Shopping for a new BMW 1-Series?
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
interior treatment of the 1 Series is anything but cheap
Kelley Blue Book
…hard plastics are more prevalent here than in the 3 Series, leaving no doubt about the 1 Series' entry-level status
a person measuring 6'4" tall can sit in the back seat with two inches of clearance
while the 1-Series Convertible's canvas roof is nicely finished, it generates wind noise
…interior storage is limited to a small glovebox and smaller console box, along with a tiny console bin and map pockets
"Attractive," "comfortable," and "easy to use" are the key descriptors of the 2011 BMW 1-Series' interior. Both coupe and convertible models are more like 2+2s than true four-seaters. Adults will find plenty of comfort up front, but the rear seat is best reserved for children unless the front-seat occupants are of medium height or shorter.
A pass-through and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat make the car more useful than it might be otherwise, and the convertible's compact folding mechanism leaves enough room in the trunk to stow meaningful cargo. Both coupe and convertible store a maximum of 10 cubic feet of cargo. Beyond the trunk, however, there's not much storage space in the 1-Series' cabin.
Build quality and materials belie the 1-Series' position as the least expensive in the lineup, up to BMW's standards in the 3-Series and 5-Series aside from slightly lower-grade leather and plastics in some areas. Cabin noise is low, and even the convertible remains reasonably quiet with the top down.
While a solid performer, the 1-Series is also a comfortable cruiser. Depending on the options and packages chosen, the ride can vary from firm but smooth to luxurious, with the 135i toward the sportier end, and the base 128i toward the softer.
The 2011 BMW 1-Series packs excellent materials and build quality into an affordable car, but its compact exterior size translates into a comfortable yet cozy interior.