Just picked up my new 550

Drives fantastic. I resisted getting a bmw for 20 years, but I must admit it drives great. However, the 'iDRIVE" is anything but intuitive. not
nearly as easy to use as my wife's lexus radio and navigation system.
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How many freaking years is it going to take BMW to get their collective heads out of their collective asses on this I-Drive thing shit! I have yet to hear a person say, I really like the I-Drive, all cars will catch up to BMW on this some day! Hell, everyone hates it, the car magazines regularly TRASH it!
If BMW wants to put all their eggs in the Chris Bangle school of exterior design and the original I-Drive concept barring all evidence and facts to the contrary, I'd have to say George Bush must be at the helm!
And, no, I didn't go all that way just to bash Bush, it just seemed obvious when I got to that point!
Chris

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I read an article where the author talked up the virtues of i-Drive and really loves it. Thought that in just a short time anyone can grow to like it. He was really sincere. The magazine? ...
Quarterly BMW Owners magazine published by BMW.
Mr car? ... E91 3 series touring, WITHOUT i-Drive Sat Nav option
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Chris D'Agnolo wrote:

New Motor Trend (Car of the Year) shows 6 new cars by 6 different manufacturers - from MB to Toyota - with Bangle inspired design. It seems his design cues are catching on.
As far as iDrive is concerned, I like it. It took me a couple of weeks to get the hang of it but once it's learned, it becomes second nature - SMG II paddles had a learning curve too but I don't hear anyone complaining. If my Grandmother were the primary user of my car, I'd have gotten a Lexus. Don't allow elementary to be confused with intuitive.
- phlood -
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Well there we have it a true believer in the I-Drive. BMW may come looking you up to try to figure out what's wrong with everyone else! Intuative is intuative! I would add that anything that takes your view (attention) away from the road / trafic, is inherintly bad so, the less time and attention required the better. Agreed?
Popular design is not the same as good design my friend. Look around, it's a relatively small % of people who do not just go for the newest / latest. The true test of great design is time and although only time will tell for sure, I feel confident from being "into it" that this period of BMW design will go down as a low point not a high point. I'll be first to admit that I could be wrong. But I don't think so.
Chris

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Chris D'Agnolo wrote:

I agree wholeheartedly! I tend to view this a bit differently, though, I think. After iDrive has been learned it is one control mechanism rather than many buttons or knobs. Your eyes go two places, from road to lcd, while using iDrive (with hand on the iDrive controller) rather than 3 places with conventional controls - looking at/for buttons & knobs, then the lcd, then the road. Much the same as a computer's mouse, you are operating it without having to look for/at it. Make sense?

Very true. I guess ones preference is just that, preference. However, as they say, imitation is the purest form of flattery. I find it hard to fathom that the manufacturers (MB, Audi, etc.) of these new vehicles with Bangle-isms don't see something good in the design.
You said it best though; only time will tell for sure...& maybe sales figures.
- phlood -
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Chris D'Agnolo wrote:

I agree wholeheartedly! I tend to view this a bit differently, though, I think. iDrive is one control mechanism rather than many buttons or knobs. Your eyes go two places, from road to lcd, while using iDrive (with hand on the iDrive controller) rather than 3 places with conventional controls - looking at/for buttons & knobs, then the lcd, then the road. Much the same as a computer's mouse, you are operating it without having to look for/at it. Make sense?

Very true. I guess ones preference is just that, preference. However, as they say, imitation is the purest form of flattery. I find it hard to believe that manufacturers like MB & Audi would be introducing new models with Bangle-isms if they didn't see some redeeming quality in the design.
You said it best though; only time will tell...& maybe sales figures.
- phlood -
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Sounds like the I-Drive works as intended for you. Maybe the bigest problem is the amount of time needed to become familiar enough to it where it's less of a distraction than conventional controls. Maybe you just catch on quicker.
As for Audi, they've shown very little styling variation. Granted their one main design is basically good, when almost all of your cars are nearly indistinguishable from each other to the casual observer, that's not impressive. Aside from the TT, VW and Audi cars are a sadbunch of scaled up and scaled down copies of each other and heaven forbid they not have the corporate front end treatment! At least that used to be a good front end now, it's abnoxious!
The Japanese manufacturers have made their fortunes on good imitations (with some rare truely original designs) not great design. Reminds me of a story about McDonalds (spending huge amounts to study demagraphics prior to building each facility) and Burger King (build right there next to McDonalds).
Later, Chris

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My complaint about i-Drive would be that my wife who rarely drives my car would never be with it long enough to get used to it. It means she cannot just get in drive and have control over it. It's hard enough for the occasional driver to learn simple things like how the two stage indicator lever on the E90/E91 works, where all the levers and swicthes are, without throwing a small computer at her to operate too.
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That, I think, is exactly the point. Most people agree that a person should be able to get in and drive any car and at least be able to operate the basic necessities. With the I-Drive, it sounds like a new driver might have to pull over to the side of the road to try to get the defroster to operate or some such thing.
Cheers Chris

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Chris D'Agnolo wrote:

No, see here's the thing that makes iDrive inferior rom a safety standpoint... Even after you get used to iDrive you still have to look at the screen (and take your eyes off the road) to navigate the various screens. OTOH, once you learn where the buttons are on the dash for things like heat, AC, radio, etc. You really don't need anything more than the breifest glance to get your finger on the appropriate buttons.
--
-Fred W

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Doesn't it have steering wheel controls for the most used things? Like radio channels and volume? Can't say I regularly change my climate control settings. Only defrost when starting from cold.
--
*The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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