Lots of folks have more positive attitudes toward Idrive (I freakin' love it), but as you probably know it was vastly improved from 2009 forward. Given that you say you are getting the Pre-LCI, I'm assuming you have the earlier generation system - which evokes far more complaints on this forum.is there anything I should pay attention to regarding the i drive? After RFT's it seems I drive is the next one on the list of less desirable options. Thanks.
I like my 08 iDrive, and I think the NAV is fine. Yes, the newer one is better, but this is good too. I updated my maps, but, frankly, the roads don't change that much around where I drive, since the North East is pretty well built up. The restaurants are almost never where you look for them though, so don't depend on iDrive to find stores and restaurants when you are out of town, it is very hit and miss.The 09 navi and I drive is better. But if you want to save some money, the 08 is ok. I have the original nav DVD and it misses a lot of newer addresses. You probably should spring for the 2011 DVD.
A lot of people complain about I drive. I found it has a learning curve, but I like it a lot. You won't use most of the settings very often. Mostly you just set it up once and forget it except for audio. It does give you much more control over some functions in the car, without trying to remember all of the buttons and how they are pushed, pulled or in some cases, multiple buttons pushed in sequence. The screen navigation inside Idrive can be confusing, because the selection for the menu choices don't operate in an intuitive way.
The voice command controls are primitive. You have to memorize the vocabulary and there are scores of specific words and sequences to remember to activate anything. I just use the controller.
If you just want navigation, get a Garmin. It's way better than any oem, and instead of just getting a map update, very 2 years, you can toss it out and get new hardware and software. If you keep your cars a long time like I do, the DVD navi will be an antique long before I get rid of the car.