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The line on interior color really raises the question about the sensibility of the designers and the people making the decisions whether US or Europe. It may be too expensive, but maybe not, to make metal radio control knobs. But think why do people think it valuable as discussed above. The sensory feel. But maybe that's a lot of expense for a lot of knobs.

Take the iDrive control knob. There is only one of these. Men and women liked the transimission stick in the middle. They especially like varnished wood knobs. In fact they paid extra for wood. And they massaged the wood. OK, for the room BMW wants to take the knob and move it since it isn't very useful with all the latest tech controls. BMW puts the iDrive controller in a similar spot. Instead of the sexy knob, you have a plastic thingy- in both places. So next model - 750, to improve the look and the sensory feel?)BMW puts a leather insert. Now you should remember that when people had full leather grippy steering wheels they paid extra for partial wood - for the feel. Lexus certainly knew that. Think, BMW could have had a wood insert, even a little more rounded knob on top of that controller. Aren't metal radio controls, and wood knobs all about quality sensations.

And also, you know that those Ferrari paddles - they were nice also because they were cool--cool to the touch. Are the little buttons on the steering wheel cool, too?

Who knows an aftermarket who can make a wood, or wood and metal iDrive cap to replace the plastic?
 

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Agree. Given that i-drive is such a big deal to BMW, they should do a better job of presenting the controller. And, the climate control and radio knobs should be higher quality in a car like the 7. Audi's MMI controller in the A8 and secondary controls is a good example of how to do it the right way.
 
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