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      04-29-2008, 01:42 PM   #1
DallasBeemer
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Picked mine up yesterday - quick review

Picked it up yesterday from Classic BMW in Dallas. 30 miles on it so far. No time to really go through everything yet, and haven't even cracked open the manual. So far, I must say the looks are outstanding and the stares you get are unbelievable. Vermillion red with black interior. Stock 19 inch tires and wheels. Technology package, comfort access, power tailgate, satellite radio

Surprises/Findings:
* The "dark wood" interior shown in the on-line brochure is actually much lighter in reality. Not a bad look, but not what I thought it was. If you want the dark wood, you need to go with bamboo.
* The i-drive is really a convoluted non user-friendly device. It's about as bad as all the car magazines describe, but I've already pretty much figured most things out. Non intuitive, and not nearly as functional as what I had in my Infiniti. Like other users, I'm sure this will be a non-issue for me later on, but unfortunately electronic technology and human factors is not where the Germans excel.
* The stock 19 inch wheels look as good to me as the upgrades in the 20 inch. I may opt for something different later in the aftermarket, but for now I'm glad I didn't get any upgrades.
* The rear camera stays on after I put it in drive. Not sure yet if this is a problem or if I need to change a setting to keep it from happening. There's a button you push to turn off the beeper, and this makes the camera go off.
* Vermillion red is my favorite color. They had a blue one, green one, black one, and silver one. All look good, so it's a matter of personal taste. I almost ordered black or silver.
* Seats are very comfortable.
* Ride is quick. Plenty of torque and power. Rides like a BMW - you feel the road, but not overly harsh. Haven't had time to put it through any handling paces yet.
* Overall fit and finish is outstanding. Little road noise.
* Very roomy interior.
* The dealer wanted to re-negotiate the price, saying the configurator made a mistake when they priced it for my order. Basically, I got the comfort access, power tailgate and Siruis radio at no extra charge. Naturally, I told them they were crazy if they thought I was paying a dime more than what we had agreed on when we placed the order. They eventually caved in and I got my options at no additional charge. I find it hard to believe they would even approach me on this, but that's the car business for you.
* More later on after I've driven it a little more.
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      04-29-2008, 03:11 PM   #2
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Good write up on your first impressions.

I'm not surprised they wanted more money from you. It was a dealer not far from you (Garlyn Shelton BMW in College Station) that just sold one on eBay for $1,000 over list.
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      04-29-2008, 04:03 PM   #3
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what ya got?

50i or 35i ?
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      04-29-2008, 04:07 PM   #4
DallasBeemer
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35i. The 50i isn't due for release until the August/September time frame.
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      04-29-2008, 10:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasBeemer View Post
* The i-drive is really a convoluted non user-friendly device. It's about as bad as all the car magazines describe, but I've already pretty much figured most things out. Non intuitive, and not nearly as functional as what I had in my Infiniti. Like other users, I'm sure this will be a non-issue for me later on, but unfortunately electronic technology and human factors is not where the Germans excel.
Congrats on what appears to be a great vehicle! Please post some pics.

I would totally disagree with you on iDrive operation friendliness though. I have not used the current X5/X6 iDrive but have used it on E60s and E65s and had none of the learning curve issues that you (and most American journalists) mention. On my 02 745, the salesman did not have to give me much of a tutorial and I had the hang of it in a couple of minutes. Within the first 15mins of use I had mastered it. My 7-year old had mastered most functions (music, climate and nav) within the first two long rides in that car. And remember that that first gen iDrive did not even have the home/menu button and in the E65 the controller moved in 8 different directions/menus as opposed to the current version's 4 from the home screen. In fact, in my opinion the dumbing down of iDrive from that original version (because of all the journalists' moaning) has made it less user friendly. Now, I would not consider it perfect but it was still very very good. The addition of the soft keys was a necessity and making it faster will move it in the right direction.

