A DAY BY MYSELF…
2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon
I know I have only been back in Phoenix a short time, and I know I am always writing about leaving town, but can you blame me? When it is this hot in the summertime, I can’t help but take advantage of the cooler weather up north. Plus, to really test drive the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon, one needs to get on the open road and really experience the 2.0-liter dual overhead (DOHC) 4-cylinder, 16 valve BMW TwinPower Turbo Diesel engine. Did you get all that? What that means is this Sports Wagon can move, like 0-60 in 7 seconds. The diesel powertrain is quick and precise when turning corners and accelerating out of them, so I thought it was the perfect vehicle to take the windy, up-hill road towards Sedona, Arizona.
Don’t let this power fool you into thinking the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon is a gas guzzler. In addition to the power and speed equipped in this Sports Wagon, the gas mileage was also a huge reason I decided to take the drive to Sedona. With 31 city mpg and 43 highway mpg, this BMW averages 35 mpg. Power and efficiency are two of my favorite things!
I decided to take this trip alone; although, there was plenty of room in the Wagon for the family. Despite the space, a woman who is a wife and mother needs time to unwind every now and then. Plus, I wasn’t really alone – the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon comes with iDrive, concierge services and BMW Assist eCall and TeleServices, so I was talking to people all day long. Luckily, I did not need to use the Assist eCall which automatically sends my location and relevant information to police and EMT services in case of an emergency.
I started by using the iDrive touch-screen navigation system to traverse my way to Sedona. I have been there quite a few times, but the iDrive offers real-time traffic along with composing text messages or emails with voice commands. It also allows text-based messages to be read through the iDrive operating system. This makes text messaging while driving hands-free, so I can safely say that I sent a number of text messages during my solitary drive.
The 3-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel also made the drive in the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon comfortable and convenient. I was able to control the Bluetooth, cruise control and audio through the steering wheel.
And, I definitely took advantage of the audio. The Harman Kardon Surround Sound System in the BMW uses vehicle-specific equalizing and a 600W amplifier to project powerful music on Sirius XM through 16 speakers. I couldn’t even find all of the speakers, but I could definitely feel them.
I also used the concierge services when I arrived into town. I knew I wanted to get out and enjoy the weather, so I had the concierge direct me to a great outdoor picnic spot – he suggested Crescent Moon Picnic Area, and he knew what he was talking about. I was able to see Oak Creek and the Red Mountains. I also had the concierge find me a popular restaurant spot later that day since my packed picnic lunch was not enough to hold me over for the day. Driving a fast car can be exhausting – I definitely needed more fuel, even though the 328 d xDrive Sports Wagon did not. But if it did, the concierge could have informed me of nearby fuel prices.
I finally had the concierge take me to the local shopping area and picked out a few things for the family. I stored the items hidden under the floor in the cargo area in divided compartments. I closed the stowable cargo cover to keep everything out of sight as I enjoyed walking around a bit more. However, I was starting to feel badly that they had not come along. They would have enjoyed the 85-degree weather through the 2-way power glass Panoramic moonroof in the Wagon. I enjoyed it so much that I asked the concierge to find nearby hotels since it was getting late. He did a terrific job, but I decided to head home that night since I felt so safe in the Government 5-Star Safety Rating given to the 328d.
It was not just the star rating that made me feel safe on my way home. The 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon has Xenon Adaptive Headlights which means the headlights follow the direction of the wheels, so as you begin cornering, the headlights turn in and around the bend. This allowed me to see more of the road, sooner which made the down-hill windy road easy to navigate. I also used the Full-Color Head-Up Display to minimize any other distractions. Since I don’t like driving much at night, this feature was perfect. It projects important information on the windshield in front of the driver – current speed, speed limits, navigation instructions and warning messages. Overall, the drive back was smooth and enjoyable.
The Estoril Blue model I brought to Sedona has an MSRP of $49,275, and the MSRP starts at $42,950. Even though that is a hefty price tag for me, it provided me the reboot I needed before getting back in the heat and home to my family just in time for a priceless hug goodnight from my 3-year-old son.