There were some big changes here at Casa Negro in the last year. The biggest, by far, was the one that ended in us being the custodians of a 95lb lab/pit bull puppy. Since our biggest car was a Mini Cooper S Clubman, this was not the best situation. To remedy it I did the most logical thing I could, I bought a Canyonero:
Actually I bought a 2011 BMW X5.
I named her “Brünhide”1 and planned to drive her up to my wife’s hometown to visit my in-laws, taking pictures of all the local barns and old bridges covered in two feet of snow. As far as plans go, it was a good one.
Unfortunately for me; the entirety of my wife’s hometown looks exactly like the inside of my mother-in-law’s apartment. So, yeah, here are all the pictures that I got2:
So, yeah, my plan to get all coolly photographic was squashed, but I did get in almost 24 straight hours of seat time and make some observations:
- The Trucklet is Too Damn High – My particular car came with 19″ wheels covered in low-profile tires. Opt for the sport package and you’ll get 20 inchers, the M-Sport package will get you 22s. You can buy one with 18 inch wheels but no one does. Nobody’s ever taking one of these things offroad, so why is it so damn tall?The only thing having so much ground clearance does is compromise on road handling and make it hard for my wife’s family3 to get in and out. And those running boards are just in the way if you’re tall enough to get into the car without them. A 1 – 2″ drop would be the best thing that could happen. Or second best
- This Was a $61,000 Car Three Years Ago – German car manufacturers are well known for nickle and diming their customers for the every available option. Things that you could get on a car that cost less than half as much as this one that weren’t included in this car: Bluetooth streaming, a backup camera or at least a sensor4 a compass, auto dimming mirrors.
In retrospect I probably could’ve gotten a full boat Grand Cherokee for what I paid for this, with a Hemi an paddle shifters5
- This car has the worst windshield wipers ever. The passenger one actually makes the window harder to see out of and the driver side one is barely better. I know this is an easy fix, but you’d have thought this would have been addressed in the CPO checks/fixes that this car supposedly went through.
- I Didn’t Know I Had to Pee…Almost – That’s the Mrs.’s family’s measurement for how well a car rides. If you take a road trip in a car and don’t realize you have to pee until you get out of the car, the car has a good ride. I kinda sorta knew I had to pee, but not much.
- 24 MPG Freeway – The gas mileage is surprisingly good. I mean, it’s not Mini Cooper good, it’s not that far off a Cadillac CTS Coupe good. Given that you can fit four grown people and their stuff in, that’s not bad.
- The Handling is Pretty Good – She’s no sports car, but big girl can dance.
- It’s Not Slow – She doesn’t sound as good or go as fast6 as the V-8 but the underrated slant 6 (300hp, 300lb/ft of torque my eye) works really well in getting such a big fak truck out of its own way.
No car is perfect, this can be helped out by the following:
- H&R makes some lowering springs that’ll take it drop her about an inch and a half. The Mrs. calls this “just about perfect.”
- Later X5s have white “angel eyes” as opposed to yellow ones. The white looks better.
- The sport packages fender flares look better than the non-sport’s flush trim.
Each of these changes cost about $300 and can be installed in a weekend by a dedicated do it yourselfer…which I happen to know. That is, it’s cheaper to do it after the fact than just to buy a CPO sport package X5. Works for me.
I also need to look into getting a back up camera and seeing about an iDrive upgrade. But, you know, there’s always something to do…
- Because German, that’s why ↩
- One of them I didn’t even shoot ↩
- Which is completely composed of munchkins ↩
- Which really just should be standard on something like this. Backing up this thing is nerve wracking. ↩
- Paddle shifters are stupid, but I love them for their ridiculousness. ↩
- Or cost as much or drink as much gas ↩