Fussy love

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Fussy love

Postby admin » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:00 am

Elegant and classic, the new BMW 7-series is perfect for sleeping in.

I’m not a fan of BMW. Actually, cars don’t really interest me. So it was funny that I was asked to review the new BMW 7-series, strictly from a luxury consumer point of view, naturally, I wouldn’t know how to talk about the technical aspects. And to make it even more interesting, the test drive would be held in Germany! How could I say no?

Since I’ve never done any test drives overseas,, I was not looking forward to it. I don’t mind driving on the “other” side of the road, though I haven’t in 10 years, but it was more the driving partner I was worried about.

Therefore, it was a great relief to pounce on a veteran motoring journalist Mel X, who would not have the inclination to be macho and start macho racing against the other drivers nor start complaining about women’s driving skills.

One more thing that bothered me was getting around because I have no sense of direction, I can’t read maps (or rather, I don’t read maps) and I get dizzy looking at any reading material in the car. However, I was told that any idiot could read the map, as it had large pictures of road signs with instructions like, “Go forward 30km and then turn left at the STOP sign.” So that was alright.

Now regarding the car, I do know what a 7-series is and have been in several. They are huge and are not generally driven by women, but drivers, usually male. But the latest version doesn’t look big at all, since it’s all curving and aerodynamic.

It could also be that since we were in Europe, where the roads are wider, we didn’t notice its size. I have no doubt it will take up two lanes in Kuala Lumpur. It’s not bad looking, of course. BMW is known for their rather flashy and look-at-me-I-am-here cars, but this one was quite subtly elegant.

The BMW PR Manager Vijay, got into the car with us, and I immediately sat at the back, since I refused to drive during the first leg. There were a lot of technical things going on, but don’t ask me about them, these have already been covered by my colleague George from the Motoring division.

What I did notice, was that the guys were all getting excited about whatever it was in front, while I in the back seat, was admiring the beautiful leather seats, the space, plenty for handbags, several shoes and a coat or two. Oh, there are two screens behind each front seat, and you can surf the net! I started pressing buttons on the arm rest and to my annoyance found they were not working! How could this be?

My queries were ignored by the overgrown schoolboys in the front seats and I had to open the window to ask the BMW personnel outside. A slight drama happened when he couldn’t make it work either, until we realise I had not switched it on. OK, how would I know that there was an “on” switch between the two front seats?

Now that it was on, I still couldn’t get to the internet. “Just play with it,” I was told. Well, I did, but it still was not responding, and proceeded to start changing the music instead and promptly got me embroiled in a fight with Vijay who also had control of the music from the front seat.

By now, I was getting dizzy, and I really couldn’t look at anything in the car. The winding roads weren’t helping and I was having visions of throwing up while opera music was playing at full blast, plus for some reason, we were made to watch and listen to the BMW promo video. So I curled up in a corner and went to sleep. I was not navigating, I’d already given the map to Vijay, besides, they could use the GPS system.

At our first stop, I managed to crawl out of the car and was revived by the best cappucino ever in this quaint little colourful shop that looked like Santa Claus’ workshop.

We got back in the car and I sat in the front passenger seat this time, discovering that it must be only for bodyguards or people who don’t matter, because there’s not much space; and Vijay is too tall so I couldn’t move the seat back much plus there was not enough space for my handbag. I went back to sleep and can now attest to the fact that should you want to go to sleep, BMW is an excellent car for sleeping in.

At another stop, Vijay decided that I HAD to drive, and since we were going on the autobahn (one of Germany’s highways with no speed limit), this shouldn’t stress me out too much, since we were mainly driving on really narrow and windy country roads before.

Hah! Now here was where I understood why BMW is such a fabulous car to drive. I loved it! You need to really step down on the accelerator and hit the ground running with this car! I went 200km/h on the highway, I actually tend to speed in general when I drive, and it was pure bliss! Even going back on those miserably tiny roads held no fear. I overtook a massive truck at top speed and earned a round of applause. Men always exaggerate when women drive.

Oh and I loved this GPS thing! I want one! It came out in front of me, on top of the steering wheel and had a little red arrow telling me where to go. I will never get lost again with this.

One thing, I didn’t like was something which made the steering wheel shake if I went over or under the speed limit, I found it extremely irritating, but didn’t know how to switch it off. And I positively detest cruise control, because I want to control the car. But these are minor things really, and once you read the manual, which I didn’t, you’ll know where everything is.

Read the full article:
http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.a ... =lifefocus
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