A white X3

My BMW X3M went for it’s second annual service last week, and the BMW dealership has decided that it’s not safe to drive any more! They are concerned about a “wobble” in the right rear axle shaft – it’s not much but I could see the difference between the right and left …

So for now, I’m driving a loaner X3. It’s not got the wonderful M engine, and it’s missing much of the high-end technology of my own car … no head-up display, no active driving assistant (no detection of vehicles in adjacent lanes), no upgraded stereo … and the steering wheel is curiously light (maybe another difference that the X3M has?)

But it’s comfortable enough and gives me my own transport without needing Margaret to take me everywhere. Who knows how long it’s going to be with me!

 

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 …