Thursday, 18 September 2008

road trip- X3 tested

Continuing from my previous entry, i went on a site recce to BMW plant in Kulim last Friday.

Well, there wasn't much in Kulim, and I'm refraining myself to talk about the plant, at least not before the event. But what worth my time to blog about, or you to read on, is the vehicle that we had for the trip... JENG JENG JENG (bet you can't have sfx in other auto media) the BMW X3 2.5si~

We drove a 'Black Sapphire'

The team was not expecting the X3 as we were informed earlier that it will be a 523i. So it was a surprise to me when i saw the X3 waiting for us at 6.15am. Yep, we woke up THAT EARLY. Our client said 523i doesn't fit our image... ha ha ha, right...

So let's start from a passenger's point of view.

Rising 167.4cm from the ground, HO HO HO, the car is as tall as me! Destiny i tell you.. Having been in a X5 before, the X3 is surprisingly cosy and roomy with two passengers, two hand bags, one back pack, one monthly report and one laptop bag at the back.

La la la la.. singing to Geep's playlist

The car doesn't come with iDrive, but is iPod friendly and has a handy storage compartment located at the centre console of the dashboard. Very useful for toll tickets.. Another funky item is the rear view mirror that got some sort of OLED thing going on that tells the driver which direction the car is heading. Sweet...

Fast driver with naggy wife/ partner will love the car performance as passengers can barely feel the speed. Yep, it was that comfy until i fell asleep right after we hit the North-South Highway and woke up to half-green half-bald mountains of Ipoh.

Three hours later... we were in Kedah's Juru rest stop waiting for our guide. Maybe its the combination of smooth traffic and good weather, or maybe the car is just perfect for four to travel... the ride was unimaginably comfortable for an all-wheel drive vehicle.

After the plant tour, me and geep were given the chance to drive back. I moved to the front seat, while geep was the driver for the first half of the journey. Excited huh? Haha, we also found out that boot won't open unless the gear is on 'P'.

Although i'm not supposed to, but i fell asleep with mouth wide opened until the driver change.

The first thing i did, was obviously to adjust the seat. BOO~ Seriously, seat is electronically adjusted. And it can be programmed to remember the exact setting for the particular driver via memory stored in the car keys! Hebat ler~

Then it was the drive.

X3 official top speed was 209km/h. I hit 200 for about 30 seconds, while no one in the car seem to notice. Kru kru kru... Thanks to the DSC and DTC and the xDrive system, i was able to speed through without any problem in handling. I even went semi-manual with the Steptronic. And boy, there were a lot of discoveries made, not just about X3, but about driving in general.

Correct me if i'm wrong since this is through experiential learning; to overtake, i will lower the gear for acceleration, for example from fifth gear to forth gear if i want to quickly hit 140km/h when i'm at 90km/h. Nevertheless, higher gears will determine the top speed, so to hit 209km/h, i will need a long strecth and be in the sixth gear to build up the speed.

Oh ya, did i mentioned that X3 weighs at 1,805kg?

Client once said, the challenge for engineers while designing a car is always the weight. Make sense.. make sense. In a nutshell, weight affects fuel consumption, max speed and acceleration. official record says that X3 consumed 10.1litre/ 100km. But during the drive, the computer shows 13.5litre / 100km.

Well, based on my calculation, we had spent near RM270 for fuel in total. That's equivalent to approximately 108litre of fuel and should covered 8ookm of journey. Not too sure if Kulim is 400km away though.

Anyway, the joy of driving (key message here) the X3 is definitely the fact that it drives like a sedan (start imagining the X6 that drives like a coupe! SYIOK nyer). However, the all-wheel drive is still less precise in taking corners compared to standard BMW rear-wheel drive, and fuel consumption is a bit scary. YAWN~ plus, driving does get dull after one hour.

Still, it was a great experience to drive the X3 around, eventhough i do not miss it as much as the MINI. Oh man, fingers crossed.

That's all for my second noob review.

1 comment:

  1. man...
    your jobs are so wonderful...
    those are some serious cars...