BMW i4 review: interior, dashboard & infotainment
Interior quality and layout are both excellent, but BMW’s formerly class-leading infotainment system is starting to seem overly complex
Near-flawless build quality and logical, driver-orientated layouts have been a hallmark of BMWs for many years and the i4 doesn’t deviate from that template. If you’re used to slotting into the driver’s seat of a BMW and it feeling ‘just right’ straight away, you shouldn’t be disappointed here.
BMW i4 dashboard
The layout of the i4’s cabin will be very familiar to any current 3 or 4 Series owner. Build quality is excellent, and the dashboard design is clean and minimalistic – dominated by a large curved display panel that features both a 12.3-inch driver’s screen and a 14.9-inch infotainment display. It's the same setup you'll find in BMW's flagship iX SUV and is now starting to make its way into the brand's other models.
Equipment, options & accessories
The i4’s trim-level hierarchy is fairly straightforward. The eDrive35 introduced in February 2023 and eDrive40 rear-wheel drive models are offered in Sport and M Sport specifications, while the more powerful, range-topping M50 serves as its own trim level.
Standard equipment on the Sport includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate, blue exterior design highlights, ambient lighting, automatic air-conditioning, Alcantara upholstery, heated front seats, split-folding rear seats, a leather sports steering wheel, automatic wipers and headlights, cruise control, LED lights all round, parking assistance, a reversing camera, the 14-inch infotainment screen and 12-inch driver’s display.
M Sport has a different design of 18-inch alloy, plus M Sport-specific front bumper among other styling changes. Aluminium interior trim and an M Sport steering-wheel design also feature inside. If you want to go further, the optional M Sport Pro pack ups the standard wheel size to 19 inches and adds adaptive M suspension, M Sport brakes and sun protection glass.
Comfort, Comfort Plus, Visibility, Technology and Technology Plus packs are also available for both Sport and M Sport models, while individual options offered include an electric sunroof, towbar and Harmon Kardon sound system.
The M50 gets 19-inch alloys as standard, along with similar external styling enhancements to the M Sport. Powered memory seats trimmed in full leather, along with the adaptive suspension and M Sport brakes, are standard here, too. Visibility, Comfort, Technology Plus and M Technology Packs can be added at extra cost.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The infotainment system doesn’t disappoint, with crisp graphics and a responsive user interface. You can tap the central touchscreen to navigate through menus and functions, but the i4 also features the familiar iDrive rotary dial. But whichever method you use, it can be difficult to navigate the array of icons and sub-menus on the screen while driving. If you prefer to just use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, apps are fully integrated into the main touchscreen, and they both look and function brilliantly as a result. The climate controls on the central touchscreen are relatively painless to use, but of course we’d like to have seen BMW fit some physical buttons instead.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe electric equivalent to the BMW 3 Series offers refinement and comfort, along with exceptional build quality and infotainment; the M50 packs a punch worthy of its badge
- 2Range, battery & chargingClaimed range numbers are promising, but depending on how you drive, the real-world figures aren’t quite as good
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe savings really stack up here, with i4 owners enjoying zero road tax, very low company-car tax, reasonable insurance ratings, strong residuals and affordable servicing
- 4Performance, motor & driveEven the entry-level i4 is quick, but the range-topping M50 boasts supersaloon-like performance; both handle superbly in the best BMW tradition
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainment - currently readingInterior quality and layout are both excellent, but BMW’s formerly class-leading infotainment system is starting to seem overly complex
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityBoot space is very close to that of the petrol 4 Series, but rear-seat passengers might feel the squeeze
- 7Reliability & safety ratingBMW has been building reliable electric cars for some time, but on the safety front the i4 only scored four out of five in Euro NCAP crash-testing