You’d not be wrong to call it like a BMW, only more so. As ever, BMW has avoided the temptation to go for a luxury feel in either classical vogue like a Mercedes or of a more modern bent, like an Audi.

Instead, the interior design concentrates on proliferating the sense BMW would like you to have that all its cars are strong of limb, clean cut and functional to the last. So what we have here is a pared-back, simple approach to cabin design, long on ergonomic efficiency and short on gimmicks and trivial surprise and delight features.

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The red stripe emblazoned across the dashboard of our Sport-spec test car is likely to be a polariser

The driving position is impeccable and offers a vast range of seat and wheel adjustments. The central display now offers a 6.5in colour screen on which all functions operated by the now world-class iDrive control system are displayed.

Even first-time users will find the system easy to operate, while those familiar with iDrive's ways will find it so intuitive that it can be used almost without conscious effort or thought as to which button to press or direction in which to push the controller wheel.

All the extra space between the wheels has been dedicated to providing those in the back with some much-needed extra room. The front seat package has therefore changed hardly at all, while long journeys in the back are now if not exactly to be savoured, then certainly no longer to dreaded by anyone up to and including averaged-size adults.

The awkwardness comes when deciding which trim suits your needs best, with six trim levels and a host of optional extras it is quite easy to get carried away with the multitude of configuration options.

The half dozen trim levels on offer are: SE, Efficient Dynamics Plus, ED Sport, Luxury and M Sport. As standard, SE trim gets 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone air-con, DAB radio, Bluetooth, multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and sat-nav. Sport grade adds leather upholstery, heated front seats and chrome interior finishing.

Luxury spec gets 18in alloy wheels, anthracite wood trim, switchable ambient lighting and front and rear parking sensors. Flagship M Sport trim is shod with unique 18in alloys, M Sport suspension, a more aggressive bodykit and M Sport seats and steering wheel.

The Efficient Dynamic trims get more luxuries than SE spec with a focus on improving economy. The Plus models gain heated front seats, leather trim and low rolling-resistance tyres, while the Sport gains sat nav and a sportier look.

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