I don't know which Infinity you are referring to, but I rented an M35 for a week and found its "idrive" to be much less user friendly than BMW's. [Edit, just saw your sig that states you have/had an M45]

Last edited by fq1; 04-29-2008 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Saw the OP's sig
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      04-29-2008, 10:57 PM   #6
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Did I read it right the other day.

The X6 is only a 4-seater?
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      04-29-2008, 11:10 PM   #7
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Did I read it right the other day.

The X6 is only a 4-seater?
Yup. Its a SAC - Sport Activity Coupe = 4 seater
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      04-29-2008, 11:56 PM   #8
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Yup. Its a SAC - Sport Activity Coupe = 4 seater
I need to see this thing in person, sounds strange.
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      04-29-2008, 11:59 PM   #9
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I need to see this thing in person, sounds strange.
Or just look at the pictures online to get a general idea of it...
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      04-30-2008, 12:50 AM   #10
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Can't wait to hear more. I always find it funny when people say they have problems with idrive. I too, came from an Infiniti M and a FX with the same interface as the M, and I find idrive to be a much better system. Everything is so easy to access in idrive. Infiniti was not a bad system, but I find idrive to be far superior in most cases. Took me minutes to learn, and I have never had an issue with it.
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      04-30-2008, 04:16 AM   #11
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Hello Dallas,please send photos ASAP!!!! I cant wait to see it..
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      04-30-2008, 02:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasBeemer View Post
* The i-drive is really a convoluted non user-friendly device. It's about as bad as all the car magazines describe, but I've already pretty much figured most things out. Non intuitive, and not nearly as functional as what I had in my Infiniti. Like other users, I'm sure this will be a non-issue for me later on, but unfortunately electronic technology and human factors is not where the Germans excel.
i had an infiniti previously as well, and iDrive is much more intuative and powerful? plus you just got your car, didn't open your manual, and you said "I've already pretty much figured most things out." sounds like you contradicted yourself?? maybe you meant to say iDrive was so easy to learn, not sure what those morons that write for car magazines are talking about. unless you are referring to iDrive 1.0 in the '02 7-series.
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      04-30-2008, 02:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasBeemer View Post
* The i-drive is really a convoluted non user-friendly device. It's about as bad as all the car magazines describe, but I've already pretty much figured most things out. Non intuitive, and not nearly as functional as what I had in my Infiniti. Like other users, I'm sure this will be a non-issue for me later on, but unfortunately electronic technology and human factors is not where the Germans excel.
Wife got iDrive in her 335i, and loves it - she cannot understand what the car mags are talking about. Also, had a Lexus couple in the back seat on a long trip, and they remarked at how much nicer the iDrive was than the Lexus system.

So it looks like iDrive is a polarizer - some hate it, some love it.
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      04-30-2008, 03:18 PM   #14
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+1 Nice writeup. Can't wait to see pics!!!

IMO. Opinions of iDrive really depends on the age and tech savvy of the person using it. For instance, as a computer geek myself, I find the system rather easy to use. (Ironically, the way the owners manual is written reminds me of a software engineers document!) My parents on the other hand who can barely use computers find the iDrive hard to use.
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      04-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #15
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IMO. Opinions of iDrive really depends on the age and tech savvy of the person using it. For instance, as a computer geek myself, I find the system rather easy to use. (Ironically, the way the owners manual is written reminds me of a software engineers document!) My parents on the other hand who can barely use computers find the iDrive hard to use.
i understand your statement about tech savyness, but my arguement is comparing iDrive to other FACTORY Nav systems. And quite honestly I think you will find BMW very close to the top (if not the top). I think those that don't like iDrive, either prefer dials and buttons rather then a graphical interface OR they like touch screen systems.
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      04-30-2008, 05:47 PM   #16
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Not sure if I'd wanna be driving around in a SAC, but at least it's a good-looking SAC.
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      04-30-2008, 06:16 PM   #17
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My $0.02 on iDrive:

I have been a software engineer for over 40 years. (Yes, there were computers back then!) For 12 years ending in 1998 I ran my own software company. If any of my people -- over 250 of them -- had ever come up with iDrive or the early X5 NAV system, I would have fired them on the spot. They are quite possibly two of the worst designed user interfaces I have ever seen.

