It’s no exaggeration to say that certain 2+2 coupés accommodate rear seat passengers better than the original 1 Series hatchback did. But thanks in no small part to longer rear doors, the current car is one that you could justly describe as big enough – provided adults in the back aren’t particularly long of leg. We measured the car’s maximum rear legroom at 860mm, which is within 40mm of an Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s. The BMW is still not what you’d call a practical car, then, but it’s usable enough.
In the front, there’s plenty of headroom, shoulder space and legroom, and the pedal and steering wheel positioning is good. An abundance of telescopic adjustment on the steering wheel was combined with a generous adjustment for squab height and angle of the comfortable seats.
The fascia design apes that of the 6 Series coupé, with a centre stack canted towards the driver and a swathe of high-gloss plastic dividing the driver and front passenger zones. It’s an attractive interior that seems well judged for an entry-level BMW, if a little short on pizzazz.
And is the quality there? The material quality of BMW’s fixtures and fittings certainly seems good. From the satin-silvered audio and ventilation knobs to the glossy black air vent surrounds, the car’s lesser cabin appointments are genuinely appealing. It’s just a shame that BMW hasn’t matched them with more tactile door cards and a glovebox and dashboard roll-top that speak of the same richness and quality.