2012 BMW X3 Long Term Road Test


2012 BMW X3: Keyless Hates Me

June 28, 2012

X3 door.jpg

I love keyless entry. Love it. If I were new car shopping tomorrow I wouldn't look at a single vehicle without it. No truly keyless? Dealbreaker. "But it has a remote! You just need to press one button!" And dig through my stuff like a common pickpocket? No thanks.

The good news is that our $53,845 BMW X3 has "Comfort Access" keyless entry. The bad news is that it hates me.

Here's how the system is supposed to work:

Step one: Walk up to car
Step two: Place hand in door handle
Step three: Wait a fraction of a second
Step four: Pull handle.
Step five: Enter X3.

This works 1/4 of the time. Here's how it goes the rest of the time for me.

Step one: Walk up to car
Step two: Place hand in door handle
Step three: Wait a fraction of a second
Step four: Keep waiting
Step five: Ram hand in and out like one of those stupid Dyson hair dryers from the airport
Step six: Start randomly, furiously pulling on the handle.
Step seven: Repeat step five.
Step eight: Jam hand in and wait.
Step nine: Magic.
Step 10: Pull handle.
Step 11: Enter X3.

Once in, the start button works 100% of the time. Which is good. But then you have to get out and lock the car, which is bad. Back to the list:

Step one: exit car
Step two: close door
Step three: look for obvious, weather-sealed rubber button to press.
Step four: Remember there isn't one and rub finger over the textured area on the handle.
Step five: Think "Maybe this one you press and hold" and then press finger to handle.
Step six: Wait.
Seven: Rub again.
Eight: Press again.
Nine: Rub harder
Ten: Yell.
Eleven: Press very gently?
Twelve: Magic
Thirteen: Door locks.
Fourteen: Curse. (Repeat step fourteen every other step, actually.)

Now, I've seen Riswick work this system with great success, but no matter what I try, I can't get it to work the right way. I can work ATMs and my iPad, but this touch-based system traps me every time. Systems with a small exterior button that both locks and unlocks are far superior.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Inside Line

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