Is BMW Winning The Interior Design Race?

Others | December 12th, 2014 by 28
new bmw x6 m images 12 750x500

Lately, almost all premium manufacturers are excelling in the exterior design of their cars. Most of the newer models are remarkable pieces of design that …

Lately, almost all premium manufacturers are excelling in the exterior design of their cars. Most of the newer models are remarkable pieces of design that showcase how far has vehicle design come in the last decade. Certainly some design techniques inspire others, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In a world where the market size and financials drive every decision made, it pushes the bean counters to impact the design teams. Engineers and safety regulations also have an important impact on the final design, so it is uncommon for a concept car to end up looking significantly different than the production model.

Bild Vergleich BMW X6 F16 Mercedes GLE Coupe SUV 2014 06 750x562

So while the exterior design might sometimes “play safe”, the cockpits have been taken to a whole new level. With the advent of in-car entertainment systems and the introduction of LCD technology, the playing field got bigger and more exciting for interior designers. While minimalism is what many designers strive for, there are also plenty of examples where awkwardly placed screens, randomly added air ventilation openings and flashy lights have created strange-looking and tiring cabins.

This has become more apparent with the reveal of some recent vehicles that are more focus on being flashy than being usable.

In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and customers now can’t be more different than ever, so choosing the best interior design language is sometimes a matter of personal style. Since we focus mostly on BMWs, we can say a thing or two about the recent design changes made by Munich inside the cockpit.

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The interior design continues to be understated, yet purposeful and fully catering to the driver. The design and its elements are not intruding the passengers’ personal space, yet they are simply accessible when needed. But one of the biggest upgrades to the BMW cabins comes certainly from the level of luxury now the new BMWs sport. The cockpits look sleek, stylish and premium.

With this in mind, we compared several BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen interiors, all in different vehicle model ranges and we’ll let you decide who makes the best cockpits

Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X6 M, Audi Q8



Audi A3 Sportback S line/Cockpit

Mercedes-Benz CLS, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A7




Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, BMW M4, Audi RS5

Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014



28 responses to “Is BMW Winning The Interior Design Race?”

  1. Shawn Sepehry says:

    In my opinion the C class interior is absolutely the most gorgeous. It’s also where Mercedes is taking their design language with the new S class. In the other categories, the BMW is always simpler and more functional and I would definitely pick the X6 and M6 over the Mercedes. In my opinion. Audi is not the winner in any of these.

    • Vanja Kljaic says:

      I gotta say, the C-Class interior is stunning, feels great and fits well. On the other hand, it may be a better choice to get a BMW concerning interior if you are a person that loves understated, yet gorgeous designs, but also, this is where Audi seems to balance the two things rather efficiently concerning the feel, look and overall impression of that aspect.

  2. Ofentse Letsholo says:

    Yeah I was hoping to see i8’s Interior with SLS though SLS has nailed it but BMW for life hey ;-)

  3. dPower says:

    a mistake with 6 series GC interior? i believe that’s a 3 series interior.

  4. BimmerThom says:

    In my opinion we should not only talk about Interior Design, but also quality. And then the hole thing turns just upside down – in matter of design BMW is more consistent than any other (you know one BMW, you know all BMW), after that for me comes Mercedes, than Audi. But when we talk about quality and the feel of surface, the Audi wins, after that comes Mercedes and than BMW. What do you think?

    • BLUE_M3 says:

      Why is that? I dont agree though, I think BMW is ahead for quality, design, and functioning.

    • jcatl says:

      A couple of years ago I had a 2012 328i F30 loaner for 3 weeks while my E90 335i was in the shop and felt the materials were a substantial downgrade. I now own a 2013 Audi A4 and the materials are much better. I think BMW has become too stingy with the cost-cutting on quality. The designs are beautiful, but once you start touching and living with the new interior materials, you realize they are not adequate for the premium charged.

      Once you step up to a 5 Series it gets a lot better but the bread and butter 3 Series no longer feels premium.

    • Vanja Kljaic says:

      This is where I don’t agree, since BMW has always maintained the quality of the materials added to the cars in every aspect. On what specific model are you basing this?

    • truther says:

      I agree on the base models. But after sitting in an M3, RS4 and C63 at an auto show… the M3 feels amazing. The seats, leather covered dash, etc, make a huge difference.

  5. viper says:

    for me the x5/x6 interior beats gle , ml or mlc…as for the new audi Q7 that is something else , check those out they have just leaked…the new tt interior is stunning imo , the new c and s class have stunning interiors as well , something is missing in 3,4, series and 5 and 7 imo…however z4 looks much different than snx other bmw , also I like the i8 cabin…..

  6. Ronald says:

    Audi, Merc, BMW… But this is subjective. Would be interesting to do a usability study seeing how people react to different tasks given to them.

  7. truther says:

    The new C interior is amazing. But I say this while looking at the matte finished woods. If BMW had the option for matte finished exotic woods, I’d change my mind. Frankly, the options piano black, brushed aluminum or dark brown “wood” are pretty lame for a $90k M3.

  8. Mohamed Boukachabia says:

    epic fail when A BMW blog doesn’t know the difference between a 6 series GC and a 4 series

  9. audiblowsdick says:

    man dat audi is some NASTY shit

  10. Nobody says:

    Actually the RS5 Cockpit is a RS7 Cockpit. So many mistakes :(

  11. Christian Bouchez says:

    I like the Audi- being able to put the screen away is huge for me.

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