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BMW xDrive Comparison Drive

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BMW cars and SAVs are meant to be driven and shine the brightest when compared side-by-side with the competition.

With that in mind, the BMW xDrive Comparison Drive opened its six city, cross-Canada tour in Vancouver on April 5, showcasing BMW’s xDrive All-Wheel Drive system. With a program designed for prospects and customers, the tour provided the opportunity for participants to drive competitive premium-luxury AWD vehicles on a closed course, comparing them back-to-back through the same tests, in the same conditions. Driving the BMW 325xi, 330xi and X3 3.0i, the Audi A4 3.2 quattro, and the Lexus IS250 AWD and RX330 put participants in position to judge the vehicles based on their experience not just on journalists’ reviews and advertisements.

“You are the judge” was the mantra the drive event staff communicated to participants. Through acceleration, on-ramp simulation, obstacle avoidance utilizing ABS, a shoelace slalom, and a torque curve leading to the final brake box, participants fully experienced each vehicle’s dynamic capabilities and limits. Facilitating the driving experience was a team of six professional drivers from across Canada who brought their charm, wit and, above all, vast automotive experience to the event. Many questions were asked and answered, but most importantly the drivers ensured fun and safety were present in every session. Combining their driving experience with a 25-minute classroom session conducted by Chief Instructor Pierre Savoy, focusing on the technical and cost of ownership information about each vehicle, participants were well-equipped to form opinions about the fleet.

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The Vancouver venue was ideally located. Indy Lane at False Creek, in the heart of the city, is well known for hosting the powerful machines of Champ Car. For this weekend, however, the drive team transformed the tarmac into a challenging autocross course. Customers of the four Vancouver-area BMW retailers, Vancouver International Auto Show visitors, and individuals who had been following BMW Canada’s xDrive online campaign descended on Indy Lane for their chosen session after registering online. As the vehicles pulled into the accompanying parking lot, the xDrive team could see they would be dealing with a knowledgeable audience.

All-wheel-drive vehicles of all makes and premium-luxury marques filled the lot, session after session. Curious onlookers were frequent visitors as the tents and autocross were in full view along Pacific Boulevard and from the Skytrain. And even Mother Nature was supportive; the rain held off for the entire week, save for a few isolated drops on the final morning.

Through three days of events, approximately 500 participants attended the two-hour sessions, held five times a day between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Overwhelmingly, the BMW xDrive vehicles stood out from the strong competitors. More important though was another observation made by many of the attendees: that xDrive-equipped BMW vehicles perform as well as and deliver the same ultimate driving experience as the rear-wheel-drive BMWs. And that is the magic of xDrive: delivering true BMW performance with all the advantages of AWD.

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