Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW i3 VS 2015 Chevrolet Volt Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 BMW i3

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VS

2015 Chevrolet Volt

Safety Comparison

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The i3 offers optional Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Volt offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature which would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Both the i3 and the Volt 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 and available rearview cameras.

Warranty Comparison

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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 Volt’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The i3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Volt’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i3 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Chevrolet pays for maintenance for the Volt (4/50,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 7th.

Engine Comparison

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The i3’s electric motor produces 21 more horsepower (170 vs. 149) than the Volt’s 1.4 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW i3 is faster than the Chevrolet Volt:

i3

Volt

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

9.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

9.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.5 sec

3.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.1 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

82 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the i3 with its standard motor gets better fuel mileage than the Volt on its electric motor alone (137 city/111 hwy vs. 101 city/93 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the i3 REx gets better fuel mileage than the Volt:

i3

Volt

electric motor

127 city/107 hwy

101 city/93 hwy

gas

41 city/37 hwy

35 city/40 hwy

The i3 REx’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 81 miles, over twice as far as the Volt’s 38 mile range.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The i3 stops much shorter than the Volt:

i3

Volt

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Volt. The i3 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For superior ride and handling, the BMW i3 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Volt has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The i3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.2% to 51.8%) than the Volt’s (61.1% to 38.9%). This gives the i3 more stable handling and braking.

The i3 handles at .80 G’s, while the Volt pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the Volt’s (32.3 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1150 pounds less than the Chevrolet Volt.

The i3 is 1 foot, 7.7 inches shorter than the Volt, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The i3 has 1.8 inches more front headroom and 1.2 inches more rear headroom than the Volt.

Ergonomics Comparison

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

The i3’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Volt’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

The i3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Volt’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the i3 has a standard rear wiper. The Volt doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the i3 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Volt doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The i3 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Volt offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the i3 offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Volt doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The i3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Volt doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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The i3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the i3 will retain 46.75% to 47.37% of its original price after five years, while the Volt only retains 27.25%.

Recommendations Comparison

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Both the BMW i3 and Chevrolet Volt won four awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. With a Total Quality Index of 879, Strategic Vision rated the BMW i3 57 points higher than the Chevrolet Volt for 2015. The i3 is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.”

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