On paper, the BMW i4 has 10 cubic-feet of space, which is on par with what you'd usually find in a coupe. Now, BMW would tell you that the i4 is a coupe — it is, after all, based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe. But that has four doors, so ... yeah, I'm tired of this argument. Whatever, BMW. Everything is coupe.
What the i4 also is, whether a marketing department wants to acknowledge it or not, is a hatchback. This is good news for a small trunk since it makes the available space more accessible and versatile. That's certainly the case with the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Its 12 cubic-foot trunk is certainly more accessible and versatile than the 3 Series sedan trunk.
Above left is the i4. Above right is the 4 GC.
There's different lighting and a slightly different angle, but these sure look identical to me. Maybe the floor is a smidge higher in the i4? That's my best guess.
For the record, Zac Palmer took the 4 GC pic in Michigan (just in case the snow wasn't a giveaway) and I haven't Luggage Tested one.
There is some under-floor storage, which could be useful for storing a decent-sized something ... if most of it wasn't stuffed with a huge subwoofer. This i4 had a terrific stereo, though, so it could be worth the loss of luggage space.
There's also space on either side, including a deep bin on the right and an area big enough to stow the charge cord.
Alright, let's get to the bags. As with every luggage test, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife's fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
Here are two configurations with the cargo covers in place. The one on the left has the three largest bags and the fancy bag. The one on the right has all but the biggest bag plus the fancy bag.
Also, I would note that this is the rare car where you can pop out that little rigid cargo cover and stow it with the bags. The other cargo cover is a different story, though.
Some SUVs have similar liftgate-mounted cargo covers (like this). It basically works in tandem with the other cover to create what is more like a parcel shelf than a cargo cover. It's a big, unwieldy thing that will prevent the liftgate from closing should you try to stack the bags in the same manner I did above left.
Remove it, however, and your luggage will be nicely displayed for all the world to see ... like a Ferrari V12 but lame. Nothing like sun-scorched luggage, am I right?
Now, it sure looked like the i4 would be able to swallow all five main bags with room to spare with the cargo covers removed, but unfortunately, the lid wouldn't close. It got stuck on the small blue bag. That's sad.
Instead, the fancy bag had to come along instead with a fair amount of space leftover.
Ultimately, my initial assumptions proved to be true. First, the i4 carries nearly as much as a 3 Series (the difference is indeed fancy bag vs small blue bag) with a comparable amount of space left over. Second, the i4 is indeed WAY easier to load, even with the cargo cover situation. It's not even close. Third, the 3 Series trunk sure seems closer to 10 or 12 cubic-feet than the nonsensical 17 it's advertised to have (though its luggage test pretty much already proved that). The i4 trunk is also better than our long-term 330e's.
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