$9,361 - $13,076

2012 BMW 1-Series Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 BMW 1-Series was new.


Interior: 7.1

The 2012 BMW 1-Series meets reviewer expectations in terms of luxury.

  • "The cabin is simple and straightforward, just like in the 3-series." -- Car and Driver
  • "Rich-looking plastics, lightly padded surfaces, and wood or textured aluminum trim line the interior, and seem in line with prices. However, one test convertible suffered from an intermittent top-up rattle." -- Consumer Guide
  • "BMW says the cabin controls have been refined, but I’m hard-pressed to see the difference. Cabin materials remain a shade below the 3 Series, and without seat belt extenders, which the 3 Series coupe has, albeit not the best-executed ones, it’s a long reach to the B-pillars to buckle in." -- Cars.com
  • "If you check the box for the optional hard-drive-based navigation system, the infamous iDrive interface comes with it. Don't fret, though, because this latest version has more buttons and a much-improved menu structure. In fact, the reinvented iDrive has shot up to the top of our rankings for such interfaces." -- Edmunds


As with many convertibles and coupes, the BMW 1-Series’ cabin isn’t as spacious as a sedan’s, but overall, reviewers are satisfied with the available space in the front and back. Most front-seat passengers should be comfortable. One test driver notes that the driver may have problems with rear visibility in convertible models thanks to the soft-top’s design. The narrow rear row can fit two adults, but they’re likely to bump shoulders. Children, however, should be comfortable. If you don’t plan on carrying passengers, the rear row is great for storing luggage that doesn’t fit into the small trunk.

  • "We had three folks to go riding but couldn't convince anyone to take a day trip in the back seat." -- Boston Globe
  • "There's enough headroom and legroom for an average-size adult to sit behind another average-size adult, but any front-seat occupant over 6 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
  • "Although the BMW 1 Series is technically a four-seater, the rear seats are significantly more cramped than in the 3 Series coupe, so they're best left to cargo or those of smaller stature. The coupe's decent-sized trunk holds 13 cubic feet of luggage; in the convertible, there are 8.5 cubes left over when the top is stowed." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

BMW added new switches and controls to the 2012 1-Series. The base 1-Series comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, an auxiliary input, Bluetooth and an iPod connection. Available features include a moonroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats and rear parking sensors.

Reviewers find that BMW’s iDrive system is easier to use, and they’re thrilled with the improvement. The iDrive system integrates navigation, communication, entertainment, phone book and BMW assist into one system that is featured on the dashboard.

  • "BMW's latest iDrive system is far easier to negotiate than in previous 1-Series models. Some testers say it's simpler to use than the standard non-iDrive interface, particularly when controlling an external digital-music player. Some functions still require a long look away from the road, however. BMW's odd turn-signal actuation takes getting used to." -- Consumer Guide
  • "A combination iPod/USB adaptor was $400. That's more expensive than an iPod!" -- Boston Globe
  • "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
  • "The interior of the 1 Series is generally competitive with its rivals in terms of materials quality, but hard plastics are more prevalent here than in the 3 Series. Nevertheless, most of the controls are straight out of the standard BMW playbook and are easy to use." -- Edmunds


The 1-Series Coupe has a 10-cubic-foot trunk, which is a bit small for the class.

  • "Trunks are reasonably sized, but the opening is quite small, and it's narrow at the bottom. Convertibles lose about 1.6 cubic feet when the top is stowed, an area partitioned off at the top rear of the compartment by a fold-down cover." -- Consumer Guide

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