Beemer Me Up
When you get right down it, a car is essentially a wagon for transportation. Sure, it’s also a status symbol, a vehicle for luxury and, in some cases an extension of one's home. But I’m one of those “it gets me from point A to point B” kind of gals. Yet I’m open to the idea that a set of wheels can be more than just a buggy with a motor. I’m a beemer newbie, and had never experienced the smooth-yet-sturdy German engineering. (I won't get into my car history but let's just say it involves a lot of QT spent with a Ford Focus. The glories of buying a car on a writer's salary.)
I test-drove the impressive vehicle over a weekend, weathering a six-hour drive north to Amelia Island (in pounding thunderstorms) and experimenting with the car’s numerous high-tech features and powerful engine. It’s also one of the more handsome cars I’ve seen. It combines the all the elements of a station wagon, SUV and hatchback without caving to the boxiness or soul-crushing nerdiness of those shapes.
Things I loved about the car:
- how safe the car felt. We drove through pounding rains at 80mph - something I would never attempt in my usual SUV, but the car felt so smooth and solid (and quiet!) that it was easy to coast through the downpour at high speeds.
- the highly-adjustable driver’s seat with snug “wings” that hug your lower back
- the incredibly roomy cabin. This is a touring vehicle, ideal for a group of 4-5 people on a trip, and there's enough space for everyone to sit comfortably.
- the dashboard speedometer projects onto the windshield, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road when checking your speed.
- the backseat has “stadium” seating, so it’s a bit higher than the front seat, giving the second row passengers a view of the action ahead.
- the hatchback-like trunk which allowed us to jam a weekend’s worth of luggage, baby gear, a stroller and a folding bike (we’re not into light packing) into the car.
- the speedometer alarm that you can manually set to alert you when you’ve gone over your limit. I set mine to 90. It was binging a lot.
What I didn't love:
But other than that, no real complaints. It's a big spaceship of a car, with an interior like a cockpit. If I owned the car I probably wouldn't end up using nearly half the electronic features available on the car's hard drive, but it was cool to experience for a weekend.