Saturday, March 24, 2012

What I like about you....

My family has been making fun of me to my face and behind my back about the fact that I gush over my new ActiveE.  When you spend 2+ hours a day with your car, you want a comfortable, enjoyable experience.  On that end, the ActiveE does not disappoint.

By far, the part that makes this car the most fun to drive is the quick, smooth acceleration. When you think about the fact that this is a 4000 lb beast and it still accelerates and handles the way it does, you have take your hats off to the BMW engineers and, at the same time, wonder how much better the lighter i3 will be.  My second favorite aspect of the drive is the regenerative braking. It is surprisingly quick to adapt to.  On a recent short 8 mile trip I only used 3 miles of range thanks to the downhill path I took.

Safely locked inside the cockpit, the ActiveE has all of the comforts that make the long commute more enjoyable.   The seats are very comfortable and the visibility both front and rear are perfect.  There are many different screen combinations that will give you any bit of information you want to know about the current status of the car.  I've experimented with a few split screen setups and seem to have settled on the map on the left and the trip computer on the right, but I change this up sometimes, mostly because I can!

There are also many nice touches.  I love the fact that the 6 "radio" presets can actually be used for anything.  I have one button for the nav, one for the trip computer and one for battery status.  The coolest feature of these buttons is that you can hover over them to see what they are set to. They are so sensitive that sometimes I think there must be a heat sensor embedded because I am really not touching anything.

Of course, the best part of all is sailing past the gas stations, you know, those places that dispense that flammable liquid. They are the ones with big signs in front with numbers that keep going up every day, sometimes, more than once a day.


  1. Bill, I too wonder how much better the i3 will perform. It's just lighter, it's about 1/3 lighter! It's abotu 1,300lbs lighter than the ActiveE and it has the exact same drive train. The only difference is the battery will only be 22kWh as compared to the ActiveE's 32. Because off the weight savings and other efficiency measures, it will have just about the same range as the ActiveE, perhaps slightly less. On the European FTP72 cycle test the i3 achieved a range of 225Km, and the ActiveE did 240Km. Of course this isn't a "real world" test and the cars won't do that for us driving in real conditions, but it does give you a number to use as a comparison. The ActiveE was EPA rated at 94 Miles per charge. If you use the FTP72 cycle test an compare the two cars, it would translate to an 89 mile EPA score, still much better than the LEAF(73)or the Focus EV(76) while also offering much better acceleration than either.

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