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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading/watching dozens of reviews about the F40, all gushing about the "step-up" in terms of interior quality, I'm really pleased to see some more balanced opinions coming out on this forum. I was starting to think I'd been looking at a different car to everyone else!

So far I have driven a 118i and 118d (both M-sports) on two separate occasions and whilst the driving experience was impressive, I felt that the interior quality is a signifcant step down; not only from my existing F20 but also compared to many of BMW's non-premium competitors in this segment.

The doors appear to have lost the solid "clunk" of the F20. The interior dashboard materials, whilst soft-touch, are predominently textured vinyl. The speaker grilles in the door flex when pushed lightly. There's a weird asymmetry between the (cheap feeling) "carbon fibre" trim around the air vents on either side of the cabin (i.e. there's none on the passenger side) and those silver plastic dials/switches for the central vents and AC controls look (to me) like something off a cheap 90's hi-fi. It feels like BMW have somehow attempted to keep pace with the ostentatious A-Class interior and missed the mark whilst also forgetting their talent for understated, solid, sober interiors. Maybe those are too dated now. Maybe I'm too dated now. :)

Sure, the design elements are a matter of personal taste as opposed to specific quality issues but just in terms of materials, I strongly feel that the interior quality of the F40 is on a par with my previous car (18 plate SEAT Leon). Similarly sit in the latest Mazda 3 back to back with the F40 and the BMW seems very, very average in comparison. That would be inconsequential of course, if it weren't for the nearly £10k difference price for these cars (spec for spec)!

I read one thread where someone said they soon forgot about (or got used to) the interior when changing from car to car but my opinion is the exact opposite: as a place that I spent 100% of my driving time in contact with, I want my car interior to feel solid, classy and comfortable and generally a nice place to sit in for two hours in traffic! I'll be watching with interest for their interior facelifts/refreshes in time, but I'm sad to say that I've struck the F40 off my next car list completely just on the grounds of the interior. Fortunately, I love my F20 so much I don't expect to change for a while!

Interested in others' views!?
 

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I'm coming from a 2018 X3 M40i, and I actually thought the interior better on the 1 Series. I think that the accountants have had far too much control at BMW for too long, but the problem is that people keep buying these cars. Until people vote with their feet, nothing will change.
 

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You must have picked some real duffers to look at then, because I'd say the M135 interior quality is WAY better than the 140,
 
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Invisiblename said:
You must have picked some real duffers to look at then, because I'd say the M135 interior quality is WAY better than the 140,
Well said. I'm going to stop acknowledging the bashing on here from owners of the previous model owners.
 

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RichT001 said:
Invisiblename said:
You must have picked some real duffers to look at then, because I'd say the M135 interior quality is WAY better than the 140,
Well said. I'm going to stop acknowledging the bashing on here from owners of the previous model owners.
Why? I'm sorry if I've offended somehow? It's merely my opinion (a strong one, admittedly) and I expressly asked for other people's views on the subject because I'm genuinely interested in other opinions on the latest model which, I thought, was the point of a forum!?

I'm not sure what constitutes a "duffer" but all the examples I drove were brand new M-Sport dealer demonstrators with under 500 miles on them. Like most demonstrators, they were also loaded with a number of extras.

Being an owner of a previous model gives me a standpoint to view from and obviously, as a prospective owner of the F40, I'm going to compare them. Believe it or not, I'm pleased that a lot of people like the new model! I am not invested in the model's success or failure in any way! ...but I am interested to know whether anyone else had a similar first impression of the F40.
 

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And I was also a previous owner of an F20 M140, so also have been able to make a direct comparison with the F40 M135i. I acknowledge that you gave your opinion (which we're all entitled to), I just don't get how you arrived at that opinion!
 

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The interior quality is appropriate for the segment. The only quality improvement over the M140i is on the center console buttons. Elsewhere the materials and solidity is the same.

If you value interior quality then you have to jump into an X3 or 5-Series which are a considerable step up from the 1 and 3 series. The X5 is even a bigger leap up.
 

