factory X3 hitch
I just took delivery of a 2012 X3 35i. I had the BMW hitch dealer-installed so as to capture it under the full warranty. The installation consists of the hitch and electric, and is no easy job. The entire factory bumper and brackets are removed (I have the pieces) and a modified bumper is installed. There is a bunch of hardware and brackets to deal with. The electric is fairly simple as far as lighting goes, but the car has to be programmed to modify behavior of rear camera and park distance control when a trailer is hitched up---otherwise, system freak out that you're about to hit something...the trailer in this case. There is also a nifty trick with the rear camera wherein it becomes the hitch-to-trailer aiming device.
I have to admit that the center screen being the source of such cues is entirely new and goes against 40 years of driving experience, however, the info is entirely correct and for me, at 76" height, keeps me comfy as I don't have to twist around and duck the ceiling while hooking up. For me the X3 is tight, yet everything is well placed and the sports seats are entirely useful and a good fit--I do not feel cramped at all.
The electric outlets will handle 2 species of connector, one of which I haven't used before--nice weater-proof caps are included. The stump of iron that is the hitch and the piece that reaches under the bumper unhooks easily . With the hitch piece disconnected, the departure angle is virtually untouched, while with the hitch connected that departure angle is only slightly effected. Overall, this is entirely worth the seemingly high cost.
I will have photos soon along with an overview of our X3 which has everything except headlight assist.......