Last Thursday the New York Times published a review of the new iDrive. We did not link to it or even acknowledge its existence for several reasons. It was so poorly researched and contained so many falsehoods that we thought we would first like to review it and make some corrections. The thing is, our friend, Jonathan Spira at the BMWCCA was faster to the draw than we were. He made some corrections to the NYT piece and as always he drives home the same points we would.
The latest version of iDrive in the new 7 Series
As a public service, here are five key points where the Great Gray Lady got it wrong, with full clarification.
NEW YORK TIMES: Earlier iDrives were so slow to respond that changing any setting was best performed while the car was parked.
We say: While pre-4.0 iDrive systems set no speed records, this is simply not correct. While the Gen 1 iDrive (as introduced in September 2001 in the 2002 E65/E66 7 Series) was a bit of a laggard, it was also built on a platform that was discarded fairly quickly. Even this system was fast enough to be used when driving; its complex menu structure, however, did slow the driver down—but that is clearly not what The Times had in mind.
Starting with Generation 2 (introduced in the 2004 E60/E61 5 Series), iDrive, while not setting speed records, could not be characterized as slow, either. Subsequent software upgrades provided some improvement in speed, and the Gen 3 iDrive (introduced in March 2007) could even be considered snappy.
For Jonathan ‘s full public service announcement please click on over the BMWCCA forum here