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Tiberius said:
The interior quality is appropriate for the segment. The only quality improvement over the M140i is on the center console buttons. Elsewhere the materials and solidity is the same.

If you value interior quality then you have to jump into an X3 or 5-Series which are a considerable step up from the 1 and 3 series. The X5 is even a bigger leap up.
The previous 1/2 Series interior is cheap, dull and rubbish, compared to the new car.

The X3 isn't a step up. You'd need to go 5 Series or X5 upwards to notice any significant increase in quality.
 

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I haven't looked at one, but the pro:con ratio appears to be about 20:1 in favour of the new car. It doesnt surprise me; my 2018 125i felt a bit dated when I first got in it, and in terms of materials, a slight downgrade from an E46 even though that car was nearly 20 years old with doors that still sounded like bank vaults. I would be absolutely floored if the F40 was worse than the F20.
 

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RichT001 said:
Tiberius said:
The interior quality is appropriate for the segment. The only quality improvement over the M140i is on the center console buttons. Elsewhere the materials and solidity is the same.

If you value interior quality then you have to jump into an X3 or 5-Series which are a considerable step up from the 1 and 3 series. The X5 is even a bigger leap up.
The previous 1/2 Series interior is cheap, dull and rubbish, compared to the new car.

The X3 isn't a step up. You'd need to go 5 Series or X5 upwards to notice any significant increase in quality.
Have you sat in a G01 x3? It's got an almost identical interior to the current 5 series.
 

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Having spent a little over an hour in an F40 M135i X-Drive I found the interior to be fine, though the speaker grills on the doors are a bit scratchy if you catch you nails on them when going for the door handle, the gear lever feels a little plasticy and the buttons around the iDrive don't have a feeling of solidity as they are not individual, rather it seems that the consol surface itself flexes, minor points though, that wouldn't put me off.

It's not though a step up in quality over the F2x, more contemporary maybe, though comparable at best in quality terms.
 

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CSJH said:
RichT001 said:
Tiberius said:
The interior quality is appropriate for the segment. The only quality improvement over the M140i is on the center console buttons. Elsewhere the materials and solidity is the same.

If you value interior quality then you have to jump into an X3 or 5-Series which are a considerable step up from the 1 and 3 series. The X5 is even a bigger leap up.
The previous 1/2 Series interior is cheap, dull and rubbish, compared to the new car.

The X3 isn't a step up. You'd need to go 5 Series or X5 upwards to notice any significant increase in quality.
Have you sat in a G01 x3? It's got an almost identical interior to the current 5 series.
I owned one for around 18 months, and it really doesn't. The X3 was surprisingly plasticy and cheap feeling, after my X5. The X3 interior quality certainly isn't 5 Seres quality, more likely is the same level as the X1.

Once I've spent some actual time with my new car, I'll report back with some more comparisons. I've nothing to hide, and only have the car for 2 years, so if there's things I don't like, don't worry, I'll be posting about them on here! :lol:
 

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Agree on the speaker grills. Naff quality and stupid place to put them.

Centre gear surround controls. Weird. Is it capacitative touch or just a weird combined button?
As a single button surface with many 'clickers' it's just horrible.
Though that's common to the rest of the range. It still feels ****e in the 8er.
Like you'd find on a kids cheapy Chinese junk toy off Amazon.

Yes it all looks 'Jewel like' inside. Great. Right now. If you like that kinda thing.
It's at risk of dating quickly.

The only things I liked really were the seats, and the better manual seat lift controls.
Though imo the manual seats are still crap vs leccy in either old or new 1er.

But this isn't so much a bash at the 1er. It's the entire range that's gone very cheap feeling.

Even the premium models get the same cheap details like gear surround omni-button, or a crystal effect to the idrive dial and gear selector.

Even the top models leather feels a step down.

Ie, M4 CS with top leather feels lots better than 840d standard leather.
And E46 standard M3 leather was as nice as either imo.

There is a broad cheapening happening.

It's worrying to see though, when so much has been said about cost saving/platform sharing on the 1er going fwd etc, and yet price is up.

Fair enough had it been cheaper, but it's more for a lot less.

