Touchscreens are becoming the norm in new cars. But BMW has no other choice but to remove them from certain models due to the ongoing chip shortage. With a lack of semiconductors, these more advanced technologies can’t be built as fast. But could this trend turn into something that other automakers join in on?
Which BMW models won’t come with a touchscreen?
BMW announced to Edmunds the handful of models that won’t be available with a touchscreen. Those BMW models include:
- The current BMW 3 Series
- The current BMW 4 Series Coupe and Convertible
- The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, but not the i4
- The current BMW Z4
- All versions of the current BMW X5, X6 and X7 models
The prices of these models range from the base model 3 Series, which starts at $41,450, all the way up to the X7, which starts at $74,900 and goes up to nearly $100,000. Instead of a touch screen, these cars will use BMW’s iDrive Controller. A large dial near the shifter that you can either swipe on or use as a scroll wheel to navigate the menus.
It’s certainly not a selling point that these new, and rather expensive BMW models aren’t going to be available with this commonplace feature. But for people who already ordered their new BMW, it gets worse.
BMW’s that are shipped without a touchscreen will come with $500 credits
A $500 credit does sounds like a fair trade, but let’s dive into the land of hypotheticals. You ordered a top of the line BMW Alpina XB7 for a staggering $$99,800. But upon arriving to the showroom, you come to find it doesn’t have a touchscreen. Just a knob.
On top of that, you only get a $500 credit. In terms of how much you paid for the car, that’s barely enough to cover the destination charge. You feel robbed and in a state of dismay, falling to your hands and knees on the showroom floor and screaming at the top of your lungs… okay, maybe not the last bit. But you’d certainly be dissapointed.
Though, in fairness, a car without a touchscreen is better than no car at all. If this is what it takes for BMW to ship out your new ride, then so be it. Or you could ditch the brand after they screwed you over by removing the touchscreen you wanted. Unfortunately, the removal of features isn’t just a BMW thing.
GM is also removing features in order to cope with the chip shortage
While BMW has only just started to take away features, GM has been doing it for a while now. And by comparison, the features GM is removing makes a BMW without a touchscreen look like nothing. One of the most touted pieces of GM technology is their Level 2 autonomous driving system, SuperCruise. But on the Chevy Bolt EUV, they’re removing the feature since there aren’t enough computer chips to control it according to Consumer Reports.
And for GM’s their V8 engines, they’ve also eradicated start-stop technologies. Meaning these gas guzzling cars are total gas guzzlers in city environments. And other features including HD radio and wireless smartphone charging have been nixed, but those are about as minor as touchscreens in terms of vehicle operation. So before you blast BMW for removing the touchscreen, remember that they’re not ripping out key selling points. A touch screen is minor, and many people can live without it.