BMW 320d Touring (F31) – First Drive and Review

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Infotainment and Safety Features

The new 3er’s driver oriented cockpit, with the iDrive controller located on the center console, is a textbook example of excellent ergonomics. Every button was exactly where it should have been.  This alone makes for a safer driving environment.

BMW offers its state-of-the-art infotainment and safety features under the name BMW ConnectedDrive, and is offering features that were previously only available in its larger sedans and wagons in the 3er Series.  This includes a full-color Head-Up Display, the Lane Change and Lane Departure Warning, and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go.  Other options include Surround View, and a system that uses a camera to keep track of the current Speed Limit as well as passing restrictions..

The feature that most impressed me was the anti-dazzle High-Beam Assistant and the Adaptive Headlights. Independent of each other, the left and right headlights used the high beam to illuminate the things I needed to see in the dark, regardless of if it was just a sign on the Autobahn or a group of cyclists on the side of the road. Thanks to the anti-dazzle High-Beam Assistant, which turns the high beams on and off based on oncoming traffic and ambient lighting, I was also able to leave the high beam switched on all the time.

Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) and other advanced technology features can be combined with the navigation system. Real-Time Traffic Information provides the latest information on traffic conditions. Data is crowd-sourced and then analyzed through mobile phones connected to other vehicles in the area, making the traffic information even more fluid and up-to-the-second. Additional services are available by pairing a mobile or smartphone to the iDrive system, and include Displaying and reading text-based messages (SMS and e-mail). The BMW Connected app allows the driver to make use of web radio and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter with a connected iOS or Android device. One further app, My BMW Remote, allows drivers to locate, lock, unlock or send a destination to their car, as well as flash the headlights or honk the horn.

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