The BMW i3 is pretty spacious in the front, thanks to the lack of a central handbrake lever and a gear selector that's located on the steering column instead of between the seats. The dashboard floats on top of a deeply scalloped base, too, so there's plenty of leg room. There's also no issue with front headroom, thanks to the tall roofline.
The glovebox is on top of the dashboard and it's deep enough for a couple of drinks bottles; you could fit a couple more in the door pockets, and there's an elasticated net under the centre of the fascia that's useful for stowing charging cards.
The storage area in the armrest has enough room for a mobile phone or two, and there are a couple of cupholders between the front seats – although the second of them is positioned quite far back (almost behind the seats themselves) so it's awkward to use.
BMW i3 rear space
The i3 has unusual rear-hinged back doors to aid access to the two rear seats, but even though they open to reveal a decent aperture, it's unlikely that adults will want to spend any great length of time in the back. Knee- and head room are the main issues, although the thick pillars mean that it also feels a bit claustrophobic. The front seatbacks are hard, too, so aren’t comfortable for particularly long-legged passengers to rest their knees against.
There are few storage areas in the rear part of the cabin, either. BMW would never admit to this, but it does feel like the i3 has been designed for children rather than adults or even babies; it gets Isofix child seat-mounting points, but despite the rear-hinged doors, you'll find yourself needing to bump the front seat forwards to free up the space required to put a Group 0 seat in.
BMW i3 seating flexibility
The BMW i3 is designed for conventional around-town use, and that shows when it comes to the possible seating arrangements. The rear seats fold down in a 50/50 split (using handles near the headrests that are easy to reach from outside the boot), but that's about the limit of its flexibility.
The front passenger seatback doesn't fold down flat to free up any additional load space for longer items, either.
BMW i3 boot space
Don't buy an i3 expecting to get the same sort of space that you'd find in a BMW executive saloon – the load space on offer is more in line with what you'll get in a conventional small car. Indeed, the boot is actually smaller than a Ford Fiesta's.
It's just about big enough for a modest load of weekly groceries, but it'll struggle to cope with, say, a buggy chassis. The i3's narrow design means that bulky items, such as a stroller or golf clubs, will be fiddly to fit across the boot area, too.
The floor itself is pretty flat, though, and while it's quite high, that at least means there's no awkward boot lip to lift items over.