The 2024 BMW i4, BMW’s entry-level electric vehicle in the U.S., is aimed at consumers seeking a high-end alternative to the Tesla Model 3. I had the chance to check out the top-tier ‘M50’ variant at the Mobility Live Middle East 2024 event in Abu Dhabi in the last week of April. The unit I reviewed earlier this year was in the Frozen Portimao Blue, which is a matte-finish, and here are my first impressions of another blue, which is the metallic color:


Having viewed the 2024 BMW i4 M50 in all shades, I think it’s this Portimao Blue Metallic that brings out its sleek and aggressive character the best. The i4 is not a BEV-first design, meaning that it is a conversion of the gas-powered 4 Series Gran Coupe, but the donor’s sporty lines, well-proportioned dimensions, and a refined style give it a killer presence. I feel like the Portimao Blue Metallic is equal parts of sporty and luxurious, a balance few colors manage to achieve.

The headlamps are shaped to present a determined and assertive look to the German electric sedan, while features such as the slim mirrors and flush door handles add to the streamlined appearance. The car’s muscular bumpers, curved greenhouse, and pronounced shoulder lines enhance its sporty vibe.

I especially like how the door handles are smoothly integrated into the body, the window line flows seamlessly into the Hofmeister kink, and the roof gently slopes toward the rear, giving it a coupe-like silhouette. The rear bumper features a diffuser and sharp vertical aero vanes, adding to its sporty character.

2024 BMW i4 M50 Portimao Blue Metallic rear three quarters

The kidney grille, a controversial feature on many recent BMW models, especially since the second-generation 4 Series, which inspired the i4, has grown on me at this point. However, as I mentioned in my i4 vs i3 comparison, the blanked-off traditional grille is the safer bet for the German designers in the case of future conversion-type BEVs.


Stepping into the car, the 2024 BMW i4 has a slim, curved dashboard set low, complementing its sporty exterior. The air-conditioning vents and the steering wheel’s outer edges could use some trimming down, but overall, the interior feels upscale and elegant.

Spending time in the 2024 BMW i4, I found it more user-friendly than the updated Tesla Model 3, thanks to its numerous physical controls like buttons, switches, knobs, and scrollers. These controls are easy to locate and operate without taking your eyes off the road. Not having to use a touchscreen to release the glovebox was a relief!

2024 BMW i4 M50 dashboard

The BMW iDrive 8 system, compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is a highlight. The 12.3-inch driver information display and the 14.9-inch central display offer a minimalist, user-friendly interface. I explored the customizable layouts, which were intuitive and easily accessible via the steering wheel’s scroller and buttons.

The central display supports touch inputs but can also be navigated using a knurled rotary controller in the center console. The menu structure is straightforward, requiring minimal inputs to reach desired functions, and the software performed smoothly during my tests.

As someone who is six feet tall, I found getting into the driver’s seat somewhat challenging due to its low position, a common trade-off for sedans in this segment. The steering wheel offers good grip, and the heating function is conveniently located on the lower spoke.

The bucket seats provide ample lumbar support, with side bolsters of just the right thickness. Legroom was adequate, though under-thigh support could be better when the i4 shifts to the Neue Klasse platform in the second generation. Headroom was a bit tight for my height, and this can be corrected in a native BEV platform like the Neue Klasse which should permit a slightly lower seat mounting.

2024 BMW i4 M50 rear seating

The rear seat was easier to access, though legroom was tight for my size 11 boots. My knees didn’t touch the seat back, and the backrest angle and the armrest design were comfortable, though long journeys might be less so. Headroom was limited, as expected, since the i4’s roofline sacrifices a bit of practicality for style. Fitting three adults my size in the back would be difficult due to the transmission tunnel. Buyers prioritizing rear seat space and comfort would find themselves more at home either in the BMW i5 or the i3 sedan.

Interior features include a panoramic sunroof, a standard 10-speaker audio system with a 205-watt amplifier, and ambient lighting with a pulsating function. An optional 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with a 464-watt amplifier is also available.

Driving Impressions

The 2024 BMW i4 offers single-motor RWD and twin-motor AWD configurations, delivering up to 536 horsepower and 586 pound-feet of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 140 mph. It consumes as little as 28 kWh per 100 miles (EPA-est.) and offers a range of up to 307 miles. The i4 M50, being performance-focused, delivers a range of up to 269 miles.

Based on the 2023 model year with similar powertrains and components, the i4 is impressive despite not being built on an EV-specific platform.

2024 BMW i4 M50 Portimao Blue Metallic rear

The i4 accelerates vigorously and holds its performance well into highway speeds. It feels nimble and handles like a true driver’s car, impressive for a vehicle weighing over 5,000 lbs. The steering is quick and accurate, though it could provide more feedback. Owners and reviewers will also point out that the cabin remains quiet, even at highway speeds, without much wind noise.

Also see: First Look Review: The 2024 BMW i5 M60 is my kind of 5 Series!


Prices for the 2024 BMW i4 range from $52,200 to $69,700 before options and excluding a $995 destination and handling fee. Playing around with the configurator on the BMW USA website, I was able to spec the 2024 BMW i4 M50 up to a price of $80,095!

Production of all i4 variants takes place at BMW’s 102-year-old Munich facility, where the EV has been built since October 2021.

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