Take the Scenic Way Home from Thanksgiving

Driving out of town for Thanksgiving this year? We all know that the holidays can be stressful, but the trip to and from your loved ones can also be enjoyable time in the car- whether alone or with family. For those who love driving, there is no better weekend to get in a last driving blast before fall turns to winter.

The traditional GPS will tell you the shortest path or the fastest path, but why not change it up and enjoy the drive on roads suggested by other drivers?  Even better, taking more fun or more scenic routes can enable you to avoid the holiday traffic on the highways.

If you need some tips or directions for your trip, The Ultimate Drive app comes to the rescue in the form of thousands of routes to choose from. All the routes are suggested by people like you, complete with descriptions and ratings to see what other drivers think are the best. You can download the free app at any of these links:

Find a great route, hop in the BMW and hit the road!

Wherever the driving adventure takes you, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a great road trip home!

 

Great Winter Escapes for People Who Love Driving

As winter rapidly approaches, many of us are preparing our BMWs for winter storage. For those of you who will continue to drive them during winter, the weather may take away the thrills of utilizing your car’s performance capabilities. To lighten up this sad time, we thought we would lay out a few warm weather destinations to get out of town and go on a winter driving journey!

Location #1: Honolulu, Hawaii.

Honolulu is a tropical paradise, and its roads live up to that reputation. Fly into town, get a bit of sun on the beach, then hop in your rental BMW and explore the island via car! We recommend the Tantalus Drive route, from which you can then circle back to town via Round Top Drive on the other side of the state park. You can find this adventurous route in the Ultimate Drive app for iOS, Facebook or Android app here.

Location #2: Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale is well-known for being a warm-weather haven during the winter months. It boasts a major airport in nearby Phoenix, numerous hotels and amenities, and some great desert roads for all to enjoy in the winter. Our personal favorite drive is Highway 88 from the Phoenix area out to Tortilla Flats. You can find the route in The Ultimate Drive app here. If the scenery looks familiar here is a good hint as to why: many car manufacturers use this road for auto magazine test drives.

Location #3: Key West, Florida.

Our featured East Coast adventure is one of the world’s best known stretches of highway. It’s not a flat-out performance drive, but what it lacks in sport it makes up for in scenery. The route takes you from Miami’s airport southbound to the bottom of the country. Once out of town, you can hop on the famous “Overseas Highway.” On this renowned Highway you will drive over the water and through various islands all the way to Key West- the southernmost city in the continental United States. Drives don’t get much more scenic than this! Check out the route here.

Last but not least, keep in mind that both smaller and larger car rental companies have fleets of BMWs you can rent for your adventure! This is *crucial* to ensure you have a fun ride for your winter driving escape. Plan your trip soon and have something to look forward to!

Happy Halloween! The Best BMW Halloween Costumes from the Web

Halloween is almost here. In celebration of the holiday and our love for cars, we did some digging to come up with some of the best car costumes on the web. After all, if pet costumes are a regular theme, cars should be able to join in the fun as well!

First up is this M3; which automatically gets a winning vote for being in Halloween dress full time- right from the BMW factory. We give top marks to BMW for making an orange finish classy looking. This car is a Halloween BMW done right!

Next up on the list is this E30 M3, which the owner had to paint orange. We especially love the black headlight trim and grill treatment! It’s a great inspiration for decorating your own car for the 31st, or every day!

Up third it perhaps the most extreme treatment of the Halloween theme we have seen! This M3 is certainly the “loudest” matte black car we have ever seen. The details are done perfectly, and it definitely has a menacing look!

And last of all, we couldn’t ignore these great BMW pumpkins!

Since there is still time before Halloween, should you wind up decorating your own car please send us images at social@socialnav-inc.com! We will post the best ones on our Facebook page for all to see.

Happy Halloween!

BMW Financial Services Launches The Ultimate Drive App for Facebook

Today we are releasing The Ultimate Drive App for Facebook, which lets BMW drivers and other driving enthusiasts find and share their exceptional driving routes. Users of the app can add their own route descriptions, photos or ratings, and see all of the contributions from others on the map or with Google Street View.

Thanks to BMW Financial Services, users with a Facebook account (now over a billion people) can access this free app right away.

The Ultimate Drive for Facebook features millions of miles of user-suggested driving routes, detailed descriptions, photos and user ratings. The Facebook app includes the ability to view stretches using Google Street View and to integrate with our other route-sharing apps from BMW Financial Services for iOS and Android.

The Ultimate Drive for Facebook also allows existing BMW Financial Services customers (U.S. only) to generate a loyalty voucher worth up to $700 off the first finance or lease payment on a new 2012 or 2013 BMW. Users can claim this offer by reserving a test drive within one of the apps between now and December 31, 2012.

“What better way to enjoy the perfect road than with your friends.”, said Pawan Murthy, General Manager of Online Business,  BMW Financial Services, “We hope that The Ultimate Drive for Facebook will help fans of BMW share their passion within their social networks.”

