2008 BMW 135i: I Can Sit Behind Myself!
March 18, 2009
An unfair test of a car's back seat is having a 6-foot-3 editor such as myself set his seat then attempt to sit "behind himself." While I can often technically fit, it's usually the type of fit on par with John Goodman in a Power Rangers unitard. OK, so that was hyperbolic, but you get the idea. I'd usually have to scoot the seat forward in order to allow myself to comfortably be seated in the caboose.
The above picture is the result of sitting behind myself in the BMW 135i. Lo and behold, I fit. Sure, my legs are straddling the driver seat and my head is cocked forward like a jockey to avoid the roof, but that's a technical fit. (I'd apologize for the picture not showing head room, but you try taking a picture by yourself in the back seat of a tiny BMW). If I were really to be sitting behind me, I could scooch the driver seat forward and still be reasonably comfortable driving. That wouldn't be the case in a Mini Cooper. Head room in the 1 would always be an issue, but it's much better than an Infiniti G37 or Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which is useless even for folks much shorter than I. Finally, both leg and head room in the 1's back seat are way better than in the 370Z.
Obviously, the 135's aft quarters are not meant for four-person long hauls. However, for those rare times when I would need the back seat (especially for average-sized people), this baby Bimmer would be more practical than most sport coupes.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 18,798 miles