Toasted Buns - 2008 BMW X5 Long-Term Road Test

2008 BMW X5 Long Term Road Test

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2008 BMW X5 4.8i: Toasted Buns

January 16, 2009

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Turns out, the boys (and girls) from California left Detroit just in time. A deep freeze has settled into the Upper Midwest. I hopped in my new winter-approved long-termer, the X5, this morning to find that the temperature read-out registering -4. That's not on any kind of wimpy Celsius scale. No, no, it's the big F, my frigid friend.

So you'll excuse me if I don't really care at the moment about ride or build quality or acceleration or any operational aspect of the X5, other than those involved with creating and disseminating heat. And that brings me to the BMW's seat heaters, which are simply magnificent. I have long held that if I can't make myself uncomfortably hot with seat heaters then they are just not powerful enough. I want the extra margin of heat on top of what is comfortable just, you know, just in case. And the three-step BMW units will absolutely toast your buns. And it is mornings like this one that convince me that a heated steering wheel is not a frivolous thing, but indeed, a near-necessity. You activate that separate from the seat heat, by pressing the spoke-mounted button with a pictogram of what looks like a steering wheel with an exceptionally hairy hub.

Hell, I would advocate the implementation of some sort of electro-shall with detachable ear muffs and maybe some plug-in leggings with booties. Although I would settle for a heated tunnel between my back door and the office.

--Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit at 25,037 miles

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