Home Features Sunday Musings: My First Impression of the new X5

Sunday Musings: My First Impression of the new X5

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I had the pleasure of test driving the BMW X5 yesterday, it was a rather short test but it did leave a fair bit of impression on me. First thing I noticed the moment I sat into the car was that the interior looked very similar to the BMW 5-Series F10.

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You get the usual steering wheel available in the non M-Sports models as well as the large LCD screen glaring at you. I normally love large screens and the functions of the iDrive system was extremely quick and fast compared to the system on my old E90 as well as the earlier F30 models. The options were plenty, and the same few things I kept hearing was that you probably need an IT degree to navigate through it. Thankfully, I am in the IT line so it was, yes, just as confusing for me too.

Anyhow, one of the few things which caught my attention was the ability to switch the ambient lighting the car through the iDrive. It changes not just the ambient lighting but also the design trim colours as well.

But I guess once you own this car, it will probably be extremely interesting for the 1st fifteen minutes and your other half would be wondering why for that fifteen minutes the car is still in the driveway and hasn’t pulled out yet. Deep down, I am a geek and I like stuff like this. Although I try to hide it but my enthusiasm got the better of me.

Once I got ahold of the test drive unit, I was introduced to the 360 camera view feature as well as the various camera angles I am able to see through the LCD screen. I call this the “naughty camera”. Look at the image below to know what I am talking about.

360 camera views and reverse cameras with multiple guided lines isn’t something new but it was a feature I know many would like. Only just recently a law was passed in the United States that all vehicles should be fitted with a reverse camera in the future. The benefits are indeed there just that the cost of the car will increase instead.

So after viewing what would be called the road through the 360 camera, I eased the car out of the lot and headed straight for the main roads. Now I had some impressionable friends with me and they included into my head some of their own opinions. Prior to me driving the car, I sat at the back of the X5 whilst one of my colleagues drove it. First thing I asked him was to drive the car for a number of minutes with different suspension settings though the drive. As a driver, I feel that the modes, whether it may be comfort or sports, it is alright but as a passenger, if I wasn’t paying attention to the road (I was playing with my phone at the time), sitting at the rear with comfort mode made me feel a little queasy.

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I imaged myself to be a big boss, obviously someone who can fork out RM600k for a car like this, would be one that has a high stature at their workplace. I imagined a corporate person and I imagined that the drive to work would probably place the individual through the chaos which is KL traffic. Now in this situation, setting the car to comfort mode or even Eco pro mode would be perfect, a smooth and simple drive to and from the workplace is as blissful as can be. If I want to drive a little aggressively, sports mode is definitely the way to go but I can just imagine myself enjoying to music and just relaxing in that big machine.

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Power wise, the test unit was powered by BMW’s three litre inline 6 cylinder engine. It was powerful but don’t expect to have the pulling feel affect as the X5 is heavy and the 4 wheel drive system does negate that pulling feel affect. You wouldn’t notice it until you see the heads-up display (HUD) showing you that you are going way above the speed limit. That is what happens when you put a powerful engine in a huge car that has great comfort and soundproofing. It only hits you when you start receiving those speeding tickets in your mailbox.

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In truth, I do love this car. Perhaps all for the wrong reasons. I like it because it is comfortable, has lots of pretty little gadgets and a large LCD screen inside. I like the “naughty camera” feature, not because I am naughty or anything (*cough*cough*) and I love how smooth the drive is. When I say smooth, I mean silky smooth. For a large car, it handles well in sports mode. In comfort mode, it is like manoeuvring a boat using a long stick. But where you point the steering at, the car just goes there. The power is there and it can be economical if you pay attention to the tips shown on the display when you are in eco pro mode.

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The car is large enough to fit your mate’s golf bag and would be an ideal vehicle to go on a short golf trip with your mates. It really did leave a lasting impression on me and perhaps in the future I hope I do get a chance to drive it again.

*This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Autofreaks.Net

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