Here are the voucher amounts available and how they match up with the different BMW models:

$300 Off Voucher — 3 Series, 1 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 (all trims, including M models)
$500 Off Voucher — 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo and X5 (all trims, including M models)
$700 Off Voucher — 7 Series, 6 Series, 6 Series Gran Coupe and X6 (all trims, including M models)

Well, what are you waiting for? Go get the new Facebook app!!!

NOTE: The Ultimate Drive for Facebook is initially available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Vietnam. If you’re located elsewhere, the iOS and Android apps are available in 100+ countries. You can get the mobile apps at http://socialnav-inc.com/GetTUD.

5 Great Accessories to Prepare Your Ride for Fall

Fall is rapidly approaching, and while we bet you have bought yourself some warm clothes for the cooler weather, you shouldn’t forget your loved one in the garage! Here is a list of driving-related items that will get you and your car set for the cold seasons, no matter where you live.

1. Heavy Duty Floor Mats

Preserve your interior by protecting the carpet with good floor mats. Get a rubber set that absorbs dirt, snow and water. We highly recommend Weathertech mats, which are top quality and made right here in the USA. They last a lifetime, and so will your factory interior.

2. A BMW Beanie

We had to include at least one cool lifestyle item on this list! Keep yourself warm with a BMW beanie. Store it in your car for that moment when an unexpected shower or early snow starts falling, or wear it when it is just plain cold out! We like this one, which is available on Amazon for a great price.

3. Winter Tires

It might be the last thing you think of for performance, but all the horsepower in the world is no good if you can’t convert it to grip. Another important thing to remember is that traction control cannot defy the laws of physics. Seasonal tires are an excellent purchase no matter where you live. Tire manufacturers offer rain tires, snow tires and other seasonal selections so you can find a tire that will be relevant to your local climate. In addition, this should also be viewed as safety enhancement- sticky tires are downright dangerous when driving in wet conditions where they cannot grip. A side benefit: if you’ve been wanting a nice set of rims this is an excellent excuse to buy those as well!

4. Battery Tender

For folks who are going to garage their beloved ride over a cold winter, a battery tender is a must to keep the electrical systems charged, the battery full and healthy, and your car in ready-to-drive condition. You don’t store your car in the winter? The battery tender is still relevant – it keeps your battery in tip-top shape year round. Our preference is the “Battery Tender Plus”, which is available here on Amazon.com.

5. A Waxing and Detailing

Winter weather can be really hard on your car’s exterior, and building up a strong layer of wax before the rain and snow falls can significantly improve the lifespan of your paint job. Take the time to work a few coats of wax onto the car – one weekend at a time. If you live in an area where roads are salted during winter, try to have the undercarriage cleaned, and apply undercoating to any areas that could use reinforcement. None of this is flashy, but it ensures your car will look that way!

BMW’s The Ultimate Drive App Wins Bronze Stevie in Travel Mobile Apps Category at The American Business Awards

We are proud to announce that The Ultimate Drive app by BMW Financial Services and SocialNav, Inc., was just named a Bronze Stevie Winner in the Travel Mobile Apps category at The 2012 American Business AwardsSM (“The Stevies®”).

The ABAs are the nation’s premier business awards program. More than 3,000 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories from companies including Apple, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor Company, NASCAR, YouSendIt (and yours truly!) among others. Finalists were chosen by more than 140 business professionals nationwide during preliminary judging in April and May. Winners were announced this week at an awards banquet at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco, California.

As you may already know, the (free!) Ultimate Drive app for iPhone and Android helps you discover the best roads around the world. It also enables U.S. BMW Financial Services customers to receive credit towards their first lease or loan payment on a new BMW (up to $700 off all 2012 / 2013 BMW models!). We are thrilled to be recognized by The American Business Awards for our app’s achievements and look forward to many more “down the road…”

Check out this photo of Rich Danielson, co-founder of SocialNav, Inc., developer of The Ultimate Drive mobile app, accepting the Bronze Stevie Award at The American Business Awards banquet:

Ultimate Drive App Offer Extended to September 30 — Up to $700 Off All New BMW Models

These happy faces are on folks who have taken the opportunity to test drive a new 2012 or 2013 BMW… and for scheduling their test drive through the (free!) Ultimate Drive app for iPhone and Android, they earned a credit towards their first lease or loan payment on a new BMW.

Well, now we’re going to see a lot more happy faces because the offer has been extended through September 30, 2012! Between now and September 30th, existing U.S. customers of BMW Financial Services who download The Ultimate Drive app can get a voucher worth up to $700 off the first payment on a new 2012 or 2013 BMW financed or leased through BMW Financial Services USA.

The offer amount depends on the vehicle financed or leased and is offered for 2012 or 2013 models only. Here are the voucher amounts available and how they match up with the different BMW models:

$300 Off Voucher — 3 Series, 1 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 (all trims, including M models)
$500 Off Voucher — 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo and X5 (all trims, including M models)
$700 Off Voucher — 7 Series, 6 Series, 6 Series Gran Coupe and X6 (all trims, including M models)

Did we mention that this app is FREE?! Here are the specifics on how you snag the savings in 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Download The Ultimate Drive app (available on iPhone and Android) to discover and share the best roads to drive.

