BMW 8 Series interior
The BMW 8 Series’ interior looks great, feels very plush and comes with loads of high-tech features, but it isn’t as eye-catching as the cabins you get in more expensive alternatives.
The BMW 8 Series’ interior does a great job of looking sporty and feeling luxurious. Every surface – from the soft leather-trimmed dashboard to the brushed metal trims on the centre console – feels just as solid as in the uber-posh 7 Series. The knurled stainless steel finish on the centre console feels particularly lovely and the crystal-effect gear knob is a nice change from the rather amorphous plastic blob you get in most other BMWs.
The BMW 8 Series’ wide centre console is raised higher than in the likes of the 7 Series which, combined with its letter-box-like windscreen, makes it feel much sportier to sit in. The seats do their part to make you feel cocooned in the 8 Series’ cabin too, with their low-slung position and heavily bolstered sides.
You can choose to have them finished in black, tan or white leather as standard, or you can pay extra for red, blue or creme upholstery. You can also replace the standard stainless steel trim with glossy ash wood inserts or go for polished black trims instead.
The BMW 8 Series’ interior is all about high-tech gizmos. The large central touchscreen and digital driver’s display work together to create one of the best infotainment systems around.
Every BMW 8 Series comes with a pair of huge digital displays. One sits on top of the dashboard and controls the car’s sat-nav and media-streaming features while the other takes the place of conventional analogue dials in front of the steering wheel.
The former is a 10.25-inch touchscreen with some of the sharpest graphics of any in-car display. It’s bright enough to read in almost direct sunlight and the mostly colourful icons are easy to read with a quick glance.
Some of the BMW 8 Series’ menus feel a little more complicated than those in the likes of the Mercedes S-Class but you can always use the handy rotary controller and shortcut buttons down on the centre console to quickly jump from one feature to another if you get a little lost.
You can also use voice control to program the standard satellite navigation without taking your hands off the steering wheel. This works reasonably well but you can use the touchscreen to enter an address using a conventional on-screen keyboard if you prefer. It calculates directions quickly and the screen responds without any irritating lag if you swipe to pan across the map to check out the route ahead.
It’s possible to use the 12.3-inch digital driver’s display to show a large widescreen sat-nav display – perfect if your passenger insists on fiddling with the central screen – or you can have it show a set of cool vertical speedometer and rev-counter gauges which look like they belong in a sci-fi jet plane.
Unfortunately, while Apple CarPlay comes as standard, you can’t get the BMW 8 Series with Android Auto smartphone mirroring. At least the former works well and lets you make calls, use your preferred navigation apps and play music through the car’s infotainment system.
On the subject of music, you get a 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo as standard which has more than enough punch to fill the BMW 8 Series’ cabin with whichever guilty pleasure you feel like blasting out on the commute.