Navigation at Your Fingertip - 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo Long-Term Road Test

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo Long-Term Road Test

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Navigation at Your Fingertip

March 28, 2014

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

The diameter of the iDrive controller on the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo is half again as big as the one in my 2011 BMW 328i coupe. But there is a good reason for it: Its top is a touchpad that lets you write in some destination info, such as the street name, address and city, rather than dialing around the system's wheel of fortune.

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

The touchpad had no trouble interpreting my fingertip writing and it was easier to use than the scroll wheel. I know that the iDrive has a lot of haters, but I like it, and I like this neatly integrated approach to better, faster destination delineation.

How easy is it for you to input a destination in your car's nav system?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 6945 miles


  • vvk vvk Posts:

    Voice control seems to be the way to go on my BMWs.

  • bimmerjay bimmerjay Posts:

    I have this new gen of iDrive with the touch-sensitive controller in my car, but I rarely do destination input inside the car anymore. When I do, I typically use the voice control since you can simply speak the entire address in one breath and do it on the move. For me, the system correctly interprets the address 80-90% of the time. Most of the time I will have obtained the address I need well before getting to the car, so I use the Send to Car app on my Android mobile via Google Maps. Then the address is already loaded in the nav system when I get to the car.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    Seems like a nice option but, as bimmerjay noted, there are simply better tools for controlling nav and infotainment functions. I wish automakers would just recognize that the worst smartphone apps and websites are simply easier to use than even the best car-based interfaces. The winner will the automaker who recognizes this and fully integrates the capability of the smartphone in a safe, comprehensive and simple way.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Wouldn't it be vastly easier, faster, and (if you are moving) safer to simply touch the 3?

  • tslbmw tslbmw Posts:

    I'm with bimmerjay, I have a '14 X1 with the latest iDrive and I love the myBMW app on my iPhone. I really dig sitting in my office and typing the address into my phone and sending it to my car -- once in the car, it's already there and I simply press "start guidance" and I'm good to go. I'm also a fan of the ConnectedDrive/Office/BMW apps capability -- having Stitcher available at the touch of a button is wonderful during long drives!

  • bimmerjay bimmerjay Posts:

    @bankerdanny - I don't think so. Touchscreens are great for smartphones and the like, but they remain an absolutely terrible interface in a moving vehicle. You have to focus your attention on the screen and where you're poking your finger. There's no t

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Bimmer: thanks, I misunderstood the post and thought that the 3 was traced on the screen rather than the top of the round controller on the console.

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