The world changing quicker than one can keep up and the good news is that no matter how great you are – you actually can’t keep up. I remember reading the article Every Generation Needs a Revolution, it seems that is what is happening in the automatic industry as well. I drove three different hybrids that had their own personalities and capabilities. I was really there for the 7 series more than anything else because I love big cars and being driven around.
Landed in Cape Town International Airport around 9am to be met by Lesego from BMW head office. I got partnered with Nompumelo Ngwenya aka Mpumi for the day. Mpumi owns a blog called MissPoshGlam and she seems to be doing well for herself. Besides having interesting conversations about advertising and being the designated photographer for this trip, she is cool.
We started with the X5 because Mpumi wanted the scenic route with the i8, so I drove first. I got stunned with the fact that even when you turn the car on it doesn’t sound like it on, soooo silent. It’s a perfect car for my future wife, well depending on what she likes as well. The interior is nothing to write home about but I think its because I’ve seen it before but I was impressed with the navigation screen. The sound wasn’t as great and because this was the M Sport I thought that it would be better (I think I am spoilt after the JCW experience). I think that’s going to be base of car reviews really. There was a lot o f traffic today in Cape Town so didn’t get to experience the X5 in an open road. Our destination was the Water Front from the Airport. R 1 137 000 will get you the X5e xDrive40e.
We arrived at The Waterfront to get into the next drive, which is the i8. It was our turn to test-drive the i8 and between the yellow and white Mpumi chose the yellow because it went well with her blue dress. The layout inside of the i8 looks very expensive and well thought out, completely different from the X5. The seat and steering wheel adjust in more ways to make you comfortable. Oh and with this car you get the windscreen reflector which makes your driving easier because you don’t have to look at the navigation system for direction while you drive. The design of the i8 is pleasing to the eye and everyone on the road knows cars will hoot and admire the car. The driving culture in Cape Town is completely different to Johannesburg – something as simple as no slow cars in the fast lane but hey. The i8 is fast, moves when it has to – handles the corners very well. The sound was better than the X5 but not as better as JCW though, which is surprising. I don’t know if I’m maybe in love with the Mini but I felt that the Mini JCW was a better car or its because I had the mini for a longer period. The i8 was definitely more striking though, I wouldn’t buy it based on the sound system but I would buy it based on the striking looks alone. I think I need more time with the i8 though. R 1 927 700 will get you the Automatic transmission, Steptronic.
The reason why we were here to begin with, I feel that for the first time I could consider the 7 series as competitor to the S Class and everyone who knows me knows how much I love the S Class. I explained to Mpumi that she would be driving me because I am not driving that car. I made myself comfortable at the back while she was panicking about driving the big car. This is where I need to end up as a human being, a successful businessman, as a father and husband. The types of problems you have while you are being driven are completely different problems, even if it’s the same problem when you are at the back they look different. The seats are comfortable, the navigation screens with a table at the back give you access to the entire car. The seat warmers that come with the back massage option. I love the curtains at the back that gives some sort of privacy or maybe you want to take a nap. It’s the kind of car you need while you take over the world, while you make decisions that affect policies and legislations. I am not there yet and I struggle to get enough rest so I can imagine 5 years from now needing this type of car.
Mpumi was not comfortable driving this car fast because we took a different route to the airport because we didn’t want to miss our flight. I stepped forward and took the wheel. I don’t know if it’s just me that is comfortable with driving big cars or the 7 series is easier to drive than I expected since it was bigger. We didn’t have enough time to explore the technology in the 7 series but I really loved what I saw so far. Personally the 740e is a winner in all departments. Easy on the eye, it performs when it needs to, it comfortable and smarter than your average sedan. I definitely enjoyed the 740e experience; it was everything I hoped it was and much more. One word to describe the new 740e – Pristine. R1 431 500 will get you the 8-speed Automatic Transmission Steptronic which is the entry level.