1000 Mile Shakedown Cruise
We took Princess on a 1000 mile shakedown cruise, across the high plains, along winding mountain roads and interstate freeways. Over hundreds of miles of snow and ice, then rain slicked roads and even far enough south so that it got warm enough to open the sunroof!
Sheís named Princess because of her dainty off-road capabilities, which I havenít tested yet but imagine that it will be a slow go, with large ruts having to be navigated very carefully.
On the open road though, the purr of that motor reveals that Princess has intentions to become Queen- please excuse me- before this Iíve only driven lumbering American and high pitched Japanese cars. Iím still enamored by the tightness and power of this new vehicle.
Here are my observations as Iíve become familiar with the car. Iím very happy with it overall-
- The snow glare episode. I felt this was important enough to have itís own subject, see ďSnow Glare At NightĒ. Iíll try the fog lights only solution next time. We were on a snow clogged interstate freeway at the time with a lot of traffic so I figured the more light the better.
- We were cruising along happily at 70-75mph on a dry interstate freeway when suddenly there was a warning that the steering was compromised, this was immediately followed by warnings about air bags, seat belts and the parking brake. I pulled the car over and turned it off. When it restarted all was OK again. There has been nothing like that before or since. I have since researched this in the forums and apparently itís not unknown and seems to be treated like a computer blue screen that needs to be rebooted. Fine, but it would be nice if warnings could always be treated seriously so I hope this is eventually fixed.
- The tread on the All Season 18Ē GoodYears seems to be aggressive enough to handle winter driving. I did not experience any loss of control over hundreds of miles of snow and ice. I never push the envelope in such conditions though.
- The maps of the navigation system seem fine in coverage detail. Although I havenít tested the search system capability much I would have to question it since while in the middle of a major urban area a search for car wash returned nothing. The feature allowing transfer of Google map search results to the car from a desktop or phone is brilliant. It can take a half hour to an hour for it to get to the car from a desktop, havenít tried from the phone yet.
- It would be nice if the process involved to change from one album to another while playing MP3ís could be reduced by at least 3 steps and hopefully moreÖ If anyone has the quick way to do it please publish.
- It would be nice that while in Radio mode and you hit the Media button whatever is on would continue playing until you make a definite choice in Media. And the same vice verse.
- Web radio is a great idea but practically unusable since there are continuous drop outs of reception. Not sure if that is BMWís or Verizonís fault.
- Others have mentioned lack of gradation detail on the speedometer. Not a huge problem but I have learned the trick of hitting the Res button on the cruise control to get a digital reading of the speed.
- When opening the sun roof it stops just short of fully open in the Comfort Position. If you decide to go a bit further to fully open then a noisy wind oscillation is set up in the cabin while moving. Love the sun roof, sure hope that fabric net that pops up along the leading edge of the opening will last through numerous summers.
- At this time of year the sun is low so you are using the sun visors a lot. There is a gap of coverage around the rear view mirror. Also looks like an extension capability would be nice for side window use.
- At night rear view mirror dimming for bright lights is very evident in the interior mirror. If you are not use to it an 18 wheeler looks like a small car. Side rear view mirrors have next to no dimming, not a problem.
- When you put the key in your pocket make sure it doesnít hit your wallet or finger in a way that will open the tailgate as you walk away without you knowing. Itís happened twice, luckily both times at home.
- Have had good reports on back seat comfort, tall people feel comfortable. One thing, if you are in the back seat and decide to reach for something in the rear compartment youíll be amazed at how little room there is between the headrests and roof back there.
- There are so many things that can be controlled and monitored on the car and the controls are in a way similar to a computer and mouse, so concentration can be distracted from driving. You must set up your own rules as to what you will allow yourself to do while driving.
- My goodness, the purr of that engine!
All Options Except Lane Change Warning and Cold Weather II
Car Name: Princess