The 1 has come in for criticism from car reviewers elsewhere who expected greater differentiation of its interior relative to ‘humble’ Volvos – but, most Autocar testers agreed, pretty unreasonably.
Upper-end Volvos themselves aren’t so humbly fitted out these days, after all, with perceived cabin quality and luxury ambience to rival any of the German brands. So while this interior doesn’t have fixtures and fittings as materially lavish as, say, a Bentley, it conjures a rich and convincing luxury ambience all the same; one to line up against what you will find in a rival from Porsche or Mercedes-AMG and still stand out.
That all 1500 examples of the 1 will be left-hand drive will be something of a snag as regards ease of use for drivers in the UK. Likewise, there’s a surprise limitation on practicality to be found when you open the boot, which is wide but short, its length restricted by the positioning of the car’s second battery pack above the rear axle. In terms of outright space, then, this is a 2+2 with back seats suitable for children and smaller adults only, and one that has a boot that’s probably just big enough for one set of golf clubs or a couple of small flight cases and can’t be expanded for through-loading.
The driving position juggles a cocooning sense of lowness with ease of access very cleverly and is ergonomically sound but lacks just a little outright steering column reach adjustment. The driver’s seat is very comfortable and adjustable, ready for long journeys when you are. Visibility is good to the front and the side (thanks to pillarless construction), with a slightly shallow rear screen making rear-view-mirror visibility just a little mean.