2008 BMW 1-Series Interior

$5,336 - $6,671

2008 BMW 1-Series Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2008 BMW 1-Series was new.


Interior: 6.8

Reviewers recognize the same design and features inside the BMW 1-Series that they'd come to appreciate in the older and larger 3-Series. Many report the 1-Series' seats are comfortable while the cabin materials are top quality.

  • "Overall, the cockpit is comfortable and sporty. It holds you firmly in place and inspires you to speed up. 'Honest officer, my six-way adjustable seats covered in Boston leather and firm bolsters made me go fast.'" -- Detroit News
  • "Anyone familiar with the interior layout of the current 3 Series would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the BMW 135i and the much larger, more expensive 335i. Just about everything inside is in the same location and looks and operates the same way." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Swing open a door and you'll notice the bulk of the dashboard, center console, front seats, most of the door trims, and the whole driving environment come straight from the 3-Series, so they look beautiful and work wonderfully well." The Car Connection

Front Seats

The 2008 BMW 1-Series front seats are comfortable and supportive. There are even some who write that drivers won't be able to tell the difference between this new model and the 3-Series once sitting behind the wheel.

  • "Aside from being slightly louder, driving the 135i is much like driving a 3-series. 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
  • "From the driver's seat, you're aware that it's a smaller car than the 3-Series (it's almost a foot shorter and two-and-a-half inches narrower), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It somehow feels cozier and more cosseting than the 3." -- The Car Connection
  • "Ample room for adults on comfortable seats with standard height adjustment." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The front bucket seats are very comfortable and supportive, with big side bolsters. The 135i steering wheel tilts and telescopes, helping drivers of different shapes and sizes to find the ideal driving position." -- New Car Test Drive

Rear Seats

According to an overwhelming majority, any time you spend in the BMW 1-Series rear seat won't be pleasant. There are some auto writers that chalk the tight quarters up to the car's size, but several say the dimensions are a squeeze even by coupe standards.

  • "Rear-seat room is decent enough, although six-footers will want an escape clause after a couple of hours." -- Car and Driver
  • "The coupe is a very comfortable ride for two people. If two more join the party, they'll have to make do in the back for short trips to the movies or a club. A long haul in the back for an adult is not recommended." -- Detroit News
  • "When you get around to the back seats, however, disaster strikes. The multi-link rear suspension, bulky differential, and four-inch wheelbase deficit over the (already cramped) 3-Series mean the 1-Series is a packaging calamity, with miserable rear legroom and extremely limited rear headroom, too." -- The Car Connection

Interior Features

Auto critics give a favorable report of the BMW 1-Series' features' quality, ease of use and design. Standard features in the leatherette cabin include eight-way adjustable front seats with two-way headrests, an engine start/stop button and power front windows and two-way moonroof, both with one-touch operation.

  • "The interior accommodations are what you've come to expect from BMW of late-less austere and more attractive while remaining easy to use...with the notable exception of iDrive." -- The Car Connection
  • "Despite being the cheapest BMW sold, interior materials are consistent with its larger and more lavish siblings." -- Edmunds
  • "The 1 Series also comes with a full complement of technology: Bluetooth for the phone, USB connection for the iPod and Sirius satellite radio, HD radio and a premium sound system for the audiophile." -- Detroit News
  • "Audio and climate controls are mounted somewhat low on the dash, yet are easy to reach and simple to decipher and adjust. … BMW's odd turn-signal actuation takes getting used to, and if set in a low position, the steering wheel blocked the turn-signal lamps on the instrument panel." -- Consumer Guide


BMW's controversial iDrive interface system still continues to irritate most reviewers. The optional iDrive system controls the 1-Series' climate, audio, communication and navigation systems with an LCD screen and controller knob.

  • "Ordering the navigation system also brings BMW's infamous iDrive control interface, which many people find exasperating to use." -- Edmunds
  • "Options are similar to the 3-series', which means that navigation is bundled with iDrive: 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
  • "Ordering the optional navigation system brings BMW's console-mounted iDrive controller and dashboard screen; the combination absorbs some audio functions, such as tuning in non-preset stations, complicating what is otherwise a simple procedure." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The revised iDrive software is better than before, but it remains stifling at first encounter and often counterintuitive with experience. The interface, however, now communicates directly with USB-based MP3 player." -- The Car Connection
  • "There's also BMW's much-maligned iDrive in the 1 Series, as part of the navigation system. Lots of people hate the iDrive. To this day, I can't figure out why. My tip: Read the owner's manual. Once you do, you'll realize you can control nearly everything through one knob." -- Detroit News


Several auto writers say there must have been a toss up between backseat room or cargo space in which the 1-Series' trunk came out on top. For a compact vehicle, the 1-Series offers generous proportions for stowing gear, and provides a 60/40 split folding rear seat for additional room.

  • "I search the stars in vain for a reason the designers gave this car a notch-back design -- so that there is a discernible trunk in the back -- when it so plainly aches for a fastback." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "All 135i coupes come with a 60/40 split folding rear seat than can provide almost triple the trunk room of 13 cubic feet. A storage package for the trunk area includes some tie-downs and straps and a 12-volt power point for external accessories." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The seats fold down in a 60/40 split and provide plenty of room for stuff, as long as the stuff doesn't demand leg room." -- Detroit News
  • "Trunks are reasonably sized, but the opening is quite small, and it's narrow at the bottom." -- Consumer Guide

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