Step 2: Use the app to schedule a test drive at your local BMW Center.

Step 3: Confirm your test drive (instructions in the app) to generate your voucher code and use it when ordering your new 2012 or 2013 BMW.

Don’t forget — offer now ends September 30, 2012, so don’t wait – go get the free app now!

Ultimate Drive App Offer Expanded: Up to $700 Off ALL New BMW Models

As you may already know, The (free!) Ultimate Drive app for iPhone and Android helps you discover the best roads around the world. But that’s not all it does! Back in March, we launched the third generation of the app, which enabled all current U.S. BMW Financial Services customers to schedule a test drive and receive $300 credit towards their first lease or loan payment on a new 2012 3 Series. This promotion is still in effect today.

HOWEVER, as of today, we’ve expanded the promotion across all BMW models!! 

Between now and July 31st, existing U.S. customers of BMW Financial Services who download The Ultimate Drive app and use it to schedule a test drive can get a voucher worth up to $700 off the first payment on a new 2012 or 2013 BMW financed or leased through BMW Financial Services NA.

The offer amount depends on the vehicle financed or leased – 2012 or 2013 models only. Here are the voucher amounts available and how they match up with the different BMW models:

$300 Off Voucher — 3 Series, 1 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 (all trims, including M models)
$500 Off Voucher — 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo and X5 (all trims, including M models)
$700 Off Voucher — 7 Series, 6 Series, 6 Series Gran Coupe and X6 (all trims, including M models)

Did we mention that this app is FREE?! Here are the specifics on how you snag the savings in 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Download The Ultimate Drive app (available on iPhone and Android) to discover and share the best roads to drive.

Step 2: Use the app to schedule a test drive at your local BMW Center.

Step 3: Confirm your test drive (instructions in the app) to generate your voucher code and use it when ordering your new 2012 or 2013 BMW.

Don’t forget — offer ends July 31, 2012, so don’t wait – go get the free app now!

Just imagine yourself behind the wheel of one of these sweet rides with $700 bucks still in your pocket…

 

7 Places We’d Love to Go for a Drive This Earth Day

Imagine yourself cruising with the top down along the beautiful French Riviera…. or hugging the tight curves of back Rocky Mountain roads…. sounds thrilling, right?  The earth is a beautiful place. There is so much exploring to be done! In celebration of Earth Day, which is this Sunday, we’ve come up with a few dream destinations where we’d love to go for a leisurely drive. From ocean views to snowy mountain tops, there is something for everyone to enjoy! Take a peek at our top picks:

1- French Riviera

Can you feel the sun now? You have the top down and a light breeze blowing as you cruise along the Mediterranean coast with views of quaint harbor fishing villages full of pleasure yachts and crowded summertime beaches. You can’t help but think, “Thank you mother nature!”

Earth Day Drive: French Riviera

2- Canadian Rockies

Even on the coldest of days, this destination is beautiful. Pristine, pure and white — there aren’t many places like this left. It may be chilly outside, but you’re nice and toasty thanks to your luxurious heated seats. The only thing that could make this better is a to-go cup of hot cocoa complete with mini marshmallows… or a moose sighting!

Earth Day Drive: Canadian Rockies

3- Hawaiian Islands

Paradise. Close your eyes and feel the soft tropical breeze as you glide down the island twisties… try hard enough and you might even get a whiff of coconut!

Earth Day Drive: Hawaiian Islands

4- Costa Rica

Ah, the “Rich Coast” — so exotic and lovely (and with a track record of promoting ecology and peace!) After a late afternoon drive along the winding coastline we might suggest you pull over to catch the vibrant sky as the sun goes down in this tropical delight.

5. Transylvania, Romania

If the world-famous Transfagarasan Rd. (also known as Ceaucesu’s Folly) isn’t the ultimate drive, we don’t know what is! With its dramatic scenery and winding roads that pass through the beautiful Fagaras Mountains, it’s no wonder this Transylvania destination was voted “favorite Earth Day drive” by our Facebook community. Our Facebook/Twitter buddy, @DavidKoorn, who submitted this entry, must really know his way around the globe!

Transfagarasan Road, Fagaras Mountains

6- Alaska

The last frontier! Pack up the fishing rods, parkas and camping supplies, you’re going on an adventure of a lifetime! It’s rugged terrain, but what well-equipped driver wouldn’t like the challenge? And watch out for those polar bears!

Earth Day Drive: Alaska

7- Iceland

Shaped by the forces of nature, our last stop is a dynamic landscape of active volcanoes, black sand beaches, green valleys, and powerful rapids. Only in Iceland can you drive through craters of volcanic rock one minute and cruise past gushing geysers the next!

Earth Day Drive: Iceland

All this talk of adventure has given us the travel itch. Our planet is an incredible place — no wonder we love to take the scenic route! What’s your dreamy Earth Day drive?  Tell us on Facebook!

And if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in any of these (or other) dreamy places, pick up the FREE BMW Ultimate Drive app! With this app, you’ll have access a collection of the best pleasure driving roads around the world, all submitted by locals.

Have a wonderful Earth Day!