What are they like inside?
The BMW 1 Series's interior is thoughtfully laid out and clearly labelled. Quality is generally impressive, too; prod most of the surfaces and you’ll find soft-touch plastics, and all the switches and buttons have a solid action. Only a few areas of the dashboard, such as the glovebox lid, feel disappointingly hard and scratchy. But on the plus side, the design of the dashboard is pretty attractive, with swooping lines and a neat instrument binnacle.
The BMW’s interior would seem positively upmarket compared with most cars’, but the Golf’s looks and feels even plusher. It’s virtually impossible to fault – even though the staid design is unlikely to get your heart pumping.
The Volkswagen Golf’s driving position is also tough to find fault with, and there’s loads of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel to enable almost anyone to get comfortable.
The situation isn’t so good in the 1 Series. The pedals are set too far to the right, so you sit at a strange angle, and soon find yourself wedged against the left side of the seat as you unintentionally twist yourself round to suit.
The earlier 1 Series model really fell down when it came to space in the back. Fortunately, this later version is much better, but even so there’s significantly less leg, head and shoulder room than there is in the Golf. The BMW has a shorter and narrower boot, too, so there’s less luggage space. It’s also tricky to lift heavy items into the boot and over the high lip.
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