Maybe I can contribute something to the discussion on climate control "features" that have been questioned many times but never well explained. Like why can't you get "outside vent" air on a BMW, and what's up with that rotary dial for the upper-body vents.
Because there is a microfilter to block free-flowing air, no air will pass through it without pressure from a fan, thus no "vent" air as in older cars. The only way to get "fresh" air is turn on the fan and set the temp as low as it will go and leave A/C off.
The rotary dial is used to independently control cabin temperature and upper-body air vent temperature. For instance, on cold days you may have the cabin temp dialed in at 72 degF, but having warm air blow on your face could make you sleepy. So you use the rotary dial to send cool air to your face only, thereby keeping you alert! If you don't want cool air on your face, then you have the option of turning the dial to the warm setting. Another thoughtful feature from BMW engineers.
I think I read this in that little used publication called the owner's manual.
: On a 2000 328i,
: 1. Without the use of the Climate Control, is there a way to get fresh
outside air into the cabin, and use thr rotary dial to make the air as cold
as the outside air, or have it warmed over the engine? This would be similar
to a VENT lever on other cars.
: 2. What's the use of the rotary temperature dial between the air vents on
the dashboard front? Does it interact with the climate control at all? For
example, if the climate control is set somewhat cold, say 60 deg., and I
have the rotary dial set in the hot position, what happens?