Things We Love About Our 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe’s Infotainment System
I’m a fan of good infotainment systems because you interact with them so often. When our long-term 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupé arrived, I immediately explored the latest iDrive system just to see how it was going. Older versions of the BMW iDrive had notoriously steep learning curves, requiring you to spend hours learning the basics. Has the last iteration gotten easier?
The latest version of iDrive in the 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupé has a responsive, driver-oriented 10.3-inch touchscreen. This alone is responsible for making iDrive less distracting and easier to use than before. BMW has retained the center console’s button and button controls, but after spending time using it exclusively, the touchscreen remains the most intuitive way to interact with the system. A new menu layout reminiscent of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with conveniently placed shortcuts on the left side for easy access from the driver’s seat further minimizes complications.
My favorite addition to iDrive is the integrated Spotify app, which is perfect if you prefer the native interface instead of the app on CarPlay. Associating your account is easy: scan the QR code on the screen and confirm on your phone. You can now listen to your favorite songs without having to look at your mobile device to change playlists or artists. Drawbacks? There doesn’t seem to be a way to play your music offline, even when you download it through Spotify Premium. Otherwise, the built-in Spotify app gives you more entertainment options, which is especially useful on long journeys.
The latest BMW iDrive takes a big step forward in terms of usability. Between the simplified menu layout and the lightning-fast touchscreen, you’ll get used to this system in minutes, not hours or days. The only thing left to try is Android Auto Wireless, which is expected to arrive later this year via a live update. Hopefully it doesn’t freeze or crash as much as the wireless Apple CarPlay (the only way to use CarPlay in the 228i).
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