The iDrive controller is located in the center console where your hand naturally rests. The controller is surrounded by a series of Direct Access buttons that allow you to quickly and intuitively access the most commonly used features within the iDrive system.

On BMWs with navigation, these Direct Access buttons include:


  • Menu- this button always takes you to the main menu screen

  • Radio

  • Media- Takes you to the current or last played selection.

  • Telephone/ COM- Opens up the communications menu.

  • MAP- Shows the navigation map.

  • Navigation- Opens up the navigation menu. 

  • Back- this button takes you to previously views panels, much like the "back" button when using a web browser 

  • Option- Access special settings in certain menus.

To highlight the various selections within a particular iDrive screen, rotate the controller in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. Push down on the controller to select a highlighted item. Bump the controller right or left to toggle between the various screens within a particular menu.

BMW iDrive Display Overview.

iDrive has revolutionized the way drivers access and operate the rapidly growing number of key vehicle systems.

iDrive consists of:

  • A large, high-resolution color display

  • A mouse-like hand controller where the driver's hand naturally rests

  • Direct Access Buttons surrounding the central controller for instant access to the vehicle's audio, telephone, entertainment, navigation functions

  • Programmable Memory Buttons located near the CD player that can be used for one-touch access to key vehicle systems and functions within iDrive

Many BMW models also include Voice Command, a feature that allows the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel operating iDrive with simple voice prompts. 

Visual Volume Indicator. 

With customization volume levels for the guidance voice features of the navigation system, voice command system, and the entertainment system, the visual volume indicator displays which volume source is active so you know which volume source you are adjusting. 

Enhanced Voice Control System. 

The voice control system is significantly enhanced and has a natural language understanding. To use voice command, press the iSpeech button on the steering wheel and speak your command in simple, natural language.