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#6

in 2011 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,976 - $25,659
Original MSRP: $29,450 - $40,650
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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2011 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 BMW 1-Series offers many luxury features. The downside to that is that adding many of the options raises its price considerably. Also, while the front 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 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

Seating

The automotive press is generally pleased with the 2011 BMW 1-Series' comfortable and supportive front seats. However, the majority of reviewers say the less time spent in the back seat, 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. 

  • "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 [front] seats with standard height adjustment, though some testers find the seat side bolster overly confining." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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
  • "We had three folks to go riding but couldn't convince anyone to take a day trip in the back seat." - Boston Globe
  • "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 BMW 1-Series has plenty available luxury 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 adds xenon headlights with adaptive light control and gray poplar wood interior trim.

But many features that you would expect to be standard for a luxury car -- like heated front seats or an iPod/USB adaptor -- cost extra, and some reviewers are annoyed by just how much they raise the price. 

Despite updates to BMW's optional iDrive infotainment system, reviewers complain that it is tough to master and annoying to use.

  • "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 to 10.7 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, depending on whether the folding top is up or down. Most reviewers say that is fairly generous for a compact vehicle. In addition, a split-folding rear seat adds extra room. Be forewarned that the trunk opening is narrow, so although 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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