8 and toned down its aspirations for i8/i3 is that it wasn't commercially successful and nobody was following suit. We have to remember that BMW has never been an innovator, great at steady evolution of super saloons granted, but never in the forefront of technology. Until the i8/i3 that is. As a big company which has moved away from lowish volume to mass sales across the whole spectrum of motoring this "failure to meet the bottom line" must have scared them witless. Hence the move back to standard PHEVs and new pure EVs - in line with the herd. So, with iNEXT put on the shelf for now, I suspect that we won't see another car like the i8 from BMW for a very long time - they just won't take the risk until they forget about the hurt. So in 2035 or so.... It seems BMW tend to have a random creative urge every twenty years or so - M1, Z8 - and then go back to what they are good at when it crashes and burns. Which it also did for both M1 and Z8 - both were motoring dead ends. The problem with the i8 is that, unlike M1 and Z8 which were halo cars, BMW really did think it would change the world with it and carried on until they had made 20000 of them (loads more than the Z8 or M1). So, it most have hurt very badly indeed.

In relation to the car and for those that haven't driven it - it is fabulous. It does everything really well but clearly does not beat anything in any category. It is truly a Jack of all Trades and no worse for that in my view. People often say "An R8 is faster; a Polo is more economical; a X5 has more space; it's not as EV as a Tesla". All true but a Polo can't do 0-62 in 4.4 seconds either. It seems to me that a lot of people talk about car comparisons on here on the basis of Top Trumps specifications etc and not from the perspective of the real world. But for most people who buy such cars economics has to be factor. For me having a car that is usable daily, looks epic and has sensible running costs is fundamental. There is little point in having a vehicle if it can't be run due to reliability or cost issues. Now I am not casting aspersions on any other cars but I think I can categorically say that the i8 is reliable and is very low cost to run in comparison to other cars that it is compared to on here (R8/911 etc). And in comparison to other similar posey or wacky cars (McLaren/Ferrari) it's cheap as chips. Same, it's much cheaper to run than an equivalent posh GT (Aston/Conti) that you could get for the same sort of money secondhand. I am not comparing it to any of them but to make the point that having a car that looks fabulous, goes fairly well but has a tiny engine can actually be a good thing.

Fo other i8 owners on here, we will continue to be trolled for having a car that has a MINI engine and is unreliable/batteries will fail/insert your favourite i8 failure here (even if it's not true). But in time, I suspect that the tide will turn as people recognise the i8 for what it is. I might have mentioned this in a previous post but I had the same sort of "OMG what are you doing?" thing when I bought my first (secondhand) NSX in preference to a new Boxster (in 1996). The NSX was three years old. I still have an NSX. If I opted for a Boxster it would be worth £2000. The NSX meanwhile is well over £50,000. It's also dead reliable and cheap(ash) to run. It still turns heads. It is now recognised as the game changer it was rather than the car people overlooked in favour of a 996. I know which I would rather have. The same applies to the i8. We should review this thread in 2035!
You talk much, much sense. And, I hope you don’t mind me saying, you made an exceptionally wise choice in your NSX. Like the i8, they’re stunning cars. The NSX will only continue to climb in value, quite rightly.

jjr1

2,752 posts

215 months

Tuesday 30th June
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Terrible ride? - Yet another owner here who could not understand that comment. If two things spring to mind it is the feeling of lightness that this car creates and it's lovely ride. It really was a weird comment.

blearyeyedboy

5,041 posts

134 months

Tuesday 30th June
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I think that by the time I can buy myself one as a peri-retirement present, these will be silly expensive to buy.

"Future classic" stamped all over it.

FlukePlay

131 posts

100 months

Tuesday 30th June
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I've read the comments and it's great to hear feedback from so many owners here. When this launched I thought it was a very bold and innovative step from BMW, a real game changer. My thoughts after 6 years of production have not diminished. Yep, some people just don't get it and they never will. Can't believe some of you are on your second and even third i8! I would be very intrigued to see how this car would have evolved if BMW continued with it, a real shame.

bennno

6,271 posts

224 months

Tuesday 30th June
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blearyeyedboy said:
I think that by the time I can buy myself one as a peri-retirement present, these will be silly expensive to buy.

"Future classic" stamped all over it.
What’s a peri retirement - when you stop visiting Nando’s?