2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Austin Road Trip, Day 2
February 12, 2015
Day 2: Deming, New Mexico to Austin, Texas, 689 miles.
Getting through El Paso, Texas is one of the worst parts of the road trip to Austin. The traffic is always thick and slow, and by sure dumb luck (with the emphasis on "dumb") the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo and I were trying to get through right at morning rush hour.
Google Maps re-routed me around a good portion of the city on a mountainous loop. Of course I blindly followed its instructions. This took me well outside of the city, and I'm not sure it was any faster. Quite a bit more scenic, though, and considerably less aggravating. We'll call it a win.
Once past El Paso the trip got much better, even though west Texas isn't exactly known for its scenic beauty. I definitely like the 80 mph speed limit on Interstate 10 and the wide-open, plenty-of-space character.
What struck me today about the BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo was its amazingly precise cruise control system. Dan Edmunds touched on this previously. He said "the 328i didn't gain so much as a single mph going downhill." I didn't have quite that success, as I did see it overshoot by 2 mph downhill...maybe twice. But it would instantly react and get the speed right back to where I had set it. I never witnessed it drop below the set speed by more than 1 mph. But for the huge majority of the time it would stay EXACTLY at the speed you set it.
I agree with Dan, this is easily the most accurate non-adaptive cruise control system I've ever used. I've seen other cars overshoot by as much as 8 mph on downhills.
Other than the re-route around El Paso, this was a nice, smooth-sailing kinda day, aided by Texas' high speed limits.
That is, until the last three to four miles navigating to the hotel in downtown Austin. It took like a half-hour, at times just inching forward. Construction was partly to blame, but I talked to some Austinites and they pointed to the city's rapid population growth as a huge problem for everyone. Guess who the guys I talked to blame most for this? You guessed it, Californians.
The BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo's fuel economy for this leg of the journey was 29.3 mpg.
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 22,811 miles