2020 Porsche Taycan vs. 2020 BMW i3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Taycan have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The BMW i3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Taycan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The i3 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Taycan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW i3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Taycan has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The i3 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Taycan helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The i3 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The Taycan’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The i3 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Taycan offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The i3 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Taycan and the i3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

The Porsche Taycan weighs 1468 to 2160 pounds more than the BMW i3. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 2020/07/06

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 15th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. BMW is ranked 17th.

Engine

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The Taycan has more powerful engines than the i3:

Horsepower

Torque

Taycan 4S electric motors

482 HP

n/a

Taycan 4S electric motors

562 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

Taycan Turbo electric motors

670 HP

626 lbs.-ft.

Taycan Turbo S electric motors

750 HP

774 lbs.-ft.

i3 electric motor

170 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

i3s electric motor

184 HP

199 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Taycan 4S’ maximum EPA estimated driving range is 203 miles on a full charge, 33% further than the i3’s 153-mile range. The i3 REx can only travel about 126 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Porsche Taycan higher (10 out of 10) than the BMW i3 (7 to 10). This means the Taycan produces up to 11.8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the i3 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Taycan’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The i3 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Taycan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the i3:

Taycan 4S

Taycan Turbo S

i3

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

16.5 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

14.1 inches

16.1 inches

11 inches

The Taycan offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The i3 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Taycan stops shorter than the i3:

Taycan

i3

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Taycan has larger standard tires than the i3 (F:225/55R19 & R:275/45R19 vs. F:155/60R20 & R:175/55R20). The Taycan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the i3 (F:265/35R21 & R:305/30R21 vs. F:175/55R20 & R:195/50R20).

The Taycan 4S’ standard 225/55R19 front and 275/45R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series front and 45 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i3’s standard 70 series front and 60 series rear tires. The Taycan’s optional 265/35R21 front and 305/30R21 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the i3s’ 55 series front and 50 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Taycan offers optional 21-inch wheels. The i3’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Taycan has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Taycan flat and controlled during cornering. The i3’s suspension doesn’t offer stabilizer bars.

The Taycan offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The i3 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The front and rear suspension of the Taycan uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the i3, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The Taycan offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. BMW doesn’t offer an active suspension on the i3.

The Taycan has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The i3’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Taycan’s wheelbase is 13 inches longer than on the i3 (114.2 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Taycan is 4.7 inches wider in the front and 3.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the i3.

The Taycan Turbo S handles at 1.02 G’s, while the i3 pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Taycan is 8.3 inches shorter in height than the i3, making the Taycan much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

The design of the Porsche Taycan amounts to more than styling. The Taycan offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .22 to .25 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is significantly lower than the i3 (.29 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Taycan get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Taycan a Compact car, while the i3 is rated a Subcompact.

The Taycan offers optional seating for 5 passengers; the i3 can only carry 4.

The Taycan has 4.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the i3 (88 vs. 83.6).

The Taycan has 1.3 inches more front legroom, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear legroom and 4 inches more rear shoulder room than the i3.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 46% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The Taycan has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The i3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the i3, the Taycan offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Taycan’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The i3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Taycan detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The i3 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Taycan and the i3 have standard heated front seats. The Taycan also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the i3.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Taycan keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The i3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Taycan’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The i3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Taycan has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The i3 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Taycan offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the i3.

The Taycan’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The i3 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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