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#5

in 2010 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $16,506 - $21,951
Original MSRP: $29,150 - $40,350
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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2010 BMW 1-Series Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The interior of the 2010 BMW 1-Series is both its forte and its curse. On the one hand, it offers more available luxury features than many cars in its class. Moreover, while the front-row seats are both comfortable and supportive, most reviewers say that the rear row is too tight in the coupe and even worse in the convertible.

  • "The 135i is, officially, smaller than the 3-series coupe: 8.9 inches shorter and 1.4 inches narrower. But that loss of dimension doesn't get you much except a crick in your neck." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "The cabin is simple and straightforward, just like in the 3-series." -- Car and Driver
  • "It's on par with any BMW, clean and elegant." -- The Detroit News
  • "It may be the least-expensive BMW sold in America, but the interior treatment of the 1 Series is anything but cheap." -- Kelley Blue Book

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Front Seats

The automotive press is generally pleased with the 2010 BMW 1-Series's comfortable and supportive front seats.

  • "The 1 Series seats only four, but front-seat passengers enjoy plenty of head and legroom." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Ample room for adults on comfortable seats with standard height adjustment, though some testers find the seat side bolster overly confining." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We found the front bucket seats very comfortable and supportive, with big side bolsters.The steering wheel tilts and telescopes, helping drivers of different shapes and sizes to find the ideal driving position." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "From behind the wheel in the spacious front seat-where there's plenty of headroom-the driver isn't aware of the 1-series' shrunken size." -- Car and Driver

Rear Seats

The overwhelming majority of reviewers say the less time spent in the 1-Series' backseat, the better. Even though some auto writers chalk the tight quarters up to the car's small size, many say the dimensions are a squeeze even for a coupe. 

  • "There's enough headroom and legroom for an average-size adult to sit behind another average-size adult, but any front-seater over six feet tall will delete rear legroom behind them. The cabin is quite narrow, so two adults sit shoulder-to-shoulder. Elbow space is very tight in the coupe and even less in the convertible, as its sidewalls are angled in to make room for the top." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We had three folks to go riding but couldn't convince anyone to take a day trip in the back seat." -- Boston Globe
  • "The losses in rear seat room are a bit more consequential, where shoulder room contracts by nearly a foot. Leg room is reduced by three-quarters of an inch, and head room by little more than a hair (0.1 inch)." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Although the 1-Series is technically a four-seater, the rear seats are best left to children, very petite adults, or, more realistically, groceries or luggage. The convertible offers even less room, but compared with other compact coupes and convertibles, the BMW 1-Series' lack of space isn't particularly out of the ordinary." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The 128i coupe comes standard with features like automatic climate control, rain-sensing automatic headlights and a leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel. The 135i coupe offers xenon headlights with adaptive light control and gray poplar wood interior trim. Many of the features that you would expect to be standard for a luxury car, like heated front seats or an iPod adaptor, were optional.

Although BMW has updated its iDrive navigation system, many reviewers remain aggravated. Several say the system makes sense once you've mastered it, but the learning curve is steep. 

If you want a fully-loaded vehicle, check out the Acura TSX, which offers an impressive list of standard features.

  • "Rich-looking plastics, lightly padded surfaces, and wood or textured aluminum trim line the interior, and seem in line with prices." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The interior treatment of the 1 Series is anything but cheap. The materials have a high-quality feel and the interior design features all the modern style found throughout the rest of the BMW lineup." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "An improved version of the infamous i-Drive system controls the audio, HVAC, and optional navigation system, and operation is almost intuitive now, though still requiring more clicks, pushes, and twists than a simple direct control system." -- Left Lane News
  • "Since you were wondering, we'd rather have our fingernails surgically removed than attempt to work through that system's myriad subtleties." -- Car and Driver

Cargo

The 1-Series coupe has a trunk with 13.1 cubic feet of space, while the 1-Series convertible offers 9.1-10.7 cubic feet of cargo space depending on whether the top is up or down. Most reviewers say that is fairly generous for a compact vehicle. In addition, a 60/40 split folding rear seat adds extra room. Be forewarned that the trunk opening is fairly narrow, so while some things may fit once they are inside, you may have a problem getting them in there in the first place.

  • "The standard split-folding rear seat extends the already-adequate trunk space." -- Car and Driver
  • "Trunks are reasonably sized, but the opening is quite small, and it's narrow at the bottom." -- Consumer Guide

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