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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2005, 02:25 PM
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bredi bredi is online now
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Question X5 and X3 Towing

I have been posting in the X3 forum about the X3's towing capabilities, and am now concerned that I may be making the wrong decision about getting an X3.

I have a 328ci coupe at lease end, and hours within getting into a new X3 lease.
But I'm now having serious hesitation and considering X5 3.0 used lease.

I am a new boat owner of a 21ft malibu sporster ski boat.

I thought the X3 would be a good choice for a daily driver (sedan like handling, more space, dog etc.) and occasional towing during summer. In theory. It seemed like the perfect car/truck for me.

the x3 is rated at 3500lbs and the X5 is at 5000lbs.
My boat at trailer are 3000lbs.

For many factors, the X5 would be much more suitable. except cost.

What have been your X5 towing experience if any?


I'm new to the idea of an SUV and towing.
What are the minimum requirements for towing a boat?
I know the X5, and other SUV's maybe better for this.
But I don't want two cars. (Thinking renew lease on my 328ci and getting cheap truck.)
Will the X3 be ok for me for towing?
Any opinions on the X3's towing capabilities from X5 owners?

Thanks

Last edited by bredi; 02-20-2005 at 02:36 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2005, 03:04 PM
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breytonX5 breytonX5 is offline
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No towing experience, but...

Given your load, I think you're pushing the limit with the X3. Your best bet is to go with either the 3.0 or 4.4 X5.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2005, 06:55 PM
Krunk Man Krunk Man is offline
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Dude... your 500 pounds under the limit.

I regularly haul my 5800 pound boat/trailer with the x5 for 300 mile trips up north at least 4 times a year and i have never had any problems.
Just keep her between the lines and under 100.
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2005, 07:29 PM
jcl10 jcl10 is offline
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Agree that you appear to be under the towing limit, IF the 3000 pounds you quote includes all the gear you may throw in the boat, AND if your trailer has brakes. With those qualifiers, the X3 would be fine. Assume you are looking at the X3 3.0, not the 2.5, and that you aren't likely to be towing that boat over mountain ranges. The 2.5 has the same tow rating, but would have less margin due to the lower hp.

If you want some more cushion, think about the fact that the X3 is rated to tow 1700 kg (equals 3740 lb) outside the US.

Oh, and the X3 is rated with more luggage capacity than the X5.

I tow frequently with an X5 3.0. It does fine, just remember that it is important to leave some more room, plan ahead a little more, and take it easy.

I would recommend that you look at the BMW hitch, not aftermarket (based on my X5 experience).

Go for it, and let us know how it turns out.
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2005, 08:47 PM
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dsheli dsheli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bredi
I have been posting in the X3 forum about the X3's towing capabilities, and am now concerned that I may be making the wrong decision about getting an X3.

I have a 328ci coupe at lease end, and hours within getting into a new X3 lease.
But I'm now having serious hesitation and considering X5 3.0 used lease.

I am a new boat owner of a 21ft malibu sporster ski boat.

I thought the X3 would be a good choice for a daily driver (sedan like handling, more space, dog etc.) and occasional towing during summer. In theory. It seemed like the perfect car/truck for me.

the x3 is rated at 3500lbs and the X5 is at 5000lbs.
My boat at trailer are 3000lbs.

For many factors, the X5 would be much more suitable. except cost.

What have been your X5 towing experience if any?


I'm new to the idea of an SUV and towing.
What are the minimum requirements for towing a boat?
I know the X5, and other SUV's maybe better for this.
But I don't want two cars. (Thinking renew lease on my 328ci and getting cheap truck.)
Will the X3 be ok for me for towing?
Any opinions on the X3's towing capabilities from X5 owners?

Thanks
Go with the X5. I think you will enjoy it allot more than the X3. Not just for towing but for the around town driving.
David
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2005, 05:06 PM
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Keith Keith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bredi
I have been posting in the X3 forum about the X3's towing capabilities, and am now concerned that I may be making the wrong decision about getting an X3.

I have a 328ci coupe at lease end, and hours within getting into a new X3 lease.
But I'm now having serious hesitation and considering X5 3.0 used lease.

I am a new boat owner of a 21ft malibu sporster ski boat.

I thought the X3 would be a good choice for a daily driver (sedan like handling, more space, dog etc.) and occasional towing during summer. In theory. It seemed like the perfect car/truck for me.

the x3 is rated at 3500lbs and the X5 is at 5000lbs.
My boat at trailer are 3000lbs.

For many factors, the X5 would be much more suitable. except cost.

What have been your X5 towing experience if any?


I'm new to the idea of an SUV and towing.
What are the minimum requirements for towing a boat?
I know the X5, and other SUV's maybe better for this.
But I don't want two cars. (Thinking renew lease on my 328ci and getting cheap truck.)
Will the X3 be ok for me for towing?
Any opinions on the X3's towing capabilities from X5 owners?

