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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
There are myriad adjustments to tailor the driving position
iDrive system still too complex for some
consider adding a tuning knob and a row of radio station preset buttons
Features abound in the 2010 BMW 6-Series and M6, with an available moonroof on Coupe models, and a fully power-actuated multilayer soft top on the Convertibles, plus optional sport seats as part of the new Sports Package, a special sun-reflective interior treatment for the Convertibles, a wide range of interior styles and décor, and of course, electronics like heads-up display, dynamic cruise control, and much more.
Eighteen-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, bi-xenon headlights, 12-way power front seats with driver memory settings, Bluetooth hands-free, dual-zone automatic climate control, iPod integration to the eight-speaker CD stereo system, plus an auxiliary input jack are also available. On Convertible models, the top is a power-operated multilayer canvas soft top, rather than a sturdy-but heavy-folding hardtop. Satellite navigation and full power features are also standard equipment.
A pair of options packages-the Sport Package and the Premium Sound Package-is available. The Sport Package adds 19-inch alloy wheels and high-performance tires, a more sound-intensive exhaust system with Black Chrome tips, a special range of colors, including Imola Red and Carbon Black Metallic, a unique hood with a raised "power dome" center, a high-gloss Shadowline interior trim around the side windows, special sport seats, and an Alcantara anthracite-colored headliner in the Coupe. The Premium Sound Package upgrades the standard stereo to a Logic7 system with 13 speakers (11 in the Convertible), digital sound processing, simulated surround sound, a six-disc CD changer, and USB adapter for iPod or MP3 players.
The new fourth-generation iDrive system adds an 8.8-inch high-resolution display, improved menu structures, more intuitive operation, and even more functionality while building on the depth of features that has made iDrive famous-and infamous. Voice recognition should make it a bit easier to get data into the system, while a HUD and the larger display combine with BMW's voice prompting nav system to ease the process of getting info out as well.
Most reviewers take potshots at the iDrive system, but Edmunds weighs in with some half-hearted praise, noting that it "reduces button clutter to a minimum," but remains "confusing" to operate. The iDrive is such a common peeve because it is used to control audio, navigation, and climate controls, making it central to the user experience. Six memory buttons offer shortcuts in case you forget where you are in its programming; plus, there's a lane-departure warning system and a head-up display, all configured and controlled through the iDrive. Even the simpler functions, like tuning the radio, can be tough: "In addition to the minimalist stereo controls on the center of the dashboard," MyRide.com pleads of BMW, "consider adding a tuning knob and a row of radio station preset buttons."
The complex but feature-packed iDrive system aside, there's a lot here for any techno-geek to love.