In-Car Tech

BMW adds SiriusXM with 360L to most of its product line for 2021 model year

The SiriusXM with 360L system is expanding to BMW's 2021 lineup.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW announced that SiriusXM with 360L will be added to most of its vehicles for the 2021 model year. It will be available on the 2 Series Gran Coupe, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 8 Series, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7 and Z4 Roadster. The first BMW models equipped with SiriusXM with 360L are expected to be available at BMW dealerships this summer.

SiriusXM with 360L first debuted on the redesigned Ram 1500 in 2019 with a one-year exclusivity deal. It was the next-gen SiriusXM platform, greatly enhancing the capabilities of the system's technology to include on demand programming, personalized recommendations, live sports categories, music genre categories, and profile settings.

2021 BMW 5 Series Earlier this year, BMW showed off the new wireless infotainment system capabilities in the updated 5 Series. Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has made satellite radio available in its cars since 2002.

"BMW produces some of the finest vehicles in the world, and their reputation for delivering the ultimate driving experience is well-deserved. BMW's broad adoption of SiriusXM with 360L will give drivers a more rich, diverse and exclusive audio entertainment offering," said Chris Paganini, VP, Automotive Partnerships, for SiriusXM. "SiriusXM with 360L will be available in several of BMW's most popular 2021 models, meaning more drivers than ever can discover and enjoy exactly what they want, when they want, from SiriusXM's variety of premium content."

All new BMW vehicles that are equipped with SiriusXM with 360L come with a 12-month All-Access subscription. That subscription allows buyers to listen to SiriusXM on their mobile devices and connected home devices.

Vehicles equipped with the system will also be capable of receiving over-the-air updates that will allow their SiriusXM software to stay current. Soon, the company will add Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora. The new functionality will allow drivers to create their own ad-free music stations based on the artist they are listening to, then give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down within the SiriusXM service, or even skip songs, to create their own personal channel that plays more of what they want.

Last month, BMW introduced a number of upgrades to its in-car tech.

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Chevrolet completely redesigned the Suburban for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

At over 18-feet long, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is massive in stature. The redesigned-for-2021 Suburban is also one of the most technologically advanced SUVs to roll off any General Motors assembly line. The question is, is it any good?

Yes. There is no point in burying the lede on this. The Suburban is the Chevrolet to have if you consistently need to carry six or more people and all of the gear associated with it. Need to take the kids to soccer practice? No problem. Need to bring grandma and grandpa on the family road trip? No problem. Need to carry an entire high school marching band and their instruments? Easy peasy. A colleague even suggested that the rear seats are in a different ZIP code than the front seats.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier The Suburban has grown for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

But unlike Doctor Who's Tardis, the Suburban is just as big on the outside as it is on the inside. The Suburban's boxy shape highlights how functional the design is – maximizing interior space is key. A new front grille and headlight setup comes straight from the Chevy Silverado pickup truck. Massive wheels are needed just to fill out the wheel arches.

Around back, a power liftgate (standard as hands-free in LT and up trim levels) is flanked by new taillights and there's a real dual exhaust for the 5.3-liter V8 that comes standard on Suburban. A 6.2-liter V8 and a 3.0-liter Duramax diesel are also available. All the engine options are paired with GM's 10-speed automatic transmission.

While the Suburban never feels smaller than it is, it is nice to drive. The automatic's shifts are flawless in execution, and the 5.3-liter V8 sounds great on throttle. At nearly three tons, the Suburban isn't light, and the upgraded 6.2-liter V8 is worth the extra money if you're planning on towing or filling the Suburban with people consistently. There just doesn't feel like enough oomph with the lower-spec engine to really get the Suburban moving. The sweet spot might end up being the diesel, like it is with the Silverado, but that's not available for a few months.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier The Suburban is appropriately appointed for its price point.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Magnetic Ride Control is standard on the Premier trim, and while it doesn't also include the air suspension of higher-spec models, it does a good job at smoothing out the bumps and imperfections of the road. Though the Suburban does feature a sport driving mode, at no point did I feel compelled to use it to get a leg up on the traffic around me during testing. Leave it to its natural devices the Suburban drives pretty well.

The Expedition drives a bit smaller than it actually is, and the available Pro Trailer Backup Assist is a godsend for someone inexperienced with towing. Depending on spec, you can tow up to 8,300 pounds with the Suburban. That's enough for a small boat or camper, making the SUV a solid rig for weekend getaways.

There's plenty of room in the second row for passengers or pups during a weekend getaway, or longer. The Suburban Premier test unit had captain's chairs in the middle row, so gaining access to the third row is easy. There is also a lever on the side of the second-row chairs that, if you press it down twice, fold ups the seats up and away. While most three-row SUVs skimp in the back, this thing is big enough to seat adults and still have room for lots of cargo (up 19 percent over the 2020 model). In the front, the tester had leather seats that were heated and ventilated that sufficiently performed their functions.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier The Suburban Premier comes standard with a 10.2-inch infotainment touch screen.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

In front of the driver, an 8.0-inch digital instrument display is flanked by two analog gauges. A 15-inch wide head-up display (the largest in its class) has full-color, high-res graphics that are easy to read. General Motors makes their digital rearview mirror available on the Suburban, which makes it easy to see what's behind you because without it, you see just your passengers or the rows of empty seats directly behind you.

Chevrolet's latest infotainment system runs the Premier model's 10.2-inch touch screen and is updated to include wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. That means you can just toss your phone on the wireless phone charger and you're off. A surround view camera does help in parking, though you're still going to want to avoid tight spots in city centers due to the overall size of the Suburban.

The test vehicle was black, making it look like a Secret Service transport for the President of the United States. And after a week in the new Suburban, it's easy to see why they prefer this SUV. The way that the Suburban uses its space is impressive. It maximizes interior cargo and passenger capacity. It's more practical in every row than a comparable Ford Expedition Max, and the V8 delivers better power than the Ford's twin-turbo V6.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier The 2021 Suburban has 19 percent more cargo room than the previous edition.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

You know if you need a vehicle this size, and if you do, the Suburban is the way to go. Just opt for the larger V-8 engine and you'll have yourself a beast of a vehicle. The Premier trim is a nice sweet spot, too, with luxury features but without the opulence and price tag that comes with the High Country trim. The test model wasn't cheap at $74,080, but for big SUVs this is the one to get.

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