Thanks
Funny you should bring this up, I too was considering a X3, but after doing a little resarch, I'm looking around for a '02 X5 4.4.
By the time I fill up (gas) the X5, the Bass Boat and all my gear, I will need that mighty V8.
I do go up to the Sierra's with two supercharged Sea Doo's with my truck right now and it's a V6 and it's lugging it's way up the hill!
But that's with all gas tanks full and a loaded bed full of 2 weeks of supply for the stay in the Keys at Lake Tahoe.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2005, 06:00 PM
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Bavarian Bavarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith
Funny you should bring this up, I too was considering a X3, but after doing a little resarch, I'm looking around for a '02 X5 4.4.
By the time I fill up (gas) the X5, the Bass Boat and all my gear, I will need that mighty V8.
I do go up to the Sierra's with two supercharged Sea Doo's with my truck right now and it's a V6 and it's lugging it's way up the hill!
But that's with all gas tanks full and a loaded bed full of 2 weeks of supply for the stay in the Keys at Lake Tahoe.
That's the way to do it! Go for a 2002 X5 4.4i and forget your troubles. Oh, and BMW should offer an X3 3.5i (3.5L V8) for people like bredi.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2005, 06:13 PM
X5HogTown X5HogTown is offline
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Here's a picture of my X5 3.0 5m pulling 5300 lbs. The 5 speed is rated for 6000 lbs.

I have a re-enforced Class III hitch. There is a second bar that runs under the truck to give the hitch vertical stability. Ugly as sin but probably twice as strong as a regular Class III.

http://www.roadfly.org/bmw/gallery/p...20416,1;-15,6;

just in case
http://www.roadfly.org/bmw/gallery/p...20416,1;-15,6;
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2005, 12:53 AM
B-Line B-Line is offline
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I used to tow my 911 to the track with my 2001 4.4.. It did a great job. And that was with one of those uhaul bohemith trailers. In total i was near the 7500lb. limit but the X did great..
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2005, 12:33 PM
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What kind of brake controller did you use and who installed it?
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2009, 09:02 AM
markd markd is offline
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how does that tow?

I have a boat that weighs 3000 lbs and I have towed in the past with a jeep grand cherokee, and you did not know it was there. My x3 is a terrible tow vehicle-I can definitely feel it. Does not give me a good feeling. I wouldnt tow anything more than a snowmobile trailer with this.

I am thinking of getting an x5 4.4 to tow. My choices are the x5 or the chevy tahoe, or gmc yukon denali.
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  #12  
Old 04-12-2009, 09:38 AM
jcl10 jcl10 is offline
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It is an old thread, so you may not get many responses. Some new members may be able to chime in.

The X5 is a very good tow vehicle. Take a look at X5 world dot com for articles on towing, installation instructions for the hitch and brake controller, and experiences of those who have towed larger trailers.
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2009, 08:11 PM
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dcharnet dcharnet is offline
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So much depends on your circumstances. How far will you tow? How fast? Will you be in mountains or hilly areas? On interstates buffeted by semis? I have towed sailboats and race cars all over the place for years. I find that if you exceed 60-70% of max towing capability, it gets marginal. Keep in mind that this includes deadweight in the car too, such as passengers. My 3.0 X5 is a very satisfactory tow vehicle for my 3500 pounds of race car, covered trailer and contents. It also works for my 4800 lb keelboat/ dual axle trailer, but feels less secure. The issue I see is size and weight of the X3 more than power. I suspect that the trailer would tend to move the car around too much for me. You could probably pull it off for short, slower trips, but you would be much closer to the line of discomfort and potentially unsafe operation. I would never do it.
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2009, 02:08 PM
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mecodoug mecodoug is offline
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21 foot Malibu is way heavier

I think OP understated their weight. The current Malibu 21v weighs in at 3500 lbs. Add another 1000 for the trailer etc and you are definately over what the X3 is designed for. I'd go with the nice sedan and old cheap truck/suv solution. In fact I did!

We use our '02 Avalanche to take our 5000 lbs of boat, trailer and gear several hundred miles to Lake Cahmplain in the summertime, and I really appreciate the size.
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  #15  
Old 04-23-2009, 10:22 PM
jcl10 jcl10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecodoug View Post
I think OP understated their weight. The current Malibu 21v weighs in at 3500 lbs.
Well, it certainly isn't a current Malibu 21 since the post was from 2005, and the boat wasn't necessarily new even then. Perhaps Malibu built lighter boats many years ago.
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  #16  
Old 04-29-2009, 03:47 PM
Smittys540 Smittys540 is offline
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So is there really an answer somewhere on thsi thread to what an X5 4.4 vs 3.0 can tow? I am looking at both and was just checking a few threads but cant seem to find an answer. I have a truck to do the job of towing the boat or trailer but cant do both. I would like to tow the boat with the X5 if possible. here is my boat. Thx for the info. JR

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  #17  
Old 04-30-2009, 05:01 PM
jcl10 jcl10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smittys540 View Post
So is there really an answer somewhere on this thread to what an X5 4.4 vs 3.0 can tow? I am looking at both and was just checking a few threads but cant seem to find an answer. I have a truck to do the job of towing the boat or trailer but cant do both. I would like to tow the boat with the X5 if possible. here is my boat. Thx for the info. JR
4.4: Maximum 6000 lbs trailer weight, anything over 1600 lbs requires trailer brakes.
3.0 automatic up through 2003: Maximum 5000 lbs trailer weight, same trailer brake limit
3.0 manual, and all 2004 onwards 3.0 models: As per 4.4

The X5 models are excellent tow vehicles, very stable. If you are towing 5000 lbs in the mountains, a 4.4 is a good idea. The 3.0 is very capable, but will run out of steam on long hills with heavy trailer loads. The OEM hitch and wiring harness are highly recommended over aftermarket parts.

