2022 BMW i4 vs. 2022 Tesla Model 3: The Numbers

Published on January 23, 2022 in Comparative Tests by Dominic Boucher

BMW has introduced a pair of next-generation electric vehicles for 2022 including the iX crossover and the i4 sedan. But how does the latter stack up against the segment-leading Tesla Model 3?

To answer that question, we’ve compared the numbers and specs for these two models. Here’s what we found…

Range: Model 3

The single-motor BMW i4 eDrive40 equipped with 18-inch wheels provides a maximum range of 484 kilometres, while the one riding on 19-inch wheels can travel 454 kilometres. In M50 xDrive trim, which includes dual motors and all-wheel drive, the i4 will cover 435 or 365 kilometres with 19- or 20-inch wheels, respectively.  

Over at Tesla, the base Model 3 with rear-wheel drive offers 438 kilometres of range. That number increases to 507 kilometres in the case of the AWD-equipped Model 3 Performance, and 536 kilometres with the Long Range variant.

While the range figures for the BMW i4 are better than initially advertised, Tesla wins the battle hands down.

Photo: Tesla

Charging: Tie

When plugged into a 240V charging station, both the i4 and Model 3 require 10 hours to complete a full charge. The standard Model 3 is a bit quicker, though (8.5 hours).

Now, here are some DC fast charging times you should know about:

BMW:

Tesla:

Performance: Tie

The beauty of electric cars is their instant torque delivery resulting in impressive acceleration. Consider these numbers:

BMW:

Tesla:

Practicality: Model 3

The BMW i4 has a larger rear trunk at 470 litres (1,290 litres when you fold the rear seats) versus 425 litres for the Tesla Model 3. However, the latter adds a front trunk for a total cargo capacity of 649 litres.

Photo: BMW AG

Both cars are designed to accommodate five people, but the interior of the Model 3 is more spacious thanks to a completely flat floor. Also, the i4’s swooping roofline limits headroom for taller passengers sitting in the back.

Technology and Connectivity: Tie 

Highlighting the otherwise clean dashboard of the Model 3 is a 15-inch multimedia display that is also used to control the HVAC system and monitor driving data. The console has four USB ports and two wireless smartphone chargers. A premium sound system with subwoofer is available.

Photo: Alexis Georgeson

The more traditional i4 combines a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with a 14.9-inch centre touchscreen powered by the latest generation of iDrive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. 

Both models can be upgraded wirelessly with over-the-air software updates. They also boast an array of driver assistance features including semi-autonomous driving capability (Tesla Autopilot and BMW Driving Assistant Professional). 

Photo: BMW AG

Price: i4

For once, BMW is cheaper than the competition. The new i4 eDrive40 starts at $54,990 plus destination, while the i4 M50 xDrive retails from $72,990. Provincial incentives available in British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories apply, but not the federal rebate of up to $5,000 since Ottawa has set a price limit at $45,000 for vehicles with six seats or less.

The Tesla Model 3’s base price for the single-motor RWD variant has been raised to $59,990 for 2022, making it ineligible to the $5,000 federal rebate. As for provincial incentives, only Quebec’s is still available since Tesla has strategically set the price below the $60,000 limit. Drivers in La Belle Province can get $8,000 off.

The Long Range and Performance variants of the Model 3 start at $66,990 and $76,990, respectively.

Warranty: Model 3 

Tesla and BMW offer similar coverage including:

Tesla’s Long Range and Performance models increase battery coverage to 8 years/192,000 km, giving the Model 3 a slight edge overall.

Watch: The Car Guide Drives the 2022 BMW i4

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