BMW i4 wins the Compact and Large BEV Autovista Group Residual Value Award 2023
26 June 2023
The BMW i4 has won the Autovista Group Residual Value Award in the Compact and Large Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) category. This award recognises the all-electric models that often compete with SUVs in their market space.
Created to celebrate automotive value retention champions, the residual value (RV) awards examine vast amounts of Autovista Group data from up to 17 different markets across Europe. The awards highlight the best-performing models to a wide-ranging audience, including manufacturers, leasing firms and fleet operators.
A different option
The Compact and Large BEV category allows non-SUV models to shine, in a rapidly growing marketplace with a variety of body types across the C, D and E-segments. A total of 19 non-SUV models made it into the top five at least once in the 17 countries that were examined as part of the Autovista Group Residual Value Awards.
‘The most successful model from the perspective of RV retention, and therefore the winner in this category, is the BMW i4,’ commented Dr Christof Engelskirchen, chief economist at Autovista Group. ‘It performs consistently strongly across all markets, being the only model that performs within the top five in all 17 countries examined.
The Porsche Taycan finished in second place, performing in line with the carmaker’s strong RV performance. Taking third place is the Polestar 2, a model that has proven to be a success in the segment and a popular choice amongst BEV buyers. The Tesla Model 3 came next. While still considered a crucial model in the segment, the older BEVs’ RVs are starting to feel the effect of list-price reductions.
‘The ingredients for i4’s success include a sleek silhouette, systematic alignment to the BMW product portfolio, strong family identity and the fact that it offers an attractive real-life range of around 500km. It features the same dimensions as its internal-combustion engine sibling, the Series-4 Gran Coupé,’ Engelskirchen added.
‘The sleek electric BMW is the brand’s first step towards beating Tesla in a game that once belonged to the Bavarian make. It provides the usual BMW strong points of engaging road behaviour and presence, while adding one of the best electric ranges in its class,’ stated José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com.
‘More practical than a Tesla Model 3 and with better driving finesse than the Polestar 2, the i4 is a strong alternative in the midsize market which manages to hide the fact that it is not a ground-up design,’ Pontes added.
Exceptional performance across Europe
Project lead Christian Schneider highlighted how Autovista Group experts identified pan-European RV champions. Taking used-car market data generated between February and April 2023, the team examined the figures together with forecast trade RVs of 36-month-old cars at 60,000km.
Excluding models with exceptionally high or low horsepower, as well as those with price points deemed too expensive or below entry-level standards, the awards focused on the mainstream side of the automotive industry. Autovista Group analysts identified the version of each vehicle with the highest RV, expressed as a percentage of retained list price (%RV).
Models were indexed by dividing their %RV by the average %RV in that category, across each available market. Winners were determined based on a category’s average indexed %RV. This was weighted against each country’s new-car sale volumes, allowing exceptional results from high-volume markets to be represented in the final figures.
With the category’s average indexed %RV represented as 100%, the BMW i4 performed well in Spain, France, and the Czech Republic, reaching 127%, 126% and 122% respectively. The car is also a strong contender in Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the UK, where it reached 120% in each market.
Instantly recognisable as a BMW
In an age where many carmakers are dependent on SUVs, more traditional designs hold a special appeal. Often easier and more fun to drive, especially when it comes to BEVs, these cars keep the excitement of motoring alive, explained Phil Curry, special content editor at Autovista24.
‘BMW was a pioneer of the mass-market BEV, but many felt it missed an opportunity to further its place in the market by not developing the technology beyond the popular i3. The new i4 proves these fears were unfounded, with the German carmaker producing an electric car that is both fun to drive, and capable of an impressive range,’ Curry added.
The carmaker understands motoring. This has been evident in its offerings over the years, marrying comfort with performance, and style with practicality. The i4 continues this trend. The five-door car is not an SUV, but it is positioned to take on rivals from newer brands such as Tesla and Polestar.
The i4 can be lower, more premium, or sporty looking depending on the options package, while also providing decent handling and driveability. The i4 looks like a performance vehicle, channelling the spirit of the M5. The instantly recognisable kidney grill at the front remains, even if the levels of cooling no longer require it. The narrow headlights allow the long bonnet to sweep back, while the duel creases along the side, angled down from back to front, provide an impression of movement even when the car is stationary.
Inside, a dual-screen curved display makes the driver feel cocooned in the cockpit, while not leaving out the passenger. The build quality is exceptional, with plenty of soft-touch materials and easy controls. The low-slung nature of the car affords plenty of leg and headroom in the front, while the 470-litre boot provides sufficient space for luggage, with the folding rear seats only increasing this capacity.
‘To say the i4 looks more like a BMW than a BEV is a compliment. The carmaker has not radically evolved its standard design of the day to give the audience a futuristic-looking vehicle. Instead, it will look at home in any driveway or car park, appealing to a broad range of drivers, in both the new and used-car marketplace,’ Curry concluded.
Autovista24 will reveal three more RV champions up until 29 June, with categories including Compact and Large BEV SUVs and Large Cars. Each exclusive article will contain unique industry insights and data-driven details. To get the latest updates on the Autovista Group Residual Value Awards 2023, subscribe to the Autovista24 daily email and follow the Autovista24 page on LinkedIn.