IMHO, iDrive has progressed from being truly awful to not too bad. The fact that some people are comfortable with it has nothing to do with the fact that many of its operations were -- and some still are -- illogical and confusing. I have lots of software that I can make sing, but only because I use it all the time, not because it is well engineered.

Rumors have been doing the rounds for a while now that BMW has contracted Apple to redesign the iDrive interface. If true, that would be one very smart move.

Come on, guys! EIGHT YEARS to get it to the point where it is "not bad"? (Can't comment on Infiniti or Lexus as I haven't seen either.)
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      04-30-2008, 10:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by fq1 View Post
Congrats on what appears to be a great vehicle! Please post some pics.

I would totally disagree with you on iDrive operation friendliness though. I have not used the current X5/X6 iDrive but have used it on E60s and E65s and had none of the learning curve issues that you (and most American journalists) mention. On my 02 745, the salesman did not have to give me much of a tutorial and I had the hang of it in a couple of minutes. Within the first 15mins of use I had mastered it. My 7-year old had mastered most functions (music, climate and nav) within the first two long rides in that car. And remember that that first gen iDrive did not even have the home/menu button and in the E65 the controller moved in 8 different directions/menus as opposed to the current version's 4 from the home screen. In fact, in my opinion the dumbing down of iDrive from that original version (because of all the journalists' moaning) has made it less user friendly. Now, I would not consider it perfect but it was still very very good. The addition of the soft keys was a necessity and making it faster will move it in the right direction.

I don't know which Infinity you are referring to, but I rented an M35 for a week and found its "idrive" to be much less user friendly than BMW's. [Edit, just saw your sig that states you have/had an M45]
I have to disagree with you on the i-Drive issue. My father has a 07 530i sedan and I am the only one who has mastered this thing in my family(only my father and me would use this car anyway). It is not about how easy to learn it, it is how easy to use it. Everything of this system is very logical and being used in a step by step process, however, it wouldn't match the Japanese cars' one button one function method. No matter how good you are at using it, you need to press, twist, slide the silver knob in order to finish one of the steps, and you need to repeat these twisting pressing pushing things multiple times in order to finish one job. And without the touchscreen, which I found extremely convenient, BMW's navigation system is the most troublesome navi I have used(I have used Infiniti's, BMW's, Lexus', Honda's, and several aftermarket portable ones). It takes much longer time to enter information, and the A-Z alphabets are not on one single page, which pisses me off. Besides this i-Drive system, BMW vehicles are just so good. I guess many BMW owners do not buy BMW for its electronics, and they buy it for the style and handling and steering feel and engine performance. BMW is still behind Lexus and Infiniti and Acura and even Honda in reliability and electronics user-friendliness.
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      05-01-2008, 08:59 AM   #19
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Love your X6... its a looker and this crossover even looks a thousand times better in person - its a hit thats for sure!!

Idrive is amazing .. just get used to it and learn it a bit. I even have it in 04 - 530i so its older and still kicks ass.
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      05-01-2008, 10:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasBeemer View Post
* The rear camera stays on after I put it in drive. Not sure yet if this is a problem or if I need to change a setting to keep it from happening. There's a button you push to turn off the beeper, and this makes the camera go off.
That is normal, my buddies '08 X5 4.8is does the exact same thing, it stays on for a bit anticipating you may for forward and reverse a few times, rather than have the camera go on and off and on real quickly they leave it on for just short while.
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      05-01-2008, 12:21 PM   #21
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Saw a black X6 yesterday, I absolutely it!!!!!
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      05-01-2008, 01:13 PM   #22
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where are the god damn pics? ts are you lying to us about all this?
settle down, he had to sell his camera(s) to get his SAV.
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