Seats. It’s so difficult to criticise seats because we drivers come in all shapes and sizes, and for every difficult-to-get-comfy wriggler (like me) there’s someone who can settle into the same seat with the blissfulness of a gosling nestling beneath its mother’s wings.
BMW M-cars tend to have wonderful seats. The E36 and E90 M3s’ in particular. But the 1M’s seats, for me, just don’t quite match the rest of the car’s brilliance. Shallow bolsters prevent true lateral support, forcing you to grip the wheel harder, which in turn can force clumsy steering inputs (at least that’s my excuse). I also find the cushioning too flat and unyielding, and the ratio of seat height to steering wheel reach/rake at odds with my build. Basically, when I set the wheel and seat to a position I find comfortable, my line of sight to the top third of the dials is rudely chopped off by the steering wheel rim.
And the extendable thigh support? It does nothing of the sort. The adjustable lumber is mildly effective, but for me the optimum setting is with it almost fully inflated, which pushes me out of the seat, which in turn renders the bolsters even less effective. Arghhh – I can’t win!
You’d be forgiven for thinking that I have the arms of an orangutan and the legs of a squirrel, but I’m 5ft 10in and of medium build, which means I can’t quite understand why I can’t find a suitable driving position (and comfort) in the 1M.
So what does all this posterior postulating mean? Simple. I still adore the 1M, but if I was to keep it forever I’d seriously consider changing the seats to those found in the E90 M3.