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2019 BMW 8-Series Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.6

The all-new 2019 BMW 8 Series looks great inside and features plenty of premium materials. However, a few critics argue that a top-shelf car like this should stand out more with its cabin styling, deriding the fact its interior looks and feels like other BMWs and that some rivals have more panache. The front seats are superb, though the rear seats are too small for adults. Trunk space is good for the class, and a mostly easy-to-use infotainment system headlines the features list.

  • "The same can be said of its striking interior. The cabin design is as sharp as the body, with beveled accents that echo exterior elements. High-quality materials are abundant, as supple leather covers the dash and door panels, interrupted by attractive metallic trim pieces that add to the overall appeal." -- Edmunds
  • "The 8 designation should mean the best of the best for BMW, and thus it should have an interior to match. But here, the 850i interior wouldn't be that out of place on a 5 Series, which is a bit of a let down. The materials read top shelf: Merino leather, cut crystal, piano black surrounds, Alcantara headliner. But they don't come together in a way that feels 8 Series special, and other class competitors have done it better." -- Jalopnik
  • "The cabin echoes the exterior, with a design language that feels typically BMW -- that is, purposeful and minimalist, though with a few more luxurious touches and high-quality materials than you'll find in lesser Bimmers." -- Kelley Blue Book

Seating

The 8 Series seats four in both coupe and convertible models. Merino leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and heated front seats come standard. Ventilated front seats, heated front-seat armrests, and a heated steering wheel are available. There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. Convertible models come with a power-folding soft top that can be raised or lowered in just 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. Convertibles also offer a neck warmer.

The front seats are comfortable, spacious, and supportive. They have plenty of head- and legroom for passengers of all sizes, and they're great on long drives. The rear seats, however, are incredibly short on space and tough to get in to. Almost any adult will feel cramped back there, though in fairness, two-door sports cars aren't known for having spacious rear seats.

If you're looking for more passenger space, a four-door Gran Coupe model is expected to eventually join the 8 Series lineup.

  • "Front-seat accommodations are plenty spacious for both driver and passenger, with ample head-, leg- and shoulder-room. The seats themselves are equal parts comfortable and supportive, and all the surrounding materials are some of BMW's best." -- CNET
  • "But while the front seats proved comfortable and with a generous range of adjustment, the rears are definitely for occasional use only. Even average-size adults relegated back there sit with their heads hard against the roof and their knees compressed into the front seatbacks." -- Car and Driver
  • "But the sacrifice of the sleek package comes mostly in the area of functionality, particularly in the rear seats. I'm 5'11" and manage to sit 'behind myself' in the driver seat with my legs straight, but my head was tilted at an angle that would have made it all but impossible to sustain for any measure of time." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Standard features in the 8 Series include dual-zone automatic climate control, wireless device charging, and the iDrive infotainment system with a 10.25-inch touch screen, touchpad controller, navigation, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and Apple CarPlay. A 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system is available.

Standard driver assistance features include a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parallel parking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and BMW's Active Protection System, which preps occupants for an impending collision by tightening seat belts and closing the windows. Some of these features are part of BMW's Active Driving Assistant. Night vision assist with animal detection, lane keep assist, and front cross traffic alert are available.

The new iDrive system will feel familiar to previous BMW owners, though it has a few updates. The touch screen's graphics are incredibly sharp, it lets you rearrange home screen icons to your liking, and it responds quickly to inputs and gesture controls. That's a bonus because not everyone feels comfortable using the touchpad controller. There's a bit of a learning curve with the interface, but it's user-friendly once you get the hang of it. The only downside is the slow, confusing navigation system. You're probably better off using your phone's GPS instead.

See 2019 BMW 8 Series specs »

  • "The system is managed by an iDrive controller that plays well with its new haptic controls. Though there's a mild learning curve when it comes to finding functions and maneuvering through menus, the system is easy to master after some acclimatization." -- Autoblog
  • "I have to say that BMW really hit it out of the park with this display. … It is by far the clearest, easiest to read screen I have seen in a production automobile to date. To top it off, it also is the most responsive touch screen if (sic) have ever used as well." -- Jalopnik
  • "Infotainment duties are handled by BMW's latest iDrive 7 software, which feels both familiar and brand-new at the same time. The biggest visual change is that the layout is now reconfigurable, with three different pane options and a fixed row of shortcuts arranged vertically along the left side. You can touch the 10.25-inch iDrive display, but I still find myself using the rotary knob on the center console. You can also use BMW's gesture controls, though you'll look like a fancy wizard twirling your fingers and swiping your hands left and right." -- CNET

Cargo

The 8 Series coupe provides 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space. Convertible models feature a 12.4-cubic-foot trunk. Both 8 Series models provide more trunk space than most other luxury sports cars, and the split-folding rear seats make it possible to haul some larger items. A power trunk lid comes standard. A hands-free power trunk lid is available.

  • "It partially redeems itself with a trunk capacity of almost 15 cubic feet, which is more generous than the norm." -- Edmunds
  • "At least the rear seats have a 50/50 split that enables the 14.8-cubic-foot trunk to open up to the cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book
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