EDITORS NOTEBOOK: 2008 BMW 535xi, Day 1

Read Jean Jennings’s comments on driving the 2008 BMW 535xi.

Just when I got used to that weird little shifter bar on the column, BMW designs a whole new and weird electronic shifter stalk that is clunky as hell. The shape is uncomfortable, and just angular enough to escape being called “phallic.” Its vaguely manual-like shifter presence makes you try to shift it into park, when all it really wants you to do is press the P button on its side to select Park. Every time you “shift” it forward, it selects a gear in line, but not always. I have to drive it again and figure it out, but WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO?? Otherwise, what a rocket.