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      05-07-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
808MGuy
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Is iDrive really that bad?

Last weekend I did some work on a 2008 Corvette. I replaced the factory head unit with a Kenwood Nav unit. As I was playing with it a little, I noticed that in terms of ease of use and intuitive layout, iDrive is so much better. Trying to teach my dad how to use iDrive was a 5 min conversation. After about a week of using the Kenwood, he's still confused. One thing the Kenwood does have over iDrive is that the Garmin based nav kick a$$. There's nothing that even comes close to it.

Bottom line, iDrive is not the pill that people used to constantly complain about in BMWs. It does have a slight learning curve but once you've figured it out (which shouldn't take that long) you'll start to see the genius in it.
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      05-07-2010, 01:09 PM   #2
ersin
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It's a lot better now than it has been in the past. I recall playing with it at the dealer when it first came out on the 7 series. Slow and clunky best describes it. (Although that wasn't the worst thing about the car -- it was Bangle ugly too.) Nowadays it is much better and easier to use. Everybody talks about how much better other car nav+ systems are. I think BMW has now caught up.


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      05-07-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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i love it, never had a problem with it.
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      05-07-2010, 02:08 PM   #4
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iDrive was clunky as hell when it first came out. In a large sedan, or even a sedan for that matter, I would prefer a touch screen interface. I have always been pleased with the interface that Lexus has in their cars and now with the voice recognition "learning" capabilities it has gotten even better. Yes, you need to program each contact one by one for voice dial if you want extreme accuracy, but the option is there. I though it was cool that I could enter a contact, edit the contact, and record their name in my voice so the voice recognition system almost never missed.

In a 6MT car and a sports car I like the placement of the iDrive nob. You can be leaning back, hand near the shifter and still have complete control of the on board system.(I have DCT, so I don't have to shift, but it is still more comfortable than leaning forward if it was touch screen.)

I am happy with the iDrive in my 09, but I played with the 08 iDrive and it was much, much worse.
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      05-07-2010, 02:11 PM   #5
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I've never used the old iDrive, but I love my current one. Once you learn it, it's pretty easy to use. I'm glad they added buttons back to the knob because it makes it quick and easy to use.
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      05-07-2010, 02:25 PM   #6
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The Nav is really the only terrible part of the iDrive system. And with regards to that it is really only the menu structure part of the user interface that stinks.
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      05-07-2010, 03:29 PM   #7
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The new i drive is amazing IMO - took me no time at all to get used to it.
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      05-07-2010, 07:54 PM   #8
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My main issue with it is the location.... It's annoying with the double hump, and the screen doesn't actually turn completely off... so at night it always catches my eye while looking out the windshield. The menu structure isn't great either. I've had other aftermarket systems with touch screen interfaces and they were so much more user friendly and easier to navigate through the menus. For a car with this much tech, the iDrive interface really falls a bit short in my opinion.
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      05-07-2010, 08:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
My main issue with it is the location.... It's annoying with the double hump, and the screen doesn't actually turn completely off... so at night it always catches my eye while looking out the windshield. The menu structure isn't great either. I've had other aftermarket systems with touch screen interfaces and they were so much more user friendly and easier to navigate through the menus. For a car with this much tech, the iDrive interface really falls a bit short in my opinion.
Are you talking about the new or old idrive?
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      05-07-2010, 08:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
My main issue with it is the location.... It's annoying with the double hump, and the screen doesn't actually turn completely off... so at night it always catches my eye while looking out the windshield. The menu structure isn't great either. I've had other aftermarket systems with touch screen interfaces and they were so much more user friendly and easier to navigate through the menus. For a car with this much tech, the iDrive interface really falls a bit short in my opinion.
Which aftermarket heads have you used? I played with pretty much all of the most popular ones. Pioneer, Kenwood, Clarion, Eclipse and none of them have been easier to use than the iDrive. As the posted above said, are you talking about '08 iDrive or '09? It makes a big difference. Both of them can't be turned completely off but I've never had an issue with that.
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      05-07-2010, 08:41 PM   #11
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I really like the iDrive, too bad I don't have the upgraded ones in the 2009+ models....the Navigation sub-menu was a little complcated at first...but after using it once or
twice I got the hang of it...
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      05-08-2010, 12:10 AM   #12
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I like my '08 iDrive a lot, and the knob looks way better than the new one IMO. Fortunately, I don't care for any of the improvements with the '09. The only part that needs practice if finding some features that are not intuitive at all, but that happens even on Hondas (current vehicle location is under the 'icon' menu). The worst thing about BMW is the use of icons for everything without a written definition at the bottom of iDrive; you have to guess, or experiment, and sometimes it throws everything off . But I like it immensely better than any touchscreen; not only because you don't have to reach at all, but because the screen doesn't look like crap when it's off (smeared fingers all over the place, and you just can't remove them).

Hey, I know where everything is and how to operate everything by now except just couldn't get the damn map to show up without having to program a destination: Is it possible? Got around it by choosing a destination and cancelling the route, but curious about the answer. Thanks.
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      05-08-2010, 03:46 AM   #13
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I've used the 2008 iDrive on an M5 and my 2010 iDrive on my M3. I liked the iDrive on the 2008, i LOVE the iDrive on the new one
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