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Anyone Tow With A Bmw X3?


Rael
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I'm currently looking for a new tow car for our Bailey Olympus II (1500kg), I quite like the look of the BMW X3, probably a 2. 0d, definitely a used one, not sure about manual or auto yet.

 

Interested to know if anyone has towed a van of this sort of weight with one. It seems from other peoples experience that the Olympus isn't the easiest thing to tow (being a big single axle van) so a decent Towcar is important.

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I tow a Sterling Eccles Jewel which is a single axle with a length of 7. 2m. MRO of 1284 kgs and MTPLM of 1490kgs which I think is slightly heavier than your Bailey

 

My X3 is the 2011-2014 model 2. 0D with an auto box

 

It tows the caravan with no drama at all. Good performance on the motorway and A roads reasonable MPG. Very comfortable over long distances and it coped well getting the caravan up a wet muddy field. Plenty of room in the boot.

 

I would try and get the auto box though it is a cracking gearbox.

 

I went from an Audi A6 Avant 2. 0D multitronic 170 bhp and on balance would say the BMW was the better tow car but the Audi a bit more comfortable

Edited by Happy Jack
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Very interesting, thanks, especially as the A6 was probably my other choice! I'd prefer an auto but my wife hates them so I will probably stick with a manual. Reviews say the x3 has a firm ride (think most BMWs do) which bears out your comments about comfort, but possibly makes it a more stable towcar at the same time.

 

Surprised not to see more people towing with them, but looking through Autotrader there seem to be very few with towbars.

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The ride depends on the model "M" models are stiffer "SE" aren't.

 

You can also buy an option recommended by whatcar at around £700 from memory VDC I believe.

I test drove the X3 in 2013 and thought it was a good car to drive, but disliked the dash it looked downmarket for a 30K car, I was interested in the 3L se auto at around £36K and would have bought one but for the interior.

 

http://www. bmw. com/com/en/insights/technology/technology_guide/articles/adaptive_drive. html

Edited by xtrailman
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I test drove an M sport with big wheels - I think 19 inch and the ride was firm but OK. I like the dash it is plain and uncluttered with instruments easy to use. There were complaints about an over hard ride with the pre 2011 X3 but the 2011 car onwards is OK I think

 

I ended up with buying the SE with sports seats and opted for the VDC suspension which to be honest isn't probably worth the £900. The ride on comfort is very good and if you want to throw it about you can. The ride on sport is a little firmer and handling / steering / throttle response is more sporty.

 

The Audi has has more comfy seats (if you have a fat ass like mine) - again sports seats and is very easy to drive. The BMW is more involving - stiffer steering and more sporty. It really does handle like a sporty hatch. Having both cars I prefer the BMW as it is more fun but not much in it. I also prefer the higher seating and driving position of the X3

 

Both are company cars and my wife liked the Audi so much we bought it after I handed it back.

 

Both cars are super cars for towing and for solo driving. I would have had another Audi but I spend quite a bit of time on muddy fields as opposed to "proper" sites so fancied going back to AWD. The other bonus of the BMW is the huge box like boot. The new A6 is more slope backed and isn't big enough for my dogs.

 

Both cars were good tow cars both were very stable and I never had any problems with snaking or pitching (except when the friction pads in the tow hitch disintegrated but that was only just noticeable) Power in both cars was plenty to keep up with the legal limit and I never had any problems with hills or hill starts

Edited by Happy Jack
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Variable Damper Control. Allows you to adjust the suspension settings between a harder, sportier ride or a softer more comfortable ride. It also changes the throttle response, steering, and gear change.

 

It actually works very well

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Test drove an X3 - lovely car, beautiful inside, great driving position and view, but the ride on bumpy roads was very poor. Crossing it off the list, reluctantly.

