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Old 06-11-2013, 05:36 PM
Maxim_X Maxim_X is offline
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Location: Mass
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: BMW X5
Towing with V8 vs I6

Hey everyone! Currently I own a 2003 x5 with the I6 and 135k. I've been towing a 6x10 all aluminum enclosed trailer with 2 lightweight motorcycles with the car. Fully loaded the trailer weighs about 3000lbs as a heavy estimate. The car drives wonderfully below about 50mph. But, the wind on the highway as well as the trailer weight keep the X5 downshifting. I would say about half the time on the highway it downshifts into 4th gear. So, about about 70 mph it sits around 3500. If I get behind a big truck to block the wind it won't downshift.

Anyway here is where you com in. I'm thinking about upgrading to a 2005 or 2006 4.4i. As i understand they have about 100 more HP and a 6 speed instead of a 5 speed. The tranny gives it a 6000lb tow rating. I know my current x5 can handle the trailer, but, it aggravating the way it always shifts. I plan to tow a few thousand miles every year so the extra abuse could take it's toll.

What kind of differences can I expect from the change? Does anyone have a similar upgrade experience? I'm sure it's been covered, but is there anything specific I should look for?

Thanks in advance for all the help!
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:12 PM
boramkiv's Avatar
boramkiv boramkiv is offline
Propellers Up Front
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,007
Mein Auto: Some Bavarian car outside
I towed a refrigerator and stove from VA to TN back in 2008 with a 2002 X5 M62 4.4i
6X10 enclosed trailer. It did really well. If you don't want it to downshift you can shift over to manual mode and keep top gear engaged, if you do that however the MPG drops significantly because the engine is loaded longer.
I have 5 the 04+ has 6 speeds.
It was all highway miles, and I was getting no more than 9-10 mpg. I remember filling up in TN and the range (which usually says 425 miles at best with no load) now says like 235 miles,
that was scary. The rest of the trip was used with 4th engaged on inclines and letting up my lead foot.

I used that trailer for a good week clearing some brush around the house, and taking a small tree (I cut down) to the dump site.
I had transmission issues like a week after, so just be gentle when towing. Maybe the transmission was crazy about early shifting because it had to do late shifting the week prior.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:21 AM
Maxim_X Maxim_X is offline
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Location: Mass
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: BMW X5
I hope the transmission issues you discovered were not a direct result of towing. It seems many people over tow with the V8, which was not your case at all.
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