Which iDrive do I have?
So, there are 3 ways to determine which iDrive system you have:
1. By the year of production
Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to determine your iDrive version with 100% accuracy, because in some countries the production month can be different. But at least you’ll have some understanding of which head unit can be in your BMW.
2. By the interface
The majority of iDrive systems have specific interfaces, so it’s also worth checking out the look of the menu in comparison with other head units to identify the iDrive version.
CCC BMW CCC
CIC BMW CIC
NBT / NBT Evo ID 4 BMW NBT, NBT Evo ID4
NBT Evo ID 5 BMW NBT Evo ID5
NBT Evo ID6 BMW NBT Evo ID6
MGU BMW MGU ID7
3. Contact the Autosvs team and leave your name, email, and VIN, and we will send you your car’s specifications including the head unit, I-level (software version), etc.
BMW navigation update
If you want to replace your current iDrive system with a new one, it will certainly be a hardware upgrade. It’s important not to mix it with the BMW software update which doesn’t require any part replacement, only coding. In case you’d like to know more about it, read our blog post about the BMW iDrive update of your software version.
So, jumping from NBT to NBT Evo with the help of a BMW update is not possible because the underlying hardware is completely different. Also, the kit contents and price will depend on your existing car’s configurations it may happen that you only need to install a new screen & head unit leaving your native controller and trim. However, in some cases, the iDrive upgrade may require all of the above mentioned together with additional cables, connectors, and modules. For some cars, the list of iDrive auto parts might be pretty long and installation quite expensive.
BMW CCC to CIC
HARDWARE UPGRADE (new screen, head unit, iDrive controller, trim). Swapping the CCC iDrive for a BMW CIC retrofit, you will get a higher resolution screen with a much more extensive menu with many options, as you can see from the difference between the pics above.
What does CIC stand for? CIC is short for Car Information Computer featuring a more advanced infotainment system than CCC (redesigned controller, enhanced menu navigation, bigger screen dimension, etc.)
CIC head unit is also the first in line to give you the opportunity of adding an aftermarket CarPlay from Autosvs. As the CarPlay Smartbox Prime compatibility list grew in 2020, currently you can install our CarPlay retrofit in cars manufactured since 2008, including E-series, F-series (only 5 / 6 / 7 and X3 Series), and G-series vehicles.
BMW CIC vs NBT
HARDWARE UPGRADE (new screen, head unit, iDrive controller, trim). Though the interface will look similar, you will get much better graphics and higher image contrast. The BMW NBT retrofit has a more power-packed processor together with a 200GB hard drive (instead of the 80GB available in CIC), so the response and boot times will be much faster. Find out more about BMW CIC iDrive and how to retrofit it.
How to retrofit NBT EVO into your BMW?
BMW NBT to NBT Evo ID4
NBT Evo ID4 is no different on the surface the same interface and functionality. But the NBT Evo ID4 hardware is more advanced and versatile. Imagine having an older laptop running Windows 10. It works fine for you (though it might be a little sluggish), until you decide to buy a newer-generation laptop with the latest hardware. You’re still running Windows 10, so there is no difference in the look, but the snappier processor and improved hardware gives you a better user experience. It’s the same situation with NBT and NBT Evo retrofit.
BMW NBT to NBT Evo ID5/ID6
HARDWARE UPGRADE (new screen, head unit, iDrive touch controller, trim). The change in interface and functionality is drastic. Roughly speaking, the NBT Evo ID5/ID6 iDrive includes almost all the features of the previous head units, while adding new functionalities like original CarPlay/Android Screen Mirroring.
How to update BMW NBT Evo ID5 to ID6? You can easily switch between NBT Evo ID5 & ID6 interfaces with the help of painless USB coding.
BMW NBT Evo ID4 to ID5
HARDWARE UPGRADE (new screen (in some cars it doesn’t need to be replaced), head unit, iDrive regular or touch controller, trim). Of course, it’s much easier to upgrade from NBT Evo ID4 to ID5 than from NBT, but it’s still a hardware swap.
It’s also possible to jump from CIC to NBT Evo ID5/ID6 right away, but it will be a complicated and expensive retrofit. So, it’s better to make up your mind which features are important for you and whether you need the additional perks of the latest generation iDrive systems.
WHAT IS THE LATEST BMW IDRIVE / HEAD UNIT VERSION?
With the 2018 X5 G05 and 8-Series G15, BMW presented its new head unit MGU (Media Graphic Unit), changing also the equipment version from Navigation System Professional (S609A) to BMW Live Cockpit Professional (S6U3A), making it a major BMW navigation update 2020.
The display and menu were adapted to the new system implementing a new iDrive interface (ID7). It consists of 5 widgets arranged on the left side of the screen (Media, Communication, Navigation, Car & Apps). The interface is designed mostly for touch and gesture operation.
The ID7 features a screen of 10.25″ or 12.3″ diagonal, depending on the vehicle, and a redesigned iDrive Touch Controller.
How to remove the BMW head unit?
Be it a CIC or NBT head unit, in order to take it out you would need to:
disconnect the negative battery terminal in your trunk
remove the top and bottom pieces of the trim taking into account all the connections behind them (it’s always better to use professional trim tools not to break any clips or leave scratches)
remove the faceplate (secured by screws)
unscrew the T20s that hold the head unit and gently pull it out
carefully remove all the connections in the back of the head unit
What’s the difference?
Now it’s time to determine why one head unit is better than the other and whether it’s worth upgrading. Use a free VIN decoder to check whether your BMW already has the options mentioned below.
Apple CarPlay is available for some CIC/NBT/NBT Evo ID4 iDrives as an aftermarket retrofit from Autosvs (CarPlay Smartbox).
What are the main differences between CIC and NBT EVO
music streams wirelessly from the phone through Apple Carplay
plays videos from a USB stick with Enhanced Bluetooth activated
higher screen resolution and contrast
3D maps available
iDrive Touch Controller
These are the main differences between head units in cars with BMW Navigation System Professional. Now you can sort out the features you would like to have in your BMW and choose the iDrive system that will be a real value-for-money upgrade.
Before ordering any navigation retrofit from Autosvs, it’s always better to first contact us with your VIN. This way we will be able to tell you the exact price of the upgrade depending on your BMW’s specs.