5,000 fun miles of X3 driving

Working from home (no commute) I don’t drive many miles, but I’ve still managed to reach 5,000 in less than a year of owning my X3 M40i – and those miles have been lots of fun; my car still amazes me when I ask it to accelerate on the highway and the speed jumps from 70 to … lots more … for overtaking 🙂

Driving home from Rainbow Springs State Park today, it looked like I’d reach 5,000 about when we got home – and indeed, the odometer “clicked” over as we pulled into the garage …

 

Leonard’s Car Wash

Here in Florida it’s crazy hot and sunny for much of the year, making it very hard to hand wash any car. In the past I might have washed my MINI early morning while still in shade from our house, but now my X3 is a bit too big to easily wash, and I’m getting lazy – and anyway since it’s garaged it doesn’t get all that dirty so it’s been about six months since I purchased … and I decided to have my X3 washed by someone else!

There’s a few local Winter Garden car wash companies; I’ve used Classic Car Wash once before, but today decided to try Leonard & Son that is frequently recommended, online. I stayed close by for the more than one hour it took (!) and watched them take as much care as I would have – and of course I took pictures …

Overall, my X3 looks as good as when delivered; not quite sure it’s worth the $40 cost, but it was much easier than me doing the work!

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Another BMW, “the beast”

I’ve been considering replacing my last MINI for a while; while Margaret was looking for her new car I was also taking notice of the Corvette Stingray, Audi TT, Porsche Boxster, and Teslas that we tested – the Corvette was so fast but horribly noisy, the Porsche was both uncomfortable and noisy, the Tesla was a surprising let down considering all the technology it’s equipped with … I’d shortlisted returning to Audi to see what other choices they had.

When Margaret picked up her new car, I realized that BMWs technology (especially wireless Apple CarPlay) had improved dramatically from the last BMW I owned, or even from my two year old MINI which is full of BMW tech. So I set a challenge to Margaret’s BMW salesperson, to find a fun to drive car with technology to beat Audi … She suggested I test drive an X3 which I initially turned down (I’d owned one of them before) but she insisted and so I did – and WOW was it a different and fun vehicle!

So, welcome to my new car, a BMW X3 M40i with insane performance (0-60 in 4.6s!), and loads of technology. Oh, and it’s really hard to photograph the Dark Graphite metallic paint …

Technology includes a touch screen media/map/menu display that supports Apple CarPlay, a “virtual” cockpit dial display that changes for different driving modes and situations, and 360 degree surround camera views for easy parking …

All those cameras can also be used remotely with an iPhone App that displays the cars location – pretty clever! This is the view, a virtual car with the exterior camera images wrapped around to simulate a “drone view” anywhere around the car:

A few other highlights – lots of blue on this car from the M badging, repeated on the seat and door stitching, brake calipers – and the interior lighting is configurable so of course I have it set to blue as well.

 

Home from a great MINIsOnTop weekend

My thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for making MINIsOnTop entertaining once again; I had a great time catching up with all my MINI friends – and I had a great time driving my X3, very impressed with it’s handling and especially it’s power 🙂

And if the trip computer is correct, it’s more economical than my GP, too!

UPDATE: The trip computer is a bit optimistic, my calculated fill-up MPG today was 26.6, but that’s still more than 10% better than I ever got in the Audi, though it is slightly below the GP which typically got 27-28 during MINIsOnTop …

X3 delivery!

I ordered my new BMW X3 the evening of May 2nd, so the computer entry did not occur till the May 3rd – and now, less than 19 days later, the car is mine!


A nice interior, with loads of gadgetry to learn, just how I wanted it, and a nice change from the all black Q5:

Many thanks to BMW of Peabody for getting the car delivered today, even with excessive delays from Geico! Special thanks to Bill Cotton …

X3 / Q5 comparison

I got my first chance to see my new X3 this morning – it arrived at the dealership last night (less than 16 days since I placed the order!)

Even filthy dirty as she is (apparently transported uncovered and in reverse from Spartanburg!), it’s clear there’s more styling to the X3 than the Q5 – compare the hoods:

 

It’ll be at least Monday before I get to drive her and learn all the other differences …