The BMW i8 has been in production 2 years now since the initial release in 2014. It’s stunning style, unique doors, and hybrid capabilities that balance performance and efficiency at a sub $200k price range have made the i8 rapidly successful within the past year. There’s already talk on the future of the i8 including a possible 4-cylinder engine upgrade for more power or even going full electric to better compete with the Tesla Model S.
The i8 is a very special car, sort of in a class of it’s own as of now. It’s is an exotic hybrid-performance car that has the capabilities to be driven everyday/more frequently with a lot of driving pleasure, at much lower fuel costs and potentially lower maintenance compared to other exotic-cars in it’s price range as well as it’s cousin models from BMW’s M division. That being said, some owners have shown to drive their i8’s more frequently, while others have chosen to save it for more special occasions, making the i8 stand in somewhat of a gray area on the used market, but by no means in a bad way.
The BMW i8 Two Years Later
Pricing: The market for the BMW i8 has changed since BMW decided to up the production of the i8, making the $100,000 markups above MSRP a thing of the past. Right now, you can purchase a Pre-Owned BMW i8 for as low as around $95,000, and an average resale price between $115,000-125,000. Part of that has to do with the MSRP markup, however there still a significant loss in deprecation within the first 2-years of ownership depending on how many miles the previous owner has put on the car, even though most on the used market don’t have anymore than 20,000 miles. Either way, some depreciations we’re as high as $80,000 if one paid the markup or around $45,000 if one paid closer to MSRP. We looked at one of the promoted leases from BMW for a New i8 (likely a base Giga-World), the buyout price at the end of the lease was $89,263 after 3 years of leasing at $1539/per month with a max of 10,000 miles per year allowed, but that can vary on many factors. Depending on the i8’s future, it is questionable which direction it’s resale value will go. If the i8 goes with a new 4-Cylinder hybrid drivetrain with more power like earlier rumors have stated, expect value to further depreciate. However, if it goes to a full-electric drivetrain, it could go both ways. Only time will tell.
Driving Impressions: Driving a 2-year old i8 with a couple thousand miles on the clock. The vehicle still drives the way it should like it was new. Great acceleration despite being around 150-200 horsepower less than other 500+HP exotics, so don’t knock the power just because of what you see on paper. The i8 has surprisingly great handling thats balanced quite well and firm suspension to suit the curvy roads. It has a very smooth ride that can absorb bumps and potholes very well. The control of the car was surprising despite the tires being sized at quite a small 215/40 in the front and 245/40 in the rear (compare to an E60 M5 at 245’s in the front & 285’s in the rear). One quirk we found with the i8, is when in comfort/normal mode there is an noticeable jolt that you will notice with the gas engine kicks in and there can be a slight delay for the gas engine to kick in when you hit the throttle. However, if you drive the vehicle in Sport Mode where the gas engine is always on or in full-electric mode that it not a problem. When driven in sport mode, the car was returning about 25 MPGe which we found to be pretty impressive compared to an E60 M5 that was only returning about 11 MPG with sporty driving. The simulated engine sound playing through the speakers is something some may not be fond of. Overall though, we were very impressed with the i8’s dual personality that does very well at balancing economy and performance.
With the i8 being BMW’s flagship performance coupe. The build-quality has shown to be outstanding, it has a solid feeling with no pre-mature wear on the interior or exterior like we found in the inside the earlier years of F01/F02 7-Series. BMW has done a very good job at building this car to last, not just in build materials and finishes, but in style with a design thats completely ahead of the game. Expect this car to become a classic just like M1.
If you’re looking to buy a Used BMW i8, you’re definitely making a smart move. You’re saving thousands of dollars off the original MSRP, you’re not taking a large hit on depreciation, and the vehicle is still under it’s original factory warranty (and further extended if you buy Certified Pre-Owned from BMW). As of now, very few complaints of problems with the i8 have been reported, unlike the i3 which has had numerous problems reported. With BMW, it’s common to expect problems out of the first year of a new model/segment, however the i8 has not followed this tradition so far. Any issues with the i8 have been easily fixed by simple software updates from local BMW dealers at no cost to owners.
Previous Owner Care: As far as care from previous owners, even though the i8’s have shown a pattern of being driven slightly more. Every i8 we have came across has been meticulously maintained in excellent condition, which you should expect with a car of it’s class. If you do happen to come across a pre-owned i8 in poor condition, it’s probably best you stay away and keep looking.
If you’re get an i8 whether new or used, you’re choosing an awesome car. To find a similar hybrid-performance car, you’re looking at something like a Porsche 918 Spyder, that is costing even more than what it was New, and doesn’t have the same efficiency as the i8. However, if you’re looking for more power than what the i8 offers and efficiency doesn’t matter to you. Consider something from BMW’s M division or an early model Audi R8 V10. We advise you, don’t knock the power because it looks low on paper, go drive it and experience the car hands on.
As we stated earlier, if you choose to purchase a Pre-Owned i8, you’re making a good move. Nice Savings, Active Warranty, and No Large Depreciation. Of course, this topic will have to be revisited as time goes on. For now though, now is a good a time to buy a Pre-Owned i8 while the warranties are still active, problems are few, and the savings are solid. This could change as time goes on, so follow Rev Critic on Facebook & Twitter to stay tuned for the revisit of this car.