BMW i8 Roadster interior & comfort

The BMW i8 Roadster reflects its advanced approach with a good level of standard equipment, yet comfort isn’t compromised too much as a Roadster.

The BMW i8 Roadster retains the Coupe’s scissor doors, and when you open them up there’s a cabin that matches the high price tag. The materials are environmentally friendly in places, but the important thing here is that the interior ambience rivals other cars costing this much and feels special.

BMW i8 Roadster dashboard

From the moment you drop behind the wheel, the i8 Roadster feels sporty. But while the driving position and interior layout might not look the most user friendly, it’s actually fairly approachable, not too confusing and underpinned by sound ergonomics.

The infotainment and ventilation controls work with all the slick ease any BMW’s main systems. Everything is located on the main centrepiece of the dashboard and the console between the two seats where the gear lever is located. There’s also an 8.8-inch infotainment screen controlled by the rotary iDrive controller behind the gear lever.

The driver’s seat and steering wheel have a wide range of adjustment and the techy displays offer up plenty of info on the sportier elements of the car, as well as the more efficiency focused areas. A clear head-up display that shows sat-nav directions and other driving data helps as well.

Material and build quality feels good too, but this is what you’d expect from a car costing this much.

Equipment, options and accessories

There’s no range of trim levels in the i8 Roadster line-up, and the car comes well-equipped as standard. This includes items you’d expect from a £100,000-plus vehicle, such as cruise and climate control, sat-nav, connected services and a great infotainment system that’s ease to use and offers lots of functionality.

There’s also front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights, electric heated front seats, DAB, Bluetooth, a Harman Kardon stereo (which actually isn’t as good as we’d expect) and a reversing camera that is a big help, as visibility is even worse than in the Coupe.

There’s plenty of kit on the options list that should make living with the i8 Roadster even easier. These include but are by no means limited to the exterior and interior trim and colour combinations, as well as items that fit with the i8’s advanced approach, such as laser headlights for improved safety at night. Start ticking boxes on the configurator though and the price of the car will rise rapidly.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

BMW has years of experience when it comes to infotainment, having refined its once awkward iDrive system to the point where it’s now pretty much the market leader. That’s because it’s so simple, easy and intuitive to use.

The interface’s graphics are sharp enough and it’s in an easy-to-read place on the dash without hampering forward visibility, which is useful, as this isn’t one of the i8 Roadster’s strongest traits.

It is a little disappointing at this price that apps and tech many owners will want are optional, such as Apple CarPlay, which costs £235. Otherwise, the navigation setup is simple to use and functionality such as the real-time traffic data is integrated well.

One other feature that’s worth pointing out with a plug-in car like this is the list of public charging points that has been integrated into the system. The best bit is that it’s overlaid onto the map so you can see the closest points to you by zooming in and out. It’s a useful feature if you really want to maximise the efficiency you get from your car.