2008 BMW X5 Long Term Road Test

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2008 BMW X5 4.8i: ialmostlike iDrive

July 23, 2008

x5idrive.jpg

I can't believe it, but I'm starting to feel at home using iDrive in our long-term 2008 BMW X5 4.8i.

I still don't think it's the best interface out there, but when you're entering a specific address, with a street name and house number, it's quite straightforward to use. I especially like how you can enter each bit of information separately in whatever order you like -- and how you can easily switch between entering a house number and an intersection.

However, I don't know if I'll ever feel at home using the automatic transmission's funky gear selector. Scott Jacobs criticized it previously, but I'm going to have to whine a little more. Specifically, I thought at first I might be too dumb to drive the X5, because I couldn't get it into reverse.

x5shifter.jpg

A little RTFM set me on the right path: You have to press the little button on the left side of the shifter to select "R." Yet, it's not a button you would expect to have to press on a frequent basis, since it's small and damped like a radio preset button. Why do I have to press it at all?

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 13,677 miles

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