If you’re a bit confused as to which BMW models have iDrive 8, iDrive 8.5, or iDrive 9, you’re not alone. BMW rolled out its latest generation of iDrive system in an odd fashion, with some cars getting the new system, some cars being left out, and some cars getting one new system instead of another. It’s all a bit messy but here’s the gist of it. BMW updated iDrive 8 but since some models still use an older chipset, they get iDrive 8.5. Newer models with BMW’s newest chipset get iDrive 9. As BMW rolls those two similar systems out, it can be confusing as to which cars have which. So here’s a bit of a helper.
Here are the models that are being updated to iDrive 8.5:
- BMW 7 Series, BMW iX, and BMW i4 models build after July 2023
- BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW X7, BMW XM, BMW X5 M, and BMW X6 M models built after August 2023
- New BMW M Models will iDrive 8.5 but without the new graphical interface.
- All BMW 7 Series (after 07/22), iX (after 03/23), and BMW X5, X6, X5 M and X6 M (after 04/23) are eligible for over the air upgrades to the newest iDrive.
The big news for BMW’s iDrive 8.5 and 9 is its QuickSelect system, which is designed to minimize driver input while on the move. It was also supposed make digging through different menus more streamlined and easier. While we don’t have as much experience with the new QuickSelect system as we do with iDrive 8, it does seem to be a bit simpler than before. Visually, the new iDrives, 8.5 and 9, aren’t too different than the outgoing iDrive 8 but they do feature slicker graphics and some easier-to-read menus.
However, iDrive 8.5 is just the beginning. Soon, many BMW Group products will launch with iDrive 9 but, oddly enough, it won’t start with BMW. Instead, the upcoming MINI Countryman is going to be the first car to use iDrive 9 and then the BMW X2 (they share the same chassis). Following that, the MINI Cooper Hardtop and BMW X1 will update to iDrive 9 and then all subsequent new Bimmers will get it, too. There’s very little difference between iDrive 8.5 and 9, only a few small functions won’t work on 8.5, due to having an older chipset. Looks wise, though, the two systems will be virtually identical, so anyone with an older Bimmer will still feel as if they have the most recent system. At least until iDrive 10 comes out.