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      11-21-2020, 10:54 PM   #1
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1,600 Mile Road Trip

Half-cross country road trip in the MY20 X5 40i M Sport, about 3,000 miles on the clock starting out, after a year, 1,600 mile round-trip from the Midwest to middle Tennessee - driven each way in a day (should have been 11 hour-ish, more later), loaded both ways. OK, I haven't driven it much - Covid, retired - so I'll call this the shakedown cruise. Broken in, so 80+ (I'm not sayin') all the way, on Interstate with minor exceptions. One fill up each direction. Car has almost every option, with the exception of DHP (air suspension) and towing, 20" RFT Contis.


First off, the problems.

Really, none. No rogue drivers, weather was unseasonably good, highways not too bad, no run-ins with local constabulary, driving daylight and dark. No warning lights, no tire issues, no bird strikes, deer strikes, possum strikes or even bug strikes (much). Engine, transmission, steering, brakes performed perfectly. IDrive did take us down a dim-lit 2 lane highway for the last 20 miles on the back trip (I let it just to see where it would go), but it actually shaved a few minutes off the trip, although wouldn't have been my primary choice at night. And no traffic issues with one exception - just on the Western side of Clarksville, Tennessee on the "to" side, traffic slowed to a literal crawl for 2 hours on I24, adding hours to our first leg. Multi-car accident with one tractor trailer, just in front of us. Could have been worse - we could have been in it.


General Observations.

If you are planning a long road trip in the US, some rest areas may be closed, or full services unavailable. Plan accordingly, and don't program a rest stop 200 miles away, only to find it isn't when you get there. Ask me how I know. Unless it's in a state like Missouri, where apparently Interstate rest areas are against their religion. And, of course, bring a mask - many areas require it. You may also note that traffic in many areas is lighter than you may remember, a good thing. Unless you need roadside assistance out of cell range, on a weekend, a bad thing. And truck traffic seems to be at an all time high (all those online deliveries), and I used to travel cross country quite a bit and have historical perspective.


The good.

The car performed flawlessly in all respects. Eco Pro turned out to be a great mode for cruising, and combined mpg was over 25 routinely, with max range on a fill up reading 540 mile+ - that's almost my old X5 35d territory, and very impressive for a fully loaded two and a half ton truck. For multi-hour, monotonous, set-and-forget Interstate driving, no one cares, including you, that you have a high performance, 700 bhp, curve-straightening, road-hugging, Nurburgring-killing, supercar SUV. It really doesn't matter. Coming from a guy who drove both an M5 and an R8 on the autobahn. The X5 (in whatever form) is a near-perfect US Interstate long haul cruiser (I previously thought my Q7 held the crown for long-hauling). ACC, including Lane Assist, made long hours seem shorter. The seat massage function was less intrusive than my Q7, but just as effective and I used it a lot. I tried Caring Car for the first time, and the Vitalize function was a hoot, as well as actually working to pick you up until the next rest area. Climate control worked unobtrusively and perfectly. Night Vision was worth its weight (as I already knew), and to my surprise worked with the laser high beams (for some reason I thought it only functioned with low beams). Together they made high-speed Interstate driving in the dark a lot safer (I counted, conservatively, twenty deer carcasses on the trip), and perfectly complemented. And the laser lights were awesome - I would guess 500m at least. The problem being, they were on less than 25% of the time at a guess - since the other 75% you were either passing, following, or facing oncoming traffic, when they don't work. But when they're on, incredible. Matrix approval can't come soon enough, and anyone using it knows the very obvious safety advantages. I was especially impressed with the Driving Assist Plus in the Clarksville stau - the car basically drove itself at level 3 autonomy for almost 2 hours. Amazing.

I'm more impressed the more I drive the car, and finishing this trip, warts and all I'm ready to say the X5 and its bretheren and sisteren(?) in the X6 and X7 are the top of their class for all around comfort, driveability and technical function among luxury SUVs today.
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      11-21-2020, 11:14 PM   #2
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Excellent write-up and I totally agree it is perfect as a long haul cruiser. Last summer my wife and I took a 4,986 mile road trip and it was the most relaxing driving I have ever done.
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      11-22-2020, 03:50 AM   #3
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Great article and review. Always good to hear positive reports about the X5 on the forum.
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      11-22-2020, 06:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for the review, it helps solidify my decision to purchase. Looking at a January delivery and can't wait.

Night vision? Didn't see that option or maybe it's buried in a package.
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      11-22-2020, 10:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by PREDATOR 007 View Post
Thanks for the review, it helps solidify my decision to purchase. Looking at a January delivery and can't wait.

Night vision? Didn't see that option or maybe it's buried in a package.
Unfortunately deleted across the BMW SUV lineup for MY21. Hopefully will return, as it's almost a must-have for us. We live by a game preserve, and several times have had the car display critters far enough ahead to avoid in the dusk and dawn hours, and actually brake (one close enough to be exciting) when deer suddenly appeared in front, either because of or in conjunction with NV. NV doesn't appear to be generally available this year in any luxury SUV models with the exception of Audi/VAG, and even then not across their full range.
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      11-22-2020, 03:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TurtleBoy View Post
Excellent write-up and I totally agree it is perfect as a long haul cruiser. Last summer my wife and I took a 4,986 mile road trip and it was the most relaxing driving I have ever done.
Agree on all points. I definitely enjoy the long trips with the G05 more than ever before.

Which is why it is irrational, unjustified, and disappointing that BMW disables driver assist lane tracking if you have a trailer attached (ACC still works in non-lane tracking mode). While turning off lane change assist, blind spot assist, and rear parking functions makes sense, turning off forward-only sensing lane tracking assist is unjustified. All my towing trips are long distance. I've even chosen to winter the boat near the lake this year to avoid unassisted tow back home :-) (not the only reason, but definitely contributed to it).
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      11-22-2020, 04:42 PM   #7
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Awesome writeup.. sounds like you had a similar experience to mine!
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      11-22-2020, 06:02 PM   #8
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Great trip report. I had a similar experience on a recent 1000 mile road trip from MD to GA and back with several 100 mile side trips. Mileage is excellent for this size SUV along with good handling and performance. Someone is going to get a very nice low mileage X5 when I turn it in. This damn pandemic has reduced our travel to about 4000 miles a year so I will have driven less than half the miles allowed on our lease. Thanks again for the post.
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