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Sold a Volvo XC60 and got the X3, running costs are significantly less compared to the Volvo and it feels much livelier when driving. I have the M Sport and don't find the ride harsh in any way, in fact it drives just like a saloon car and not what you would expect from an AWD. The electric towbar is a work of art although BMW are too stingy to wire it up to include power for ATC so that will cost you an extra £500

Mercedes GLC 250d towing a 2015 Bailey Unicorn Valencia

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BMW are too stingy to wire it up to include power for ATC so that will cost you an extra £500

£500 for a length of wire and a fuse?? And I thought Jaguar knew how to charge!

 

Tony

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VDC suspension - what is it?

Alan

 

A lot of motor manufacturers are seemingly pushing this as a new innovation, but my old Mazda 626 coupe had VDC fitted back in 1985!! Just the push of a button on the dash stiffened the suspension noticeably & improved throttle response. I usually had it set to the mode that gave comfort setting under 55, but then stiffened everything up over 55. Worked very well.

Actually, that was one of the best cars I ever owned. Paid £1000 for it from a workmate who was emigrating & sold it 7 years later for £700.

I refer you to the Rt Hon Member for the 19th Century.....................pictured just to the left of your screen..................

 

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£500 for a length of wire and a fuse?? And I thought Jaguar knew how to charge!

Tony

Yes, it's madness, the moral of the story is that if ordering a new BMW make that the electrics are compatible with towing modern caravans which are likely to require more power than trailers. The cost is for supplying a new 13 pin harness and reprogramming the canbus wiring system to "recognise" it. I must admit I have toyed with the idea of running a separate dedicated power supply direct to the caravan side of the connection. But these cars are so susceptible to wiring faults I'm not sure how successful that would be even when wired straight from the battery. Gone are the days of scotchlock connections and pairing cables, wiring harnesses are works of art now!

Mercedes GLC 250d towing a 2015 Bailey Unicorn Valencia

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Any permanent supply for ATC and charging will always be from the battery direct or from a wire provided, I really don't see what CANBUS has got to do with these feeds.

The fridge supply will also come from the same source but via a VSR or similar.

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Variable Damper Control. Allows you to adjust the suspension settings between a harder, sportier ride or a softer more comfortable ride. It also changes the throttle response, steering, and gear change.

 

It actually works very well

 

I think we might be muddling Variable Damper Control and Electronic Damper Control. As I understand it, the former (VDC or Adaptive Drive in BMW terms) is an option which is 'on' all the time and adapts to road conditions. The latter (EDC) allows the driver to select Comfort, Sport, Sport+ modes etc and these settings alter both damper response and engine maps.

Could be wrong, mind!

Edited by SamD

Sam :beardy:

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I think we might be muddling Variable Damper Control and Electronic Damper Control. As I understand it, the former (VDC or Adaptive Drive in BMW terms) is an option which is 'on' all the time and adapts to road conditions. The latter (EDC) allows the driver to select Comfort, Sport, Sport+ modes etc and these settings alter both damper response and engine maps.

Could be wrong, mind!

You are wrong or half right - but the situation is very confusing with BMW. VDC allows you to change between different suspension settings and they change both suspension settings and engine maps giving a firmer ride in sport with improved throttle response. EDC seems to do the same but not an option on X3 . BMW then go on to mention Dynamic Damper Control in the X3 information pack. ....

 

I can assure you that VDC changes both or either damper firmness and throttle response depending on how you set it up. I wonder if they are all the same but with different names!

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Just buy a disco - no worries

If I'd have known I was going to be this thirsty this morning I'd have drunk more last night

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With the X3 and other BMW models you get the driver mode selector.

 

What the different modes do depends on car, engine and options.

 

Eco Pro - Has a very relaxed throttle response, engine temperatures are maintained to give maximum economy, electrical systems and climate control are optimised for economy. If Variable Sports Steering or Servotronic steering are fitted the lightest setting is selected. If automatic gearbox is fitted changes are selected to maximise economy and if VDC is fitted then the softest setting is selected.

