iDrive in the 2018 BMW 7 Series: Tech that feels like magic
Today we're taking a look at the technology in the 2018 BMW 7 series.
Now we're in the 740E Plug-In Hybrid, but everything we're gonna talk about today applies to the entire 7 Series lineup.
Now we've got a lot to talk about, so let's get right into it.
Now the main event is in the dashboard BMW's idrive version 6.0.
We think this system in a variety of BMW vehicles up to this point and it's pretty good, I'd actually say if the best idrive ever been.
The main menu is this sort of 6 tile interface and it basically has all of the main headings for infotainment that you will be using Things like navigation where you'll find your map.
Media, and radio is where your audio sources are, and communications for hands free calling.
It's pretty simple to understand, and not very easy to get lost here.
I will say that I find that Audi's infotainment is a little bit better organized.
Then as much I hat to admit it Mercedes Benz's latest generation of command has come a long way and I think I actually prefer that a little better as far as being more fully featured.
However, that's not to say this is a bad setup.
Like I said, it's very easy to find what you're looking for as long as you're looking for those main major things you use entertainment for If you are looking for a more obscure feature, however, you'll find that the navigation system is a bit of a mess of menus, and is really easy to kind of, get lost just sort of diving through sub menus looking for features.
Now, if you happen to carry an Apple iPhone, you get access to Apple CarPlay and wireless Apple CarPlay.
No cable required, and you get all of your navigation and apps right there on the screen.
However I would suggest that you maybe plug in on a longer trip if you don't wanna kill your battery.
Now what separates the seven series from other versions of iDrive 6.0 in some of the smaller vehicles is the plethora of ways that you can interact with it.
For starters the screen is a touch screen so you can reach up here and tap around to find information for things while you're parked, But most of the time, you're gonna be using the physical iDrive controller down here on the center console.
That's actually the only way to use it while you're driving.
And it doesn't lock you out of any of the features, which is kinda cool.
Now the interesting thing about the iDrive controller is it does have a touchpad on the top, so you can use that for entering alphanumeric with your fingertip.
While you're parked.
So you just swipe on there.
Z, O, O.
And you can write a definition right onto the thing.
Now if that's too slow for you, of course, you can use voice command.
It has a very natural voice command system.
So you can just ask, for example, to navigate to 1000 Veness And it'll take you there without having to dive through a bunch of smaller sub menus.
Of course the most interesting way to interact with iDrive in the 7-series is gonna be the gesture system.
Now if you've used Kinect on an Xbox One you probably know how gestures work, but if you've never used it then doing something like wiggling you're finger in front of the screen to adjust the volume can kind of feel like magic.
You can also do things like swipe to dismiss an incoming call, or throw two fingers up to skip to the next song.
One of the coolest things you can do, check this out.
When you're in reverse and you've got your 360 camera up, you can make like a circle with your hands, and then move a 3D representation of the vehicle around so you can see what's happening around the vehicle.
Really useful for squeezing into a tight spot or parallel parking.
Of course, gestures are kind of gimmicky and you probably will only use them a few times to impress people when you first give them a ride in your new 7 Series.
The problem with gestures is that you can't really do everything with gestures, and you can't really tell what you can and can't do.
So if most of the time I end up defaulting to just Physical controls for most things, which is fine because the physical controller's kinda the best way to interact with iDrive in most cases.
So there's been your look at the technology in the 2018 BMW 740e x Drive high performance.
Be sure to check out our floor view to figure out what all those words mean and see what it's like to actually drive this thing.