Given the 8 Series is all but the length of an executive saloon car on the outside, you might expect it to be quite a roomy car inside. And you’d be wrong, away from the front seats, at least. You can fit occupants in the rear chairs – although not a very big one behind an occupied driver’s seat – but this is very much a 2+2. That’s not necessarily unusual in this class, and it’s more accommodating than a 911, say, but it’s worth bearing in mind. There’s a 420-litre boot behind, with an opening wide enough to accommodate an obligatory golf bag.
The front two occupants are well catered for, at least, with a pair of multi-way electrically adjustable, lavishly finished and accommodating seats that remain comfortable over distance yet provide good lateral support. BMW’s driving environment – a widely adjustable driving position, with a round wheel that you can pull close to your chest and pedals and seat laid out straightly – suits a low-slung GT car.
Once upon a time, this reassuringly straightforward approach would have extended to the minor controls and the dials, too, but a modern BMW seemingly has more controls to worry about – or gives its driver more to worry about – than a big round pair of instruments and a few clearly marked buttons. Next to the gearlever and iDrive controller are the buttons for a rather bewildering array of driving modes and it’s a theme continued on the thick-rimmed steering wheel, which features not just one but two shortcuts to your favourite drive mode and its runner-up in the preference stakes.
With familiarity, all of this gets more comfortable, of course, and it’s preferable by a fair margin to some Mercedes-AMGs. But still, we’d prefer an interior with a little less going on.
BMW M8 Competition infotainment and sat-nav
Each iteration of BMW’s iDrive, which started life as a single rotary dial and not much else, gets better and better and for a long while has been augmented by programmable buttons on the dashboard. That helps no end with often used features – navigate to home, reset the radio from whatever the kids tuned it to.