Driving position and dashboard
There’s no shortage of adjustments to the driving seat, albeit manual ones across the range unless you pay extra for electric adjustment. The same is also true of the A-Class, though. Likewise, adjustable lumbar support is an option on all trims, but the standard seats offer a good amount of support and there’s lots of steering wheel adjustment on offer, too.
As standard you get a digital representation of traditional analogue instrument dials, on an 8.8in screen in front of the driver behind the steering wheel. You can upgrade to the Live Cockpit Professional pack, though, to get a bigger 10.25in display. A head-up display is also available as an option.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The view out of the front is good, and, with LED headlights as standard, it’ll be easy to see at night, too. The chunky pillars at the rear mean your over-the-shoulder view is slightly restricted, though.
Fortunately, front and rear parking sensors are standard across the range, and for a very reasonable sum you can get a Park Assist pack which includes a couple of very helpful parking aids. One of these is Parking Assistant, which can park the car for you, while the other, Reversing Assistant, will remember your steering inputs when you drive nose-first into a space, and it can automatically reverse the car back out again for you.
Sat nav and infotainment
BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is certainly one of the best on the market.
An 8.8in touchscreen is standard, and this can be upped to 10.3in as an option on all trims but the M135i, which is fitted with the bigger setup anyway. Operated via either the touchscreen or a rotary dial controller with physical shortcut buttons it’s simple to use, either on the move or stationary. To further enhance its ease of use, gesture control is available as an option. DAB radio, bluetooth, voice command, sat-nav and Apple CarPlay come as standard, but the latter only with a one-year subscription, after which you’ll have to foot the bill to continue. And there’s no Android Auto available at all.
While it certainly doesn’t have the dramatic wow factor of the A-Class’s interior, rock-solid build quality makes the 1 Series dashboard feel like it’s been carved into the side of a cliff, albeit thankfully with plush, soft-touch materials covering the rock face. All the switches and dials have a real feeling of quality to them, and it’s a cut above many in the class. Poke and prod around all you like, and there’s no hint of any cheap-feeling flex to the dash.