The BMW i8 was launched in 2014 as a plug-in hybrid sports car. It uses both a combustion engine and electric power from a rechargeable battery. It is considered the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle in its category, which is a testimony to BMW’s reputation as “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

The BMW i8 is a stylish sports car with quirky looks and fantastic driving experience. Besides the BMW looks and feel, one of its coolest features is its customizable default settings. These settings allow three different drivers and a guest to save personal setting preferences for ease of driving.

Pre-Programmed Driver Settings

As with all automobiles, drivers have to make adjustments to the vehicle seats, the steering wheel position, AC temperature preferences, radio stations’ memory preferences, side mirrors positions, and angles, among others. But what suits one driver will not be suitable for another; not everyone is the same height or shares the same driving posture. This gives the BMW i8 a huge advantage in this era of convenience, especially when the consumer intends for it to be a family car.

The BMW i8 also comes with two key fobs. When you input the driver settings, the car will associate the settings with whatever key fob is being used. These settings are activated when that particular key fob unlocks the car.

Saving Your Driver Settings

To set and save the preferred settings for yourself, begin by unlocking the vehicle using one of the key fobs.

  1. From the LCD screen of the BMW i8, go to the iDrive menu and select ‘My Vehicle,’ which will give you a menu with a list of other settings, including vehicle settings, iDrive settings, and Drive profiles.
  2. Click on driver profiles, and you will have a choice of four different driver profiles, including a guest profile. Select a driver profile, and click on the settings gear.
  3. The settings selection will allow you to customize your preferences for different driver settings, including seat and steering wheel position, side mirror angles, Car Radio, AC, and many other settings as you see fit.
  4. Register your name for the selected driver profile. Once you save the preferences, the vehicle will automatically default to those settings when you unlock the car with that particular key fob.

If the vehicle is shared, switch off the car, lock and unlock it using the other key fob, repeat the customization of the settings for the second driver, and save the preferences, including their name in one of the other two available choices. Similarly, when that key fob is used to unlock the vehicle, the vehicle settings will automatically default to the driver profile set for that key fob.

Registering Third and Guest User

You can also customize the settings for a third driver from the iDrive menu, but the default driver settings will be the first settings for that key fob. For the third driver, when using either of the key fobs, he or she will have to manually select the driver profile from the menu every time they would like to drive the vehicle. If you prefer to safely store away one of the key fobs instead of assigning it to a user, and only use one key fob for all the drivers, two of the other drivers will always have to select their driver profiles manually.

The fourth profile, which is the guest profile, is ideal for a temporary driver who may be using it for only a short time. The guest profile reverts the vehicle settings to the standard default settings, from which the driver can make adjustments to suit their driving preferences.

How Profiles are Displayed

The iDrive system also allows for the driver’s profiles list to always be displayed at startup, for ease of selection. This setting is useful when the key fob is shared.

  1. To display the driver’s profiles on startup, select the ‘Profiles’ sub-menu from the Settings.
  2. Click on the ‘Options’ button.
  3. Click on the ‘Display user list at startup’ option.

Now you’ll have the convenience of always having the list ready for selection before driving.


BMW not only has developed an incredible hybrid vehicle but has also outdone itself on customization features. This feature is not common among other vehicle brands but is a standard feature for the BMW i sub-brand. The practicality of customizing driver settings not only offers convenience to the driver but also contributes to the vehicle’s overall safety.