Since 2005, many BMW vehicles have featured iDrive, a video screen based control for entertainment (radio, CD, satellite); communications (blue tooth enabled cell phone link); navigation (GPS); and car data (maintenance schedule, mileage tracking, personal comfort controls).

The video screen is integrated into the center of the dashboard and is controlled by a turn knob immediately adjacent to the driver’s right hand side seat. The technology was widely criticized by BMW enthusiasts (typically middle aged and older men who like the BMW brand for its legendary handling and steering). The Microsoft Windows themed control does take time to learn — which you should not try to learn while you are driving. However, it is worth the effort. The video screen system allows for a substantial increase in driver choices than would be possible with only mechanical controls. BMW iDrive is a solid compliment to the Ultimate Driving Machine.