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Old 04-19-2014, 12:03 PM
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Towing with X5

I'm looking for some advice on which X5 is best for towing a trailer. Here's some background for reference:

  • I have a 6x12 single axle v-nose that I use to haul 2 racing sportbikes plus generator, EZUPs, toolboxes, gear, etc.
  • Estimating trailer to weigh 3,000 with all stuff in it and probably another 1,000 for people/coolers/etc. so let's focus the conversation at 4,000 added weight
  • I previously had a 2006 X5 4.4 that did an OK job of towing it. It didn't like being in 6th gear but if I manually shifted it according to wind/hills it did the job
What I'm trying to decide now is do I need a V8 (4.8 or 5.0) or will a 3.5 get the job done. It looks like the towing capacity is around 6,000 or so for each but I'm curious to hear some actual results noted from members here. I know this isn't the IDEAL tow vehicle but I just don't want a Tahoe/Yukon to drive around the 90% of the time I don't have a trailer behind.


Thanks in advance for any opinions/experiences.
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:36 PM
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A 3.5 would certainly pull your trailer but if you weren't happy with the 4.4 I don't think the 3.5 will be much different.

How often and how far are you towing? If it's only a couple of times a year the 3.5 might not be so bad, but have you considered a Diesel? That would be my first choice.

Also, I would recommend getting one with a load leveling suspension if you can. It's not a must have, but when I was searching I decided to get one with and I'm really glad I did. I personally prefer to not have the rear sag at all.

Discussion about standard vs load leveling suspension here
http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...uspension.html

There's a towing thread here
Towing Photos with X5. - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:02 PM
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Both the 35i and 35d are 3.0 engines, not 3.5 litres.

I think the 35i would be fine. Better low end torque than the 4.4 you used to have, with maximum torque available from 1200 rpm IIRC. The new 8 speed transmission would be a benefit as well. If the transmission hunts on hills manually shift it to the lower gear. That isn't evidence of a problem, that is the correct technique.

I'd take the 35i over the 35d but either would work. If you want a V8, fine, but base that on your 90% usage, as towing won't require it.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:34 PM
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I'm not doing any cross country runs with it. Most would be 3 hours and some would be 5 hours. The 35i would make more sense for the 90% of the time I'm commuting or running around town.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:42 PM
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Then that 90% is what should guide your selection
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:33 PