Picking up and dropping off media vehicles with kids in tow is always an adventure.  Especially at the incredibly spotless and organized Brian Jessel BMW.  Thank goodness the staff are wonderful – and so are the snacks at the café..  Thankfully the kids also quieted down completely once I initiated the ‘tracking device’ in the BMW X3 (aka. navigation).  They felt like spies.  And the backup cameras tell you when you are close to an obstacle in the front or back, which kept them watching the dashboard throughout the drive.

My first test for the X3 was to Big White Resort for a media familiarization trip.  Despite not having snow tires on the icy Coquihalla highway, we hugged the road.  The AWD and XDrive gave us so much piece of mind!  Reaching Kelowna and heading up the steep hill to Big White, the outdoor temperature was frigid.  Seat warmers, amazing defogging technology and a bit of Gamgam-style seat-dancing kept us happy and warm.

The next day I met our guide and ran (skiied) right into a sign outside the main building.  It was an ad for an X3 on a ski vacation!  Can I ever pick my stories, huh?  Unlike the photo, I didn’t test it on the ski runs both for fear of getting in trouble from our Big White hosts, but I also didn’t want the vehicle to take all of my fresh powder.

In the city, the X3 handled equally as beautifully and the kids became quite addicted to driving in the spacious back seats.  From their perspective?  The tray tables.  The cup holders.  The huge sunroof, low windows that allow them to see out and of course the ‘tracking device’ make it a favourite.  Giving back our ‘borrowed car’ made them quite grumpy (until the Jedi sword fight in the dealership parking lot broke out and then I was more concerned for the vehicles than the kids).

What I liked:

1.  E-mails, calendar entries, tasks and SMS messages will appear wirelessly on the Control Display so you can pretend you are in ‘your office’ when you’re doing something fun like, well, heading out on a ski vacation..
2. BMW xDrive is able to recognize difficult road surfaces through sensors in the chassis and reacts within a fraction of a second.
3.  Plug in a USB cable to the audio system and you can even see cover art from your albums projected on the screen.
4. Bluetooth Sync with phone address book and stream audio from your smartphone
5.  The circular dial for switching radio, navigation and media is easy to use and safe, as it’s where your hand naturally reaches.
5.  The extra long sunroof thrilled the whole family
6.  Rear and forward sensors provided so much safety while parking (you never have to do a ‘Kramer’, bumping cars on either end).
7.  Sleek extrerior lines make you feel like a rock star.
8.  Great visibility
9.  Lane Departure Warning helps you avoid dangerous situations.
10.  And most important: Storage.  Even 1.5 litre water bottles and ANY sized coffee cup.  We know moms don’t go for the tiny ones…

The only ‘drawback’ for me to this vehicle would be a huge plus for most.  The eco mode turned the car off at stop lights to save fuel.  It was so quiet I kept thinking the car had turned off and wanted to re-start the engine.  The pickup when you press the gas took a while to get used to.  You can turn it off, though, so it really is a mut point.  On the Control Display you can read how ECO PRO Mode is actively lowering energy consumption and following the tips can enable you to achieve a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 20 %. Cool.

In all?  Along with my new Ride snowboard gear, perfect lipgloss and twin-tipped skis, the BMW X3 is the only other equipment I’ll need for my next ski vacation.