BMW iDrive 7 vs. BMW iDrive8

July 25th, 2022 by

New cars are becoming increasingly complex and as you’d expect, premium brands like BMW are leading the way with advanced control systems to help drivers make the most of all the technology. The BMW iDrive system has been available inside BMW cars & SUVs for nearly two decades. The BMW iDrive system, now on its eighth generation, is the infotainment system inside these incredible luxury models. BMW’s latest release of the iDrive system has many drivers and future BMW owners wondering what is the difference between BMW iDrive7 and BMW iDrive8 system? The eighth generation of the BMW iDrive system (dubbed BMW iDrive8) is putting BMW at the forefront of customization and capability in luxury vehicles. Continue reading to learn about the difference between the BMW iDrive 7 and iDrive8 systems and to learn why the BMW iDrive8 works.

BMW iDrive8

BMW iDrive Infotainment System

The BMW iDrive system is the driving force behind all the driver’s controls inside these Ultimate Driving Machines. iDrive is BMW’s name for the control system it fits to its cars and iDrive 8 is the latest version of it. Prior to the BMW iDrive8 system, most BMW drivers are familiar with BMW iDrive7, which has been available on most new BMW models since 2018. The software controls a number of areas of your BMW’s computer, such as entertainment, navigation, communication, media controls and vehicle information, as well as easily integrating with a phone’s internet connection.

BMW iDrive7 Top Features

The top features of the BMW iDrive7 infotainment include:

  • BMW Live Cockpit instrument cluster

  • Customizable BMW iDrive infotainment display

  • BMW gesture control

  • BMW Android Auto

  • BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant

  • BMW Connected App / My BMW App

  • BMW Digital Key

  • BMW Remote Start

  • BMW Driver Assistance Services

  • Extended BMW Apps

  • BMW iDrive 7.0 screen mirroring

What’s New for BMW iDrive8?

The BMW iDrive 8 system is the most advanced yet. The BMW iDrive8 was released this past spring and is available on the BMW iX, BMW i4, and BMW i7. In the latest iDrive system, one of the most notable hardware features is a central display curved towards the driver. The big 14.9-inch main central touchscreen runs into the 12.3-inch digital dashboard display, creating an impressive sense of the power of the tech at your fingertips. The BMW iDrive8 offers a much more cohesive experience for drivers than the BMW iDrive7 system. The new interface includes a huge curved display, enhanced voice-recognition software, and diverse interaction options. In the iDrive8 system, there is a a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument panel and an enormous 14.9-inch central touchscreen. Although iDrive 8 has about half as many buttons and switches as its predecessor, users can pick their preference between physical controls, touch inputs, and voice commands. BMW puts a stronger emphasis on dialogue-based interaction and natural voice recognition with iDrive 8. The system’s artificial intelligence–called BMW Intelligent Assistant–can effectively visualize itself on the displays and even distinguish which passenger is talking to it.

Other BMW iDrive8 Updates:

  • Intuitive voice-recognition system
  • Upgraded Instrument Cluster and Head-up Display
  • Increased personalization options through the new BMW ID and My Modes
  • My Modes allows up to 10 customizable and preset settings that not only apply to the color of the interior ambient lighting and the design of the dashboard displays, among other things, but also drive-mode characteristics such as steering feel and throttle response.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and it’s compatible with 5G mobile technology
  • Climate Menu

BMW iDrive8 Versions: 


BMW iDrive8 Heads-up Views:


The biggest difference between the iDrive7 and iDrive8 infotainment system is the personalization, bigger screens, 5G, design and autonomy. In the BMW iDrive 8, the BMW Curved Display, combines a 12.3-inch high-resolution driver information panel for the gauges, and a 14.9-inch control touchscreen for the multimedia and navigation behind a gently curved slab of anti-reflective glass. If you’re running low on EV battery in the iX or i4, for example, iDrive 8 can locate and suggest charger stations along the route.  Even the weather will help shape iDrive 8’s actions, with BMW using intelligent climate control to adjust the HVAC settings proactively. The layout of the iDrive8 system is actually quite similar to the iDrive7 system, with larger menu titles that provide live previews of each menu. On the iDrive8, there are 50% less switches than previous generations.

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Posted in BMW iDrive8, Technology