Brands, now more than ever, are forced to be as innovative as possible in fear of being irrelevant within their market. Thing are changing so quickly that even consumers’ imaginations are encouraged to dream bigger. When it comes to the automobiles industry, technology is such a big thing, it’s even bigger when it comes to premium brands. Cars haven’t been cheap lately and if you are looking for a decent premium car with a great spec you are looking at spending 1 million Rands. It’s no longer just the design, because even brands that struggled are getting it right, it’s no longer just about speed either, with the right budget you can get the car of your dream. Now more than ever it’s about technology, how is the autonomous driving? Does it have an electric version, what features does it have, what can the car do? Those are the questions consumers ask when they consider buying a car.
What I know about BMW is that they have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, that is what makes them different to the other brands…as well as the sheer driving pleasure. I have driven a many cars and I always test features as much as possible and I must say, I was blown away when I tried out the autonomous driving on the new BMW 330i. This review is going to focus on the technology features of the BMW 3 series.
The latest iDrive infotainment system with a standard 8.8-inch display includes a 10 speaker HiFi audio system with a 7 channel 205 watt-amplifier. I prefer the new display compared to the previous generations, it feels much more natural. The BMW 3 series has the normal USB port, Radio, Apple CarPlay, navigation system, wifi hotspot, bluetooth handsfree and wireless charging port for your phone. Now this wireless charging has become a standard in a lot of premium cars and it’s also very convenient.
Safety Technology is where the new BMW 3 series shines, I will say this again; I was really impressed, with a starting price of R649 000 this is the first car where I feel like the price makes sense and it’s worth it. Standard features include anti-theft alarm, front seat belts with automatic pretensions, front knee airbags for driver and passenger and collision warning system. This particular model also had surround view camera system, adaptive LED, cruise control, stop and go, which still blows my mind even today that you can put the car on cruise control and if the car in front of you stops the car will also stop – and when that car moves, it will start itself and move.
When it comes to Autonomous Driving, a brand will usually refer to their car line detector and that means when you are driving, the car will keep the car within the white lines, in case you sleep while driving – many cars enhance this feature when you put the car on cruise control. Others get it right and others not so much, others you need to help them not to go on the yellow lane. One thing the BMW 3 series has figured out is that the car is able to detect all the cars surrounding you, therefore it makes better decisions when it comes to driving. When I say all cars, I mean cars from the front, back and side and it displays cars on your screen in real time. When the car is in cruise control, you can let go of the steering wheel and the car will do the driving, even when the road turns, the 3 series has it handled. I have never driven a car that has me being this comfortable with letting it drive for me.
Another safety feature they have added is that you can’t leave the steering wheel unattended for too long. When the steering wheel is unattended, the car will alert you to put your hands back onto the steering wheel, with an orange light – if that doesn’t work it will flash red lights. If nothing happens after the red light the car will slow itself down, put on the hazards and come to a standstill. This feature is made for those who sleep while driving. I thoroughly enjoyed this car and I was really impressed with the technology from the new BMW 3 series, definitely worth every cent.