It's great that the "starter" car is truly a BMW, not just a chintzed out shell of the more expensive versions. Leased a 128i and the engine and steering are exquisite. And while the Edmunds review suggests that one needs the sports seats for comfort, the regular ones with leather are much, much more comfortable than the ones on my previous car, an Audi A3 with the sports pkg. Three years ago BMW navigation had a poor reputation, but the one on this car is great - just as good as Audi's. Standard stereo is fine. Cabin noise is nice and low, with the exception of the supersonic window defroster.
Aside from the obvious, the fact that one can put the back seats down using release latches in the trunk. Since I play the cello, that's a great thing! Engine, feel, suspension, all awesome. I like the looks of the 1 better than the 3 also, but that's just me probably.
Not much room for improvement, actually. Perhaps wider cup-holders, a center console that makes a little more sense (maybe I'll get used to it). Bluetooth as an OPTION? In 2011? Feh.