Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
You’ll have no complaints up front in the BMW 1 Series, There are bigger cars in our family car category, but compared with its premium rivals, it has the most head and leg room, and lots of elbow room too.
The door bins are a decent size, and you also get a big glovebox and a generous cubby hole under the central armrest. Combined with the tray at the front of the centre console, you'll have plenty of places for your bits and pieces.
The 1 Series (and the entry-level A3) get 60/40 split folding rear seats as standard. These aren't as adaptable as the 40/20/40 arrangement that every A-Class gets. Mid-spec A3’s and upwards get 40/20/40 split seats, but in the 1 Series, they're reserved for the BMW options list.
At 380 litres, the 1 Series’ boot is exactly the same size as the A3’s, and is bigger than the A-Class’s. That impressive figure includes the generous space found under the boot floor, so in terms of usable space above the floor, the 1 Series lags behind the A-Class.
While the boot's boxy shape makes it easy to maximise the space available, ultimately it won't take as much luggage as an A-Class. We were able to get six carry-on cases into the latter below its parcel shelf, while the 1 Series managed five – the same number as the A3.