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      12-31-2012, 02:44 PM   #1
HighPlainsCruiser
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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!
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      12-31-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Nice review! Looking forward to getting mine in a few weeks.
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      12-31-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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Great to hear that you love the car. Good comments about the rearseat comfort - nice to know our passengers are comfortable!

Doubt that the 2.0d will purr quite as nice as yours though.

Can't comment about mine yet - like noka, still waiting.....
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      01-01-2013, 03:50 AM   #4
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Shortly after I purchased my X3 I drove from Austin, TX to my home in New Hampshire. I learned to really appreciate the car, the ride is great and the convenience features make it a pleasure. Comfort access is my favorite feature. I was very impressed by the handling after taking unfamiliar exit ramps quicker than I should have. And I like the NAV directions in the dash between gauges. Very convenient.

The only quirk I have noticed, that I hope it something I can set, it how long the interior lights stay on once I have parked and turned the engine off. I need to gather my things (cell phone, glasses, etc). I'd like the interior light to stay on until I open the door, not in the allotted 5 seconds or so. And I would like the car to unlock automatically when I park and turn the engine off. Small pet peeve. Probably settable in the myriad settings in iDrive, just haven't explored it enough.

On a minor note, I wish the engine sounded a little more aggressive. The exhaust note is too muted for my taste. I had a 335i coupe and it sounded great under throttle. But the quiet exhaust is fine here I guess. It suits the car.

It takes time to learn some of the quirks, like the climate controls. I found my feet getting very hot at times. And the "auto" temp setting is not really auto - the fan settings are independent of the auto system. The fan setting selected will be the max setting used by the climate system.

And oddly, the dash display gives off some ambient heat - I lowered the brightness and the heat is less.

A rear fog light, common on Volvos, would be nice too.

As far as the Sport / Comfort / Eco Pro.... I found EcoPro to be sort of useless. I usually drive in Sport under 45-50 mph, then switch to Comfort. I like the extra oomph in Sport when merging into traffic.
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      01-01-2013, 07:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteX3MWhite View Post
Shortly after I purchased my X3 I drove from Austin, TX to my home in New Hampshire. I learned to really appreciate the car, the ride is great and the convenience features make it a pleasure. Comfort access is my favorite feature. I was very impressed by the handling after taking unfamiliar exit ramps quicker than I should have. And I like the NAV directions in the dash between gauges. Very convenient.

The only quirk I have noticed, that I hope it something I can set, it how long the interior lights stay on once I have parked and turned the engine off. I need to gather my things (cell phone, glasses, etc). I'd like the interior light to stay on until I open the door, not in the allotted 5 seconds or so. And I would like the car to unlock automatically when I park and turn the engine off. Small pet peeve. Probably settable in the myriad settings in iDrive, just haven't explored it enough.



On a minor note, I wish the engine sounded a little more aggressive. The exhaust note is too muted for my taste. I had a 335i coupe and it sounded great under throttle. But the quiet exhaust is fine here I guess. It suits the car.

It takes time to learn some of the quirks, like the climate controls. I found my feet getting very hot at times. And the "auto" temp setting is not really auto - the fan settings are independent of the auto system. The fan setting selected will be the max setting used by the climate system.

And oddly, the dash display gives off some ambient heat - I lowered the brightness and the heat is less.

A rear fog light, common on Volvos, would be nice too.

As far as the Sport / Comfort / Eco Pro.... I found EcoPro to be sort of useless. I usually drive in Sport under 45-50 mph, then switch to Comfort. I like the extra oomph in Sport when merging into traffic.
The rear fog light can be activated if you purchase a euro spec head light switch. You just have to unclip your old one and just unscrew and reattach this new one.
http://www.ecstuning.com/News/BMW_F_...adlightSwitch/
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      01-02-2013, 11:26 PM   #6
PeteX3MWhite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mge.92 View Post
The rear fog light can be activated if you purchase a euro spec head light switch. You just have to unclip your old one and just unscrew and reattach this new one.
http://www.ecstuning.com/News/BMW_F_...adlightSwitch/
Sweet! That's exactly what I was looking for.
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      01-03-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteX3MWhite View Post
Sweet! That's exactly what I was looking for.
Be sure to buy the right one.... There are multiple part numbers.... Ask me how I know...
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      01-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #8
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Surprised these things aren't a legal requirement in the states as well. Having been to Florida several times they would be very handy during those torrential rain storms. However it is very annoying when idiots leave them on when visibility is good because they are really bright.
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