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BMW rolls out iDrive 5

i for an i: BMW is a pioneer when it comes to infotainment and connectivity systems, with the original iDrive making its debut in 2002.

iDrive 5 system now offered on more BMW models in Australia

3 Nov 2016

BMW Australia will roll out the latest version of its iDrive infotainment control system with Professional Navigation to the rest of its passenger car and SUV range following its debut last year on the flagship 7 Series sedan.

The latest version, dubbed iDrive 5, will be introduced on all variants of the 4, 6 and 7 Series, as well as the X5 and X6 SUVs that are fitted with the Navigation System Professional.

For the X3 and X4 mechanical twins, it will be standard on xDrive28i and xDrive30d and optional on all others.

In the 1 and 2 Series line-ups, iDrive 5 will be offered M140i, 230i and M240i but optional on the rest of the variants, and it is standard on 330i, 330e, 340i 3 Series sedan and Touring as well as the 330i and the Gran Turismo 330i.

When chosen with some of the 3 Series variants, the additional cost is $1154, while it is offered as part of an Innovations options package in some of the other models.

When the new system launched with the 7 Series last year, the biggest change was the new app-style interface that replaced a text list with an icon-led design, giving it the feel of a smartphone.

The 5 Series was not mentioned in BMW’s release but the new-generation version due next year will likely have the latest version of iDrive fitted.

The seven core buttons surrounding the iDrive controller in the centre console remain but the ‘radio’ button has been changed to ‘media’ for all media controls.

The controller itself has been redesigned and is now touch sensitive with users able to write numbers and letters with their hand for various functions.

New functions were added for iDrive 5, including a shortcut menu that is accessed by pressing the controller’s ‘menu’ button twice.

A preview function is also now included, while a vehicle 3D model displayed on the touchscreen for lighting or drive model options is also used for the online user manual via the animations system.

Control of iDrive is via the rotary controller, but the 7 Series, X5 and X6 also offer touchscreen functionality that can be used to move or zoom in on maps and other functions.

BMW was one of the first to market with its iDrive infotainment system when it launched with the controversially styled E56 7 Series in 2002.

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