What is iDrive?

What is iDrive?

We explain what exactly BMW iDrive is and how it works on current BMW cars.

Nowadays, each new car in the current BMW range comes with a feature called iDrive as standard.

In this guide, we explain what exactly iDrive is and how it works. If you’re interested in buying a new BMW car with iDrive onboard, then you can search prices here on the Car Keys website.

What is BMW iDrive?

BMW iDrive is an infotainment system used on modern BMW cars. It is used by the driver to control most secondary vehicle systems.

The iDrive system brings together various luxury tech features into one device. It includes the likes of Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, a USB port and satellite navigation functions.

In terms of smartphone connectivity with the iDrive, virtually all current BMWs support Apple CarPlay. At the time of writing, there’s no support for Android Auto yet.

The first BMW to feature the iDrive system was the 7 Series luxury saloon back in the early 2000s and it has since been trickled down to other BMW cars to the point where every current model on offer now features it as standard.

Rebranded versions of the iDrive also feature on current Rolls-Royce and MINI cars, due mainly to the fact that BMW owns both brands.

How does BMW iDrive work?

With iDrive, you get a large dashboard-mounted display and a control knob situated on the centre console. While the control knob can be used to utilise all the various functions, numerous shortcut buttons are also included to make access to things like sat-nav or the radio quicker.

You can also get an optional touchpad which is placed on top of the rotary dial which comes in useful for inputting addresses. With this touchpad, you can spell out names with your fingertip and the system should recognise each letter written accurately.

If customers opt to upgrade to an iDrive Professional system, the display screen will be larger, the sat-nav gets more features like live traffic updates, a larger hard drive is installed (handy if you want extra music onboard) and internet connectivity is added too. You even get a second display for the iDrive situated within the instrument binnacle (where info like current speed and dashboard warning lights are shown).

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