Just as you would expect, the 1-Series as a whole is not another space-efficient front-wheel drive compact. No, it relies on the classic Bavarian configuration of a front-mid-engine and rear-wheel drive, thus sacrificing any extra passenger room or luggage space for the benefit of spirited driving. And the cabriolet version is even worse from this point of view, since the luggage compartment has to also accompany the roof and most of its complicated mechanism.
Of course, by moving the engine and the transmission closer to the perfect 50:50 ratio, you give up a lot of legroom, especially since the gearbox tunnel goes right between the seats. The 305 liter (10.8 cubic feet) luggage compartment might appear more than enough for two passengers out for a weekend drive but trust us, it isn't. The main problem with it isn't its size, but its opening and "ease of operation".
Anyway, the 1-Series Cabriolet isn't the best car to go camping in, but if you can halve the manufacturer's claims about passenger and trunk volume you're going to get exactly what you expect. In other words, don't expect a true four-seater cabriolet and don't think that its 305 liters (10.8 cubic feet) are just like the ones in a regular compact hatchback. Obviously, they're not, except the case where your luggage is also trained as a contortionist.
The fit and finish is pretty much what you would expect from a premium automobile, but the quality of the plastics on the dashboard or the leather trim on the seats is a bit below par. Don't get us wrong, it isn't cheap, it just doesn't look to be in BMW's standards from a few years ago. The center console doesn't squeak or anything, but the hard plastic doesn't give an impression of premium, while the leather trimming looks durable mainly thanks to its very rough texture. Continue reading