Personally I'd be unwilling to pay new list prices for the quality on offer.

And it makes the older used cars much more desirable. Cheaper and higher quality.

Ok they just look 'older' but the last model range were good looking cars so no problem imo. They'll go down in history like the late 90s/early 00s stuff imo... classic BMW designs.
 

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Mr Whippy said:
Personally I'd be unwilling to pay new list prices for the quality on offer.
This is my bugbear. I don't think the interior is particularity bad for an entry level FWD hatchback, but they're not priced like entry level hatchbacks. My M135i was £25,500 with metallic paint and a few nice options, the new ones just don't feel like £10,000 higher quality (although the seats are very nice).
 

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marco_polo said:
Mr Whippy said:
Personally I'd be unwilling to pay new list prices for the quality on offer.
This is my bugbear. I don't think the interior is particularity bad for an entry level FWD hatchback, but they're not priced like entry level hatchbacks. My M135i was £25,500 with metallic paint and a few nice options, the new ones just don't feel like £10,000 higher quality (although the seats are very nice).
One of the things with BMW is nobody ever pays list price. I've seen the discount they did on mine to get to the lease figures they've done, and already the discount is huge.
 

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Was yours £26k then Rich? Come on, spill the beans!

If you'd be willing to let fellow forum members know current discounts, it would be really useful for them when negotiating their deals, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks all.. some interesting viewpoints here and I would like to reiterate that I still think the F40 is an awesome car in other respects! Naturally I've compared it to my F20 and whilst I really like my interior (although I can see it is dated now), it's just that the F40 wasn't the step-up in quality I had expected.

To be honest, I'm less interested in comparing it to the F20 and more to other cars in the non-premium/lower-priced segment. "Appropriate for the segment" was mentioned but I think this is the root of my gripe; I don't think it is appropriate for the segment when, in my opinion, the interiors of other cars such as the latest Focus, Mazda 3, Civic, Golf, i30 etc are really no worse (and in some areas, noticeably nicer in terms of materials).

I hoped the 1 series would stand out a bit, in the same way that Audi's premium interiors stand out from their cheaper VWAG cousins. I hoped the BMW interior would feel a little more "special". As others have said, it may not be unique to the the 1 series across the BMW range. I will say though, the new 3 series I also viewed recently was noticeably better in most areas.
 

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I kind of see where the OP is coming from. The reviews that I read / watched all talked about a big step up in quality from the previous model but I'm not sure I felt it either. The new seats in the M135i are lovely and the design of the interior is a bit more modern but higher quality? I'm not sure. I certainly didn't feel short changed getting back into my car.

They have been cheapening the cars for a while though. The E90 whilst a better car than the E46 in my experience didn't have the same solid feel. The Dakota leather is ****. The old leather seats I put in my other half's E87 116 feel much nicer than those on my M140i.
 

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marco_polo said:
Was yours £26k then Rich? Come on, spill the beans!

If you'd be willing to let fellow forum members know current discounts, it would be really useful for them when negotiating their deals, thanks.
Nope, not quite. It wouldn't be fair for me to say at this stage, but I'll ask my contact if he's happy for me to divulge the figures when I pick the car up.
 

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RichT001 said:
marco_polo said:
Mr Whippy said:
Personally I'd be unwilling to pay new list prices for the quality on offer.
This is my bugbear. I don't think the interior is particularity bad for an entry level FWD hatchback, but they're not priced like entry level hatchbacks. My M135i was £25,500 with metallic paint and a few nice options, the new ones just don't feel like £10,000 higher quality (although the seats are very nice).
One of the things with BMW is nobody ever pays list price. I've seen the discount they did on mine to get to the lease figures they've done, and already the discount is huge.
I'd be weary if everyone gets a different 'deal'... getting told price X, then buying with a deal at price Y, then finding out someone got price Z (cheaper) a month later, is a sure way to alienate me from even entering this 'market'

Yet buying AUC seems much easier. They don't move on price, and you get a competitive market price because they assess the market actively.

It's backwards really.

You used to get the deal on used. And a fixed buy price.

Now it's all on it's head.
 
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