The executive package was a $3500 option when I purchased my vehicle. It came with the head-up display (HUD), retractable headlight washers, heated steering wheel, park distance control (PDC) and rear view camera.
The head-up display is a unique innovation to the car industry. It allows an image to be projected onto the windshield of the car so the driver can be updated with critical vehicle information. There are two modes for the HUD on the M3/M4. The first being the classic mode and the other being the M mode. In classic mode, the speed limit of the road (if equipped with driver assistance plus package), your current speed, navigation, collision warning, telephone information and music channels will be displayed. In M mode, your current speed and current RPMs of the vehicle will be shown. The other information besides the forward collision warning will revert to a small display on the dash. Classic mode is intended for casual cruising and in situations where navigation is required. M mode is as you can guess, for when you want to push the car to its limits or for some more spirited driving. Only your speed and RPMs will be displayed giving you valuable information on when you should shift gears. When the RPMs reach around 7k, the bar displaying the RPMs will start to flash indicating that an upshift is necessary.
The HUD is an innovation that I truly do enjoy using. The ability to have M mode is unique only to the M cars so other BMW vehicles will not allow you to use this mode. The HUD allows me as the driver to keep both eyes on the road in front of me. It is definitely safer than checking your dash for information. When I look at the HUD, my eyes will focus on that, thus blurring out the environment in front of me. This is simply how our eyes work so it’s hard to say that you’re paying complete attention to the road when looking at the HUD, but it sure beats looking at the dash. Safety for me is when technology helps the driver succeed at what their job, which of course is driving. Every second does count and it certainly can make a difference. When transitioning one’s eyes from the dash to the road it will take time and that’s time lost from focusing on what’s ahead of oneself.
The retractable headlight washer system was meant to be used if there was any debris covering the headlights. The headlight washers are supposed to pop up and spray the majority of the headlights with pressurized water. There is no physical button that directly allows the driver to activate them. The headlight washers will only activate on what I believe to be every 3rd activation of the windshield washer system. I haven’t used them often so I’m not quite sure how well they work.
The heated steering wheel is a system that allows heat to flow through the surface of the steering wheel. It’s activated by a simply button located on the left of the steering column. The wheel heats up mostly at the 3 and 9 0’clock positions. The top and bottom of the wheel don’t get as much heat, but you can still feel a difference. The heated steering wheel isn’t by any means hot. It simply stays at a level where it is warm. There is no need to worry about it burning you or anything similar. It’s not a gimmick and truly does work. Is it absolutely necessary? No, but if it’s included in the executive package, I’m not complaining.
The park distance control or PDC is a system of sensors that work in conjunction with each other to give the driver a good sense of how close the vehicle is to its surroundings. There are sensors in the front and back of the vehicle that look like small circles which provide this feature. The sensors will only detect objects in the front and rear, not the sides. The system will let out a beeping noise as you approach an obstruction. On the iDrive screen there will be a display that shows the front and back fascia with color coding depending on the distance of the vehicle to the obstruction. The three colors are green, yellow and red with red being extremely close to an object. The beeping tone will turn to a solid tone when in the red zone of the sensor. Unfortunately, the PDC doesn’t always detect curbs or parking stops. I simply just park the car further from the curb than normal to prevent the bumper from scraping or I will get out of the car and look. I suggest just practicing and with enough experience, it’s not that big of a hassle. The front bumper may clear a parking stop but I sure won’t take my chances.
The rear view camera is a camera system that activates once you put the vehicle in reverse. There are two sets of lines that will be displayed. The first being two green lines that show the course the vehicle will take if the position of the steering wheel is not changed. The second set of lines are in red. They will display the maximum turning angle that the car can engage in. There is also a red bar that will show how much further one can back up before hitting an object. The rear view camera is a great feature and with all the guidelines that the system displays, it makes backing up much less of a hassle.
All of the features in place are meant to help the driver but there is nothing more important than the driver’s own judgement. These systems are not flawless and there is always something that might cause them to fail. I think understanding the limitations of the PDC and rear view camera is a good thing. They’re there to help but at the end of the day, they simply are not as smart as a human being.
All in all, I personally think that the executive package is a fantastic price for what you’re getting. Buying the executive package also gives you a discount on the leather. I believe that the extended leather will be free and the full leather will be discount around 1k bucks. If I could only buy one option, I think this would be it for me. It has pretty much all of the features most could ask for.