Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The low-slung driving position is perfect for sporty driving, but also more than comfortable for long slogs. The dash is well laid out, the switches are logically placed and the interior oozes quality. Every car gets an engine stop/start button instead of twist key ignition - it gives the 1-Series a real sense of occasion. Once seated, it's easy to get comfortable with a reach and height-adjustable steering wheel and a multi-adjustable driver's seat as standard.

BMW's iDrive system - which controls the satellite navigation, climate control and audio - is an option. Visibility is very good, even with the roof up, although the view out of the back is somewhat restricted by the canvas roof.

Head and legroom are both tight in the back - as you'd expect, so the two rear seats are best left for the children - they're only suitable for adults if the journey is very short. With the roof down the cabin environment is remarkably quiet and it's possible to hold a conversation at normal levels right up to motorway speeds. With the roof up there is a little wind rustle, though engine and road noise are kept well suppressed.