It's easy for you to get initially comfortable, thanks to a good range of adjustment to the seat and a steering wheel that moves in and out as well as up and down. Our only gripe is that the driver's seat doesn't offer adjustable lumbar support, even as an option; some drivers could suffer from backache on longer journeys as a result.
The i3's dashboard is very logically laid out, and the controls for the air-conditioning are easy to use and within easy reach.
BMW i3 visibility
The BMW i3 has an unusually low dashboard, with a simple screen instead of a bulky integrated instrument panel, so you're instantly aware of a huge glass area in front of you. The tall windows make it easy to see out, although there is a tricky spot over your shoulder because of the thick central pillar.
Still, the boxy body makes judging the i3's extremities relatively straightforward, and it's a doddle to park as a result. You get rear parking sensors as standard, too. Front sensors and a rear-view camera are available as optional extras.
BMW i3 infotainment
The i3's standard infotainment system is called BMW Business; it includes a central 6.5in screen and has sat-nav, a DAB radio, a USB socket and Bluetooth. The system is controlled be twisting and pressing a dial between the front seats; it's a really intuitive interface.
The main infotainment upgrade is the Professional system, which brings a widescreen 10.2in display, an integrated touchpad on the top of the iDrive dial controller( so you can scrawl out postcodes), and a great range of map views. It's worth noting that the housing for the display is the same regardless of which system you choose; if you opt for the more basic unit there's an ugly plastic filler piece either side of the screen.
Both sat-nav systems are fully aware that you're in an electric vehicle, incidentally; they can offer guidance towards charging points and will warn you if a selected destination is beyond your current range.
BMW i3 build quality
For the most part, the i3’s interior is actually better finished than that of many regular BMWs, with upmarket materials (including exposed strips of carbonfibre) and appealing wood finishes such as eucalyptus taking pride of place. There is a slightly rugged edge to some of the materials, though; BMW has made a statement by featuring recycled materials wherever possible, but the compressed fibres that make up door trims and the top of the fascia won't find universal approval.
The switches are all impressively solid, as if they've been taken straight from one of BMW's conventional executive saloons. Even the unusual gear selector, which is mounted on the side of the steering column, makes a reassuring clunk when you nudge the car between Reverse, Drive and Neutral.