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  #1  
Old 10-24-2004, 12:59 PM
Dave 330i's Avatar
Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
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BMW Ultimate Driving Experience

The Ultimate Driving Experience
I have to hand it to BMW to making this possible. Next year, I think they will offer the E90 to drive. The BMW driving program is so much different from the LoveMercedes driving program I took part in Dallas the day before. This year, BMW allowed me to take their X3 3.0 out in a huge parking lot at Reliant Park and allow me to drive the car like itís not mine. Before that, they gave me a short course on driving skill. It was fun, and I am grateful to what BMW offered. In the afternoon, there was a driving program for kids under 21. I will definitely let my children know about this program. What more can I ask for a Sunday morning? After ripping the X3 on the short track, I drove some other BMWs for a breast cancer cause.

Photos from the Ultimate Driving Experience
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/davidl...Y8q8BBIuIlpi2u

My opinion from test driving BMWs without a salesman riding shotgun. I drove each cars for about 8 miles on surface street and the freeway. The test drive was for a good cause. For every mile driven, BMW donates money to the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

X3 3.0i AWD
Suspension unusually stiff, OK with me. High driving position. Leatherette rather than leather in this car is OK. Not as soft as leather, you can tell itís leatherette. This SAV drives and handle like a sports car even with 4 people in the car. The biggest fault is the stiff suspension will cause everything to rattle, if not now, later. You cannot roll over this car unless you drive it off a cliff. This was demonstrated by me during the 7 laps I took at Reliant Park.

X5 4.4i AWD
Nice, smooth, SUV big but didnít have the sluggish feel. Bigger and more power then the X3. Softer suspension. If I need the size and the commanding view from the driver seat, I would pick the X5 4.4i. There will be rattles from the curtain to hide things in the back.

530i with I-Drive and Active steering.
Hold it BMW, this car pains me a whole lot. The active steering sucks big time after having driving the X3 and the X5. It is extremely sensitive to steering input, and the respond is definitely digital, rather than the analog feel you get from a pure mechanical steering mechanism. Even if I were an old infinite, this car is not for me. Itís too soft, no feel, too sensitive, and very unnatural. BMW may want to be at the forefront of innovation, but the active steering system has a long way to go. The I-drive sucks, what more can I say. I could not find the radio volume control while I was driving on surface street. Now, do you call that innovation or gadget? What is wrong with a round knob controlling the volume? I love BMWs and their engineering, but in my sincere protest, I will not get a BMW with I-Drive. See my 745i comments.

745i
As solid as any car can get. I felt very comfortable and safe in this car. Itís big, but it did not feel that way once you are inside. To appreciate this car, you need an instructor to tell you how to start this thing. It is overly complicated, from inserting the key into the initiation to putting it in drive. There are many common features other cars that you find unusual here. Example, along with the 5 series, the signal indicator does not stay in the down position when you flick it to turn left. It returns back to its default position. There is a warning in the dash if you travel over 70 mph and tell you no no no. I hope you can turn off this silly warning. The person assist me in getting the car started did not know how to change the I-Drive language from French to English. WTF with I-Drive? I donít car how it is simpler in the E60, IT IS NOT NECESSARY. I am willing to pay extra to avoid the I-Drive system.

X4 3.0
Oh yes, the gay car. I wanted to test drive the SMG, which was avilable in the 2.5 model, but the wait would have been long. So, I took the 3.0 out with both the top down, up and down again. When the rain came, I stopped to put the top up. The exercise was faily simple. Keep the finger on the ďupĒ button, the top went up and locked. Then I lowered top down when the rain stop. When the top was donw, I got nothing but more street noise, the hot sun on my head, glare from everywhere. This car has a lot of rattles from the mechanism. I didnít like the small windshield as the A-pillar limit my forward vision. The side windows are small also, so visibility is also limited. All in all, I donít like roadsters. Sorry, I confirm that this roadster does nothing for me.

If I had to pick a car from the bunch, I would pick the X5 4.4i. It has the size to carry people, power from a V8. the driving position is comfortable with commanding vision of the surrounding, and because it does not have the i-Drive nor the active steering.
__________________
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein

Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody is doing it one way, thereís a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction", Sam Walton.

Last edited by Dave 330i; 10-24-2004 at 01:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2004, 12:24 PM
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mtbscott mtbscott is offline
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I had a great experience on Saturday. I was there for the 1st morning session starting at 9:00. We had the classroom, then went on to the first session in the dry. Different from last year, it was one longer course with higher speeds being shared by two groups. The first ride was with the instructor driving and it was fun watching 8 or so X3's following each other sliding around the track. Then me and the other two passengers took our turns. I felt pretty good, was having trouble with one corner and the instructor helped me out with that. The other two guys in my car said up front this was new to them but they gave it their best shot. Then the rain started, hard. We had the "line talk" in the now closed tent, then they handed out ponchos so we could go back out on the track in the pouring rain. Not sure why but the two guys who had been with me before wouldn't go back out in the wet. I can't understand their reluctance to maybe learn something about control in less than optimal conditions. I was really impressed with the X3's grip in the wet. A little bit of tail wag, but with smooth throttle you could go almost as fast as in the dry. I know the DSC on my car is much more obtrusive. I managed to pick up a Sirius hat for being fastest driver in my group of 20 or so. In the big picture, I think this is so cool for BMW to do, this is a much better form of marketing than loud commercials on TV. Judging by the parking lot, most of the attendees were not BMW drivers unlike last year, so I think it's a great way to spread the gospel.

Last edited by mtbscott; 10-25-2004 at 12:26 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-25-2004, 04:55 PM
Dave 330i's Avatar
Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
The King of Common Sense
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbscott
I had a great experience on Saturday. I was there for the 1st morning session starting at 9:00. We had the classroom, then went on to the first session in the dry. Different from last year, it was one longer course with higher speeds being shared by two groups. The first ride was with the instructor driving and it was fun watching 8 or so X3's following each other sliding around the track. Then me and the other two passengers took our turns. I felt pretty good, was having trouble with one corner and the instructor helped me out with that. The other two guys in my car said up front this was new to them but they gave it their best shot. Then the rain started, hard. We had the "line talk" in the now closed tent, then they handed out ponchos so we could go back out on the track in the pouring rain. Not sure why but the two guys who had been with me before wouldn't go back out in the wet. I can't understand their reluctance to maybe learn something about control in less than optimal conditions. I was really impressed with the X3's grip in the wet. A little bit of tail wag, but with smooth throttle you could go almost as fast as in the dry. I know the DSC on my car is much more obtrusive. I managed to pick up a Sirius hat for being fastest driver in my group of 20 or so. In the big picture, I think this is so cool for BMW to do, this is a much better form of marketing than loud commercials on TV. Judging by the parking lot, most of the attendees were not BMW drivers unlike last year, so I think it's a great way to spread the gospel.
No rain on Sunday. A couple was in my group along with the instructor. She was freightened as a passenger, and then she ran over so many "green" cones it was unbelievable. But she did finish the course. Yes, I got a Sirius hat also. So, the two other guys wounldn't go out with you again? Maybe they are trying to tell you something? Next year, I'm going to get my kids out there. I heard they will have the E90 to test drive.
__________________
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein

Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody is doing it one way, thereís a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction", Sam Walton.
 

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