Being based in New Jersey has its downsides, folks.
Primarily, you'll hear every single BAD New Jersey joke there is on the planet. Secondly, you have to deal with winters that can throw you a curveball now and then.
One of those wild pitches happened today when Winter Storm Janus blew into the greater New York Tri-State region dumping us with a bit of snow — it's still going as we speak. Though most folks left work early or sheltered in place, I didn't have much to worry about with the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i the Bavarians kindly lent me for the week.
Rather than huddle by a fire or watch news coverage of the poor commuters dealing with hour long traffic jams, I decided to take the X5 out on the local roads and see what she's made of.
At the time I drove around, there was approximately three to eight inches of powder depending on if the road was plowed and how much of a snow drift there was. And, boy, the X5 did quite well.
Trudging through the white stuff wasn't a problem as a majority of the time I kept it in the Eco Pro mode to keep revs low. Slow and steady with the throttle made for predictable turns with little to no drama. BUT, if you want to have a touch of fun with the X5 in the snow, well, it's just several button clicks away. After dialing it up to Sport mode and putting the vehicle into BMW's Dynamic Traction Mode, it's a complete hoot. Not in the dangerous, "Oh, I may have overcooked it and that tree is getting close" kind of way, but in the "Ah, I just point it here, give 'er a little throttle and it's doing exactly as I say" way.
This is a huge improvement over the 2006 X3 I used to drive that was eager to slip and slide in snowy conditions. And although the 2004 Touareg I had would cut through these conditions without any hassle, it wasn't nearly as predictable and fun carrying all that heft.
Though plenty of drivers were seemingly frightened and experiencing chaos during today's storm, I just dialed up the heated seats and cruised along without any concern.
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BMW X5 Winter Storm Janus