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So you own a little trailer and you’re on the hunt for a new car capable of towing. The BMW X3 comes up: a nicely priced, decently sized SUV with excellent interior design. But before you think of purchasing it, you probably want to know how much it’s capable of towing. Well, we have the answers for you here.
The BMW X3 is capable of towing up to 4,400 pounds. That’s just enough for you to tow a small camping trailer. When we say “up to 4,400 pounds,” keep in mind that this limit depends on the trim level and the model year of the vehicle. Previous years will have a slightly lower maximum towing capacity.
If you have more questions regarding the BMW X3, don’t fret. In this guide, we’ll cover all the towing capabilities and more of the BMW X3. Just keep reading!
Different Trims Of The BMW X3
The 2020 edition comes with three different trim options:
What Are The BMW X3’s Towing Features?
According to Rallye BMW, these are the towing features that come with the 2020 X3, regardless of the trim you choose:
- Dynamic stability control: helps with braking capabilities
- Dynamic traction control
- Servotronic power steering
- Rear-view camera (park assist option available)
If you decide to purchase an X3, be mindful of the trim. Each one has its towing limits. The differences in limits per trim are small, but it’s still useful for you to know.
The sDrive30i has 248 horsepower with a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, 893 pounds max payload, and 3,931 pounds max towing.
The xDrive30 also comes with 248 horsepower and 893 pounds max payload. But you get all-wheel drive and 4,401 max towing. This trim would be the best option for you if you’re concerned about the weight of what you’re towing.
The M40i has 382 horsepower, a 3.0L turbo V6 engine, all-wheel drive, 915 pounds max payload, and 4,317 pounds max payload. This trim has the strongest engine of the three.
While it may be hard to choose the right trim, we believe the xDrive30 and M40i models will meet/exceed your needs. Factor in how often you’d need to tow and use these stats to help you decide.
You may benefit from purchasing an earlier year’s model. The 2019 edition of the X3 has nearly the same stats as the current year. The only two differences are the max payload and the engine. The payloads for the sDrive30i and xDrive30i are 937 pounds. The 2019 M40i has a turbo 6-cylinder engine instead of a V6.
The 2018 edition only has the xDrive30i and M40i trims available. Both come with all-wheel drive standard and can tow up to 4,400 pounds.
Can You Put A Hitch On The BMW X3?
You can in fact put a hitch on the X3. To get a hitch installed, you should set aside an additional $300 (though prices can vary depending on who you pay to install it).
Here are some of our suggestions you can check out.
CURT Class 3 Trailer Hitch
The CURT Class 3 hitch has the flexibility and durability to get the job done. It can tow a maximum of 3,500 gross pounds. You can use it for more than towing trailers; it can attach to bike racks and cargo carriers. It has a dual-coat finish to have resistance to dust, rust, and weather.
Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch
The Draw-tite Class 3 hitch is a universal option in case you feel that the X3 isn’t the right option for you.
You can hook it up to your vehicle without having to drill or weld anything. It’s capable of towing up to 5,000 gross pounds and is specially coated; the black powder coat finish provides endurance in harsh weather conditions.
Can You Tow A Camper Trailer With The BMW X3?
As mentioned before, the BMW X3 can tow up to 4,400 pounds. That keeps your options somewhat limited; when selecting campers, you have to consider its weight with gear and tank water. According to Camper Report, the average dry weight (meaning weight without water or gear) is 5,200 pounds; a good estimate of a trailer’s total weight is to add 1,500 pounds to its dry weight.
If you want to tow a camper, you’ll have to ensure it’s lightweight, which may be a challenge to find. But we have a list of some of the best lightweight trailers you can look into.
One good lightweight trailer on this list is the Winniebago Minnie Drop 170K. It’s perfect to fit more than two people, has a full kitchen, and can pack so much more than you may realize at first. Prices start at around $25,000.
Can You Tow A Horse Trailer With The BMW X3?
The weight of a horse trailer can drastically vary due to many factors. The material it’s built with, its size, and its type all determine total weight. Additionally, a horse can weigh as much as 1,500 pounds alone; that’s already 1/3rd of the X3’s towing capacity.
With that information alone, you can see that you’re extremely limited with horse trailer options. The X3 is capable of towing one, but regardless of what horse trailer you get, you definitely can’t tow more than one horse. If you want to get a horse trailer, you should just look into ones that carry one horse.
A good lightweight 2-horse trailer you can check out is the Cross Fire Pull Bumper trailer by Logan Coach Trailers. It weighs 2,540 pounds, has a mostly aluminum structure, and it has plenty of space and comfort for a horse. You can view the trailer here.
Can You Tow A Boat With The BMW X3?
The X3 also has the potential to tow a boat. There are so many different kinds of boats of all shapes and sizes, and you’ll also need to consider the weight of the boat trailer itself, many of which weigh around 1,000 pounds alone.
With that in mind, your boat will need to be pretty small for the X3 to be able to tow it. You should be able to tow most pontoon boats and sailboats; these types of boats average around 2,000 pounds, and many weigh significantly less than this. You definitely can tow the average 1-2 passenger motorboat. Just be mindful of the size of the engine, as that can noticeably change the total weight.
If you’re looking for a stylish SUV that can tow, the BMW X3 isn’t a bad choice. However, it’s not the best choice either since its limit is only 4,400 pounds.
If you’re curious about the towing capacity of other SUVs, be sure to check out this guide: What’s The Best SUV For Towing A Travel Trailer? (Inc. Six Recommendations)