Compared: 2023 BMW i4 vs. Tesla Model 3

Though not as popular as the Tesla, the BMW i4 has plenty to boast about.

2023 BMW i4 and 2023 Tesla Model 3Manuel Carrillo III | Tesla

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It’s hard to argue with the popularity of the Tesla Model 3. The upstart American automaker got the jump on the rest of the industry, but new rivals like the 2023 BMW i4 are arriving to try to steal the EV crown. With its big battery and impressive performance, BMW seems ready to contend, but the Model 3 is no slouch. Here’s how the i4 stacks up against the Model 3.

BMW i4 M50 front 3/4, laser light beams into fogManuel Carrillo III

2023 BMW i4 vs. Tesla Model 3 - Price

The more affordable of these two is the rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3, which starts at just under $50,000, including the destination and the order fees. The BMW i4 eDrive40 starts below $57,000.

Beyond the entry-level models, a fully loaded Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD with extra-cost paint and interior, Autopilot, and Tesla’s full suite of driver-assistance capability will cost around $82,000. The fully loaded BMW i4 M50 with fancy matte paint, upgraded upholstery, driving and parking assistance technology, and performance tires will cost around $86,000.

Tesla Model 3, redTesla

EV Range Comparison

The Model 3 is expected to deliver the most range of these two vehicles, though that depends on the trim levels. The longest-range model is the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD, which should deliver 358 miles on a single charge. This beats out the most efficient BMW i4 eDrive40 by 57 miles, as the BMW is rated to return 301 miles on a single charge.

However, it is worth pointing out that the BMW’s longest-range model is its most affordable car in the portfolio, while the long-range Tesla Model 3 is a mid-trim model. The more affordable real-wheel-drive Tesla manages just 272 miles.

When it comes to performance models, the all-wheel-drive BMW i4 M50 manages between 227 and 270 miles, depending on your choice of wheels. The Tesla Model 3 Performance delivers 315 miles, thoroughly trouncing the speedy electric Bimmers.

The Tesla Model 3 can also take advantage of the Tesla Supercharger network, whose chargers can add up to 200 miles to the battery in just 15 minutes. At generic charging stations, the DC fast-charging speed of the BMW i4 tops out at 200 kW, which adds up to 90 miles in 10 minutes.

BMW i4 M50 interior, red seatsManuel Carrillo III

i4 vs. Model 3 - Interior

While the Tesla Model 3 features an impressive range and a low starting price, many shoppers will notice the stark contrast in terms of interior quality and materials between these two vehicles. Sure, the Tesla has a large and responsive touchscreen, but the rest of the cabin is spartan. The BMW i4 is a bit more traditional, with an ergonomic layout of its controls, and more luxurious-feeling upholstery. You’ll have to pay extra for heated seats, though, while they are standard on the Tesla.

Tesla Model 3 interior, whiteTesla

The BMW’s interior is smaller than the Model 3’s, with less space for passengers and cargo. There are just 10 cubic feet to stow stuff in the trunk of the i4, compared with 19.8 cubic feet in the Model 3. The front trunk (frunk) of the Model 3 is the extra cherry on top of this practical, electric car cake, as the i4 lacks a frunk.

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Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad is an award-winning automotive journalist who has contributed to several automotive, electric vehicle, luxury lifestyle, and technology publications. His work isn't just limited to the written word, as he's also hosted YouTube videos and podcasts. Having grown up in the '90s, he has a strong sense of attachment to that era's style, though he also loves to geek out about the modern, futuristic tech and powertrains rolling out today.