Check out xoutpost dot com for lots of info on towing with an X5, including testimonials, hitch installation instructions, brake controller info, etc.
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  #18  
Old 05-02-2009, 10:39 PM
Smittys540 Smittys540 is offline
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Awesome!!! Thx for the info. Ya the boat trailer has "surge" brakes and the travel trailer has electric. I use the Tekonsha P3 Brake Controller for that. Thx again!!!!
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  #19  
Old 05-03-2009, 08:06 AM
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bre, all great suggestions. One thing to consider is where do you live in SF? Are you on some of the "hillier" streets that you will have to pull that boat up and try to keep things level on the way down? I would rather have a Tahoe or Expedition as a tow vehicle just because it would allow a greater margin of safety, and you could really take a lot of "stuff" without worrying about it. A "cheap" full size truck would also do nicely, if you could find a nice Dodge diesel 3/4 with that sweet Cummins in it you could even get a bigger boat!
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:21 AM
JeffVander JeffVander is offline
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Seriously guys, if you are having to tow items in the 3,000 to 5,000 lb range, you should really consider a domestic truck instead of a BMW. Ford and GMC trucks are silly some of the very best work machines made. They are designed to do this type of work day in and day out. Plus, they're really cheap these days with rebates.
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  #21  
Old 05-04-2009, 01:23 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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+1 a truck is really the way to go for serious towing.
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  #22  
Old 05-04-2009, 08:30 PM
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dcharnet dcharnet is offline
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"Just always buy a truck" to tow 3000+ pounds sounds superficial to me. How often do you tow? How far? How much weight? For years I towed to sports car races with Fords from F250 V-10's to 5.4 Expeditions. Excellent tow vehicles but limited and boring for general use. My 08 X5 3.0 in DS mode is fine for the 3500 lbs of car and covered trailer I tow to tracks in the midwest for vintage road racing--about 5-6 Thursday-Sunday race weekends per season. It is far superior for all other uses. Yes, the diesel X5 would be better, but not mandatory. I certainly would never go back to a truck-chassis vehicle unless the load and the frequency of use were both greater. Towing my 4500-5000 lb sailboat 50 miles each way to the lake at 50 mph each season is fine, but if I did it every weekend and the distance were farther, the X5 would be inadequate.
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  #23  
Old 05-07-2009, 02:15 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The key word was serious towing. If you are just hauling a boat/race car trailer on a few week ends a year than the X5 would probably do just fine, but for hauling a serious boat with gear on a regular basis a truck is really the only way to do it right IMHO.
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  #24  
Old 05-07-2009, 06:18 PM
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I agree with Uncle J as to anything over 4500 lbs or so for very frequent longer tows at interstate speeds. I am quite comfortable/ stable/ safe/relaxed in my 3.0 at 70-75 mph in DS (not D)with my 3500 lbs or so of racer car/ vee-nosed properly balanced closed trailer. I would not trade it for an Expedition or F150/250 etc.
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  #25  
Old 06-15-2009, 11:40 AM
SnowBud00 SnowBud00 is offline
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When reading all the remarks, I wonder where you all got your information on the X3 and its towing capacities? I have a 3350 LB dual wheeled Texas BBQ and bought the X3 with sport pack, cause it can handle the load and still get good gas millage. I still have to fix the X3 with the tow bar, but I am very confident that the SAV will perform just fine. I currently have pulled the BBQ with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The specs on the 2 SUV's are: the X3 is heavier and more horsepower. Just less on the torque, but not enough to make a difference. The tongue weight is around 180 so I'm still under the max towing. In addition the gross vehicle weight is about 1000 lbs of load in the X3. If you have to put any over weight on your trailer, just make sure it's over the trailer axles. to you don't put any on the tongue of the X3, as to keep the front tires from lifting. As soon as I get it all set up, I'll be posting a picture.

Here's tested info on the X3 and how it can realistically pull 4000 lbs, well over the limit but handles it nicely....go figure!! Don't discount the X3 so much, it's a very well designed SAV, and has more then enough engineering to do the job right.

(Oh if you were really worried about the trailer towing a bit off or fishtailing, then you can install a distributed weight hitch, and that would correct any problem, and stable up the trailer completely)

http://www.whattowcar.com/rapport_en...=1000&auto=250
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