Motherhood is a glorious entrance into a new and brilliant existence, but like any force of nature, even in this wonderful state ripples of upheaval exist. Most recently in my case, a bout of circulating and re-circulating illness has reared its very ugly head. Nothing smothers the pure magic of parenthood faster than ghastly sick children. I'm talking weeks of toxic green snot, seeing-stars fevers, all-nighter piercing ear infections, "don't-make-me-swallow" sore throats, wimpy aching abandoning muscles, "how-many-ribs-did I-just-snap" coughs, "it's-raining-again" sneezes and countless other aches too hard to remember for a family of four. To sum it up: Absolutely, dreadfully, AWFUL. But finally, almost surprisingly, it came ... the much-anticipated calm after the storm.
Now I actually have the desire to venture out of the house again (wow, this is BIG), don some proverbial rose-colored glasses and revel in my rescued, carefree spirit (well, what's left of it, post-children). Accordingly, I found stepping out of total disorder and into normalcy surprisingly divine. As I picked up the BMW X5, I knew it would take me far from home and help shake this recent sense of confinement. And what a charming car it was to make this mama feel pampered in just the right way. I immediately opened the X5's gigantic sunroof, which spans front to back, and let the sunlight and fresh air filter in. As I adjusted my seat, I came upon a seat-bottom knee extension, which is also offered on the passenger side. I was intrigued enough to lower my seatback and rest my head for a minute ... what a lovely position, and what excellent road-trip potential! I eventually scooted back up and familiarized myself with the navigation system. It requires more patience/reading than I have at the given moment (because I want to go, Go, GO). This iDrive system is used to control the navigation system (as well as communications, entertainment and climate controls) and is nothing less than a complete pain in the a@#. Its multifunction knob requires the dexterity of a highly evolved primate (or my 5-year-old son) to make it slide back and forth, left and right, rotate clockwise and counterclockwise and depress to scroll through an endless array of screens and menus. I can't wait until enough people complain about it that BMW finally chooses to opt out.
For our trek up into the hills for some much needed recreational activity, I loaded skis from the cargo area through the cargo cubby and into a cleverly enclosed "hidden" ski sack. I enjoy this feature because it means the main cabin of the vehicle is protected from icky ski drips. When packing other items into the BMW X5 cargo hold, I made use of a small net on the driver's side for some loose board books, and the recessed plastic bin on the passenger side held our day's supply of water bottles.
Next, I raised the BMW X5's splendid rear side window shades for each of my two children, plopped them into their car seats (Note: although Latches are much improved over previous years - they no longer slice your fingers open while trying to install car seats - they could still be easier) and loaded a couple of lattes into the front cupholders. On a side note, said cupholders have a sliding cover, so when the teacher pokes her head into my car at carpool this clever little cover means she won't be able to see the crumbs and other grit that inadvertently finds its way in there. I stored my cell phone in a small, deep rectangular area right next to the gearshift. On another crafty note, there is an open shelf in the rear, behind the center console, which I used to house a few more books for any "kids gone wild" occurrences. Additionally, I made use of the rear dual climate control (four vents), preventing any simultaneous "I'm-hot-I'm-cold," just-for-the-sake-of-bugging-you battles between the kids.
A feature I absolutely fell in love with in the BMW X5 was the remote key. Basically, I clipped my keys into the diaper bag and left them there. How, you wonder? Well, the car senses the remote and unlocks the door for me as soon as I begin to pull on the door handle. Then, once in the car, the super-simple keyless start allows me to depress the brake and push the start button, upon which the car becomes ready for almost my every desire.
Last but not least, I appreciated the park assist, heated steering wheel (yippee), and nine driver-control steering-wheel buttons. Basically, BMW has left nothing to chance with the X5. It drives like a charm, and it pampers nicely. Getting away is easy in this joy of a ride; affording it may be more laborious.
*For more information on the BMW X5 and its safety features, visit www.cars.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
LATCH Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Groove On