BMW i3 hatchback driving position
It's easy to get 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 hatchback visibility
The i3 has an unusually low dashboard, with a simple digital screen instead of a bulky integrated instrument panel, so you're instantly aware of a huge glass area in front of you. The car's tall windows make it easy to see out front, although there is a tricky spot over your shoulder because of the thick central pillar.
Still, the i3's boxy body makes judging its width a relatively straightforward task and, as a result, it's a doddle to park. You get rear parking sensors as standard, too. Front sensors, a rear-view camera and an automatic parking system are available through the optional Park Assist package.
It’s impressive, too, that BMW includes full LED headlights as standard on every i3. They give a brighter, wider, more consistent light than cheaper halogen units.
BMW i3 hatchback infotainment
The i3's standard infotainment system, BMW Professional, includes a central 10.2in screen and has sat-nav, a DAB radio, a USB socket and Bluetooth. The system is controlled by twisting and pressing a dial between the front seats and it's an intuitive interface.
The Professional system also gets an integrated touchpad on top of the iDrive dial controller (so you can scrawl out postcodes) and a great range of map views. It's an extremely easy system to get to grips with and the screen is razor-sharp.
And this system is aware that you're in an electric vehicle. It can offer guidance on charging points and will warn you if a selected destination is beyond your current range.
BMW i3 hatchback 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 the door trims and 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.