2020 BMW i3 vs. 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

Both the i3 and the e-Golf have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available crash mitigating brakes.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

The i3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The e-Golf’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for tire rotations, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the e-Golf.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 20th in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 10 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The i3’s standard electric motor produces 36 more horsepower (170 vs. 134) than the e-Golf’s electric motor. The i3s’ standard electric motor produces 50 more horsepower (184 vs. 134) than the e-Golf’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The i3 REx’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 126 miles, a mile further than the e-Golf’s 125 mile range. After it exhausts its pure electric range, the i3 REx can then continue for 44.3 more miles on its internal combustion engine, while the e-Golf has to recharge for 1 hour for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 26 hours.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

The i3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the e-Golf are solid, not vented.

The i3 stops much shorter than the e-Golf:

i3

e-Golf

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

The i3s’ 195/50R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the e-Golf’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the e-Golf. The i3 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the i3 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the e-Golf.

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the e-Golf’s (32.4 feet vs. 35.8 feet). The i3s’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the e-Golf’s (33.8 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 500 pounds less than the Volkswagen e-Golf.

The i3s is 10 inches shorter than the e-Golf, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the i3, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The e-Golf doesn’t offer a memory system.

If the windows are left open on the i3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the e-Golf can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The e-Golf SEL Premium’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The i3’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The i3’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The e-Golf offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The i3’s standard GPS navigation system offers an optional real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The e-Golf’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW i3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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