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I haven't reported on this vehicle since we got it because quite frankly I haven't driven it. But we took a drive out to Iowa over 500 miles round trip so I got a real good impression of the vehicle. Firstly I'm a muscular guy so I did need to work the seat position a good bit to get me fitted right. But once I got set so that my arm was positioned just above the door handle, I was plenty comfortable. My very initial impression compared to the 325xi is that this vehicle feels huge by comparison. I think that impression is largely a consequence of how wide the vehicle is and how low it sits. It really feels "planted".

The first part of the trip was on very smooth highway and my impression of the steering was that is was very precise. Given what I'd read about recent iterations, it surprised me. Then we got out to JoDavies county and those roads were beat to crap. So I got a real good sense of the feedback. On the one hand I would agree with those that view the feedback as refined, but quite frankly I wouldn't want anymore feedback and indeed my wife would have preferred a softer ride. For myself at least for the 4 series I think BMW retains that feel of the "Ultimate Driving Machine". I have to say that I was so impressed with the feedback and refinement that while I was certain that my next SUV would be a Porsche I'm thinking I will at least look at the X4. That's how impressive the feedback was to me.

Then we hit a snowstorm and it was accumulating fast. I had not put the Blizzaks on, my wife likes the wheels too much so I had major concerns. But with the low center of gravity and the wide stance the all seasons were surprisingly fine. (I'd still put the designated wheels on.)

On the way back I decided to come back north through Wisconsin and was able to go through the winding roads of the hills. This is really where this vehicle shines, the handling is impeccable, the weight distribution perfect. It's a WOW experience.

Finally the speed. I am not a heavy footed driver. But on the 2 lane I took back I needed to do some passing and it was ridiculous. I would give it just a little bit not even trying to see what it had and I was gone. Effortless would be how I would best describe it.

And the trip computer reported 32.8 mpg for the trip back.

I'm pretty dispassionate as it's not my ride, but I can't imagine someone being disappointed in this vehicle.
 
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