Buyers of BMW’s i4 can now choose from four variants, as the all-electric sedan’s lineup gets a new all-wheel-drive xDrive40 version for the 2024 model year, as well as some minor equipment updates. Ambient interior lighting is now standard on all i4 trim levels, and the M50 xDrive now gets standard heated front seats with lumbar support and wireless phone charging.
Powertrains and Range
In BMW parlance, xDrive means AWD, while eDrive means a RWD electric vehicle. With the addition of the new variant, buyers of the i4 electric sedan can now choose from four versions for 2024: a low-output rear-drive car (eDrive35), a mid-level car with rear- (eDrive40) or all-wheel-drive (the new xDrive40), or a high-output variant with AWD (M50 xDrive).
The i4 eDrive35 gets a single motor on its rear axle making 281 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. Drawing juice from a 66-kilowatt-hour battery pack, it’s good for 252-276 miles depending on wheel choice, according to the EPA, and can hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds on its way to a 118-mph top speed.
Above the eDrive35, all i4s are fitted with a larger 81-kWh battery pack. Note that, in the electric era, all-wheel drive is accomplished by adding another motor, so the eDrive40 and xDrive40 do not have the same power output. The i4 eDrive40’s single rear-mounted motor makes 335 hp and 317 pounds-feet, with an EPA-rated range of 283-301 miles. BMW claims a 5.5-second 0-60 mph time and the same 118 mph top speed. With an additional motor on the front axle, the i4 xDrive40 generates a total of 396 hp and 443 pounds-feet, and will drain its battery in 279-307 miles. The extra power and traction help it hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 124 mph.
For BMWs, M means Motorsport, and the i4 M50 xDrive boasts 536 hp and 586 pounds-feet of torque. The M50 xDrive can hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph, but its motors drain the battery in just 227-269 miles.
Standard and Optional Safety Features
Considering its price point and the wide availability of active-safety systems, the i4’s list of standard features is pretty light on safety gear for an EV. Regardless of powertrain, standard equipment includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors.
The Parking Assistance Package automates parking and includes a 360-degree camera system to keep an eye on the proceedings. An available Driving Assistance Professional Package bundles adaptive cruise control, lane departure steering assist, low-speed hands-free highway driving and front cross-traffic alert. A head-up display is also available as a stand-alone option.
Availability and Pricing
The 2024 BMW i4 is on sale now. Full-line pricing (including $995 destination) is as follows:
M50 xDrive: $70,695
Versus the Competition
Most luxury automakers are focusing their electrification efforts on SUVs and larger sedans, so at the moment, the i4 has little direct competition. The small-battery 2023 Tesla Model 3 starts at just $40,380 and gets up to an EPA-rated 272 miles on a charge with RWD, while the AWD Model 3 Long Range bases at $47,380 and gets up to 358 miles. Electric brand Polestar will sell you a 2024 2 for as little as $51,300, getting you up to 320 miles per charge. For a comparably performing EV from a totally unexpected source, there’s also the 2024 Kia EV6, which in GT trim boasts 576 hp for $62,925, but its range maxes out at just 218 miles.