2025 Brings Updates to BMW’s i4 EV Sport Sedan

BMW has refreshed the styling, while the underlying electric drivetrain carries over unchanged.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

May 3, 2024

7 Min Read
The BMW i4.
The BMW i4.BMW

At a Glance

  • $65,720
  • 283 miles on a charge
  • Updated shifter design

We’ve liked the BMW i4 since the initial preview drive in Bavaria in the fall of 2021. It seems hard to believe that BMW’s futuristic EV could already be due for updates, but here we are, with BMW introducing the 2025 i4.

The new car has revised headlight styling, with slimmer lights and matte chrome surround on the grille. Now, both low and high beams are produced by a single LED module and are joined by arrow-shaped LEDs that provide the side marker light, daytime running light, and turn signal functions.

A change to the interior is a switch from the original “monostable” shifter that looks like a traditional PRNDL shifter but that springs back to a center position after selecting Drive or Reverse, so a simple toggle. The toggle works the same way, but it doesn’t look like something familiar, so the change in its operation, so pushing forward selects Reverse and pulling back selects drive doesn’t seem as unexpected as when that happens with a normal-looking shifter.

B Mode

A slight change is that previously, the driver could pull the shifter back and to the right to select “B” mode. That stands for “brake,” and indicates that the car is in the high-regeneration mode and will brake when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. Without selecting B mode, the i4 employs a dynamic regeneration that judges what is best for the situation.

Related:Choose Your Preferred EV Solution: 2022 BMW iX Crossover or i4 Sport Sedan

If it sees a car ahead, lifting off the accelerator will initiate deceleration. If not, the car coasts as if it were in Neutral. These on-the-fly changes leave the driver guessing how the car will respond in any given situation. I do not care for that sensation, so I habitually drive BMW EVs in B mode, so I have a consistent response from the vehicle.


When driving the 2025 i4, with its toggle shifter, B mode is selected by a quick second pull on the toggle when selecting Drive, which engages B mode. My test car was a 2024 eDrive40 Gran Coupe, but apparently, BMW started rolling out some aspects of the 2025 refresh a little early because it was equipped with the new toggle shifter.

In B mode, the car will come to a complete stop and remain stationary when the driver’s foot is off the accelerator pedal. In normal mode, or if you touch the brake pedal in B mode, the driver will need to bring the car to a stop with the brake pedal and must hold the brake pedal to keep the car stopped.

Lift off the brake pedal and the i4 creeps forward, as a conventional combustion car with an automatic transmission would do. This is helpful when parking, because it makes it easy to move the car by inches.

Related:BMW Bets on More Efficient EV Motors

Volume Knob

BMW still includes a proper physical volume knob on the dashboard, right where you’d expect it. I appreciate this bit of simplicity. Unfortunately, the software behind this knob is laggy and can leave the driver waiting five seconds or longer for a change in volume after making an adjustment.

I’m also frustrated by the steering wheel-mounted volume controls. The i4 uses buttons on the right steering wheel spoke, labeled with a + and a – to increase and decrease volume. This is common. But below them, the i4 has a scroll wheel that the driver can easily roll up or down with a thumb. Inexplicably, this scroll wheel isn’t for volume control, which as an analog function, would perfectly suit it.

The ability to make changes exactly as wanted instead of in digital increments using buttons is better. The tactile difference in the scroll wheel makes it easy to find by feel, so the driver doesn’t have to look at the wheel before pressing to ensure they are using the correct buttons for the volume and are not accidentally summoning the voice command genie.


The i4 looks like the latest of BMW’s family of legendary sport sedans. But it is actually a hatchback, not a conventional sedan with a trunk. The large hatch area is more flexible and practical, which is important for drivers accustomed to the capability of SUVs.

Related:First Drive: 2022 Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo GTS

It also provides the ability to fold the rear seats and have an expansive view out through the large rear glass. This makes backing the i4 a relief at a time when massive, rollover-safe roof structures and tall, crash-safe head restraints make seeing out the back of most modern vehicles an unpleasant challenge.


Large hatch openings undermine torsional rigidity, which can lead a car to feel rattly over bumps. That would be very un-BMW-like, so the company installs a bracing package for body rigidity at the rear. It also employs integral shock tower-to-front end struts at the front, with an aluminum shear panel that combines with the high-voltage battery housing to form a load-bearing structural element for even greater rigidity.

The i4 is a “Gran Coupe” because of its sleek roofline and because the doors carry frameless windows. Those do make the doors lighter and lend a sporty feeling. However, without the frames, the express one-touch up and down feature on the windows was finicky in my test car. It worked at times and didn’t at others, which made the feature pretty useless because I just had to hold the button down every time to be sure.

Electric Drive

The i4 is an EV, of course, and BMW says the i4’s 84.3-kilowatt-hour battery pack is good for 283 miles of range in my test car, which was equipped with the optional 19-inch wheels. The standard 18-inch wheels will roll 307 miles, while providing a better ride and more resistance to road damage, so they’d always be my choice.

When using high-powered DC fast charging stations, the i4 can charge at a maximum rate of 200 kW. For Level 2 AC charging, it accepts power at as much as 11 kW, so my 9.6-kW ChargePoint home charge station couldn’t tap all of its capability. I’d need to upgrade the electric circuit to the charger from 42 amps to 50 amps to provide 11 kW, but it charged plenty quickly at 9.6.


Redundant Port Covers

What is a headache when charging the i4 is BMW’s design for the charge port covers. Beneath the outer door, which looks like the door covering the fuel filler on combustion vehicles, there are hinged doors over the Level 2 AC charge port and the additional Combined Charging System DC port beneath it. Other carmakers build port covers into the back side of the outer door, so no additional step is necessary.

The annoying part is that BMW has built an obstacle into the back of the outer cover that jams on the open charge port cover if it hasn’t been closed. A better solution would be to eliminate those inner covers. But if they are deemed necessary for some reason, shape the inside of the outer door so that closing it forces those covers closed automatically, making the inside shaped like a ramp instead of an obstacle.

The need for the two-step process, when you already have a charging cable in one hand, is irritating every single time the car is unplugged. It isn’t as annoying when you plug in because the inner covers are spring-loaded, so you need only press the release button to open them, but that step is also ripe for elimination.

We’ve reached the point in EV development where we’re left to quibble with these details rather than complaining about major challenges using the vehicle. Even the i4’s $67,720 bottom line seems unremarkable for a BMW sport sedan. It is definitely one of my favorite cars in BMW’s product line.

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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