BMW & MINI’s iDrive Earns Highest Marks in Industry But Can’t Touch the iPhone


According to German market research company GfK, BMW and MINI’s iDrive system is the industries best worldwide. The automaker scored highest for user experience with Audi and Mercedes in 2nd and 3rd place. However above all was customer experience associated with Apple’s iPhone. Here’s an excerpt:

The overall user experience score for automakers’ human-machine interface (HMI) systems was 4.3 out of a possible 6.0.

By comparison, the iPhone scores well above 5.0, said Tim Bosenick, global head of user experience at German market research GfK. He presented his findings at the we.CONECT Car HMI Concepts & Systems conference in Berlin this week.

Bosenick created GfK’s user experience score. It is based on: how easy it is to learn and use the HMI system; its look and feel; and, most important, whether the user is inspired to do more and more with it. This is where the iPhone scores very high.

Read the full report at Automotive News

  • Pfarinelli

    Too bad Mini can’t get the new lightning Y cable to work properly with the iPhone 5. Mini connected doesn’t function properly while using this cable. When it works, it’s a pretty cool system.

    • other Jason

      Upgrading to an F56, will give you the freedom to leave that Y cable in your office drawer.

  • iancull

    [comments based on Rxx, not Fxx; hopefully the F is improved]

    The commendation is for BMW, not MINI – and having just switched from a BMW to a MINI [R60], I can confidently tell you that MINI’s system is awful in comparison to the BMW “mother”. The smaller display means that many features just don’t work usefully (try picking an alternate navigation route for example, when the system doesn’t display the choices), MINI is much more sluggish, and has a pathetic vocabulary that means voice commands really don’t exist.

    • Gabriel Bridger

      Thankfully MINI has finally been allowed to adopt the latest iDrive system with the F5X models.

  • birddog2

    While the system (w/Nav)in my 2012 R59 Roadster i head and shoulders above the POS that was in a 2014 Lincoln Navigator I recently rented, it is light years behind the Chrysler U Connect in my 2011 Chrysler and 2014 Jeep.

    • Gabriel Bridger

      Renting a 300 about every other week I can attest to the u Connect being the best of the touch screens out there. That said it’s still a touch screen with inherent usability nightmares that that paradigm brings.

  • ZoomLenz

    I fear that this will be another excuse to not support the iPhone’s CarPlay.

    • Nathaniel Salzman

      They’re not looking for excuses not to support it, they’ve specifically opted out of CarPlay. I don’t personally think it’s the right strategic move, but we’ll see how it plays out.

      • Gabriel Bridger

        They haven’t publicly opted out which means they’re likely working on how to best integrate it at Android’s version.

        • Nathaniel Salzman

          Gotcha. They’ve been noticeably absent from the list of manufacturers working with Apple on CarPlay, but good to hear that they might still support it.

        • kellywp

          The BMW Group is listed in the next round of manufacturers

        • Gabriel Bridger

          Apple often lists companies that are general partners without their approval. For instance with Siri integration last year they listed BMW. When I spoke with the head of BMW apps he laughed and said that was the first time they had heard of Siri Integration.

        • Nathaniel Salzman

          Excellent! Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Gabriel Bridger

      They could conceivably have both which is what Mercedes is doing.

      • ZoomLenz

        That’s my hope, but I seem to recall a comment along the lines of “we’ve invested a lot into our own solution, why would we support an external one?” CarPlay is on our list of “must haves” for our next vehicles. Even sight unseen, it’s seeing how much the integrated solutions lag behind smartphones… (i.e. lack of map updates, etc.) That’s the main problem CarPlay and Android Auto solve for me, the integration is just gravy.