 

Comfort - Has a normal throttle response, normal gear changes, normal steering weight and normal suspension settings.

 

Sport - Has a more agressive throttle map, engine temperature is maintained for performance. turbo control is optimised to reduce lag, gearbox change points are altered for a sporty drive, steering wheel weight is increased and VCD suspension is firmed up.

 

Sport Plus - Is the same as Sport but the stability system is changed from DSC to DTC that allows more wheels spin and more understeer and oversteer before intervention.

 

You can also go into the idrive and customise some of the settings.

Lee

Yeti 2.0TDi EU6 150 DSG 4X4 L&K, Octavia TSi Manual, Fabia TSi DSG, Swift Challenger.

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  • 2 years later...

In a moment of madness I changed my 2011 2 litre Kuga Titanium for a 2013 BMW X3 SE 2d auto.

In hindsight I have realised that the Kuga, whilst not quite as quick or as smooth as the X3, certainly handles a lot better. We have a Coachman VIP 545. Not the lightest of vans but the Kuga has towed it quite happily in all sorts of conditions, and on a motorway at 60 mph it was easy to forget that the van was there. Towing the same van with the same loading arrangement but using the Beemer you enter a different world. Pulling away is smooth and effortless but after that it is a different story. At anything above 50 mph it becomes a question of is the car in charge of the outfit or the van. At 60 in anything other than perfect conditions it becomes a constant battle to keep the outfit in a straight line. On two occasions I was made to realise how effective the AL-KO ATC system really is when it got us out of a nasty snake situation. I'm investigating all aspects of the set up to try to correct the problem but I really thought that the X3 being heavier than the Kuga, having a longer and wider wheel base than the Kuga. . . and a few more bhp, would be at leas as good if not better than the Kuga. Incidentally my previous tow car was a 2. 2 Mondeo estate ST d. A brilliant tow car but the mileage was getting high so I swapped it for the Kuga. Towing the van with either of these cars was a breeze. I just thought I'd go back to having a BMW again!!!! I wonder if anyone else has experienced this handling problem. Everyone seems to rate the X3.

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With the current problems I'm faced with the XF I had thought about the X3. It's a cracking looking car but as with most shorter vehicles when it comes to towing I think I'll stay with the Jaguar.

 

BTW the current problems are ; The car is to get all four doors replaced due to corrosion. Jaguar say they've never had this problem before but eventually they "decided" to cover all costs. Thanks to Auto Express.

The other thing was getting ripped off by my local Jaguar Main Dealer in Ayr by £760 for fitting unnecessary suspension parts to pass the MOT. I'm still on this issue.

2017 Mercedes Benz 220 CLS  AMG design Shooting Brake. 

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Hi,

 

I'm just about to buy an X3 so would be keen to hear other people's experiences too.

 

Thanks

 

John

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I drive a 2015 2. 0D Auto X3 and tow a ligthish Challenger . Very smooth and steady and reasonably economical when towing,

25 /28 MPG Depending on conditions wind etc. I had a 2011 X3 for four years prior to this one. Similar car but the B47 engine in the present model is stronger quieter and smoother.

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I wonder if anyone else has experienced this handling problem. Everyone seems to rate the X3.

 

You are not alone, a mate in Leeds, not on here unfortunately, bought an 3. 0 X3 to replace an Octavia Scout.

He only tows occasionally to and from a seasonal pitch, but he is not happy towing with it at all.

So much so, I will be towing his caravan to his storage in October.

 

All his weights, tyres and pressures are 100% bob on.

 

He is also in dispute with BMW trying to sort out intermittent rough running on the engine.

 

Other than that. .. he loves it !

Thumb.jpg.f255c7e57524ea1128623188ab0d66c5.jpg 2016 Caravan is SOLD.   With very happy new owner

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What about an Audi Q5? The new shape is out so decent deals available on the 'old' shape. SQ5 is a brilliant tug.

Hymer 545 Luxusline hauled by Audi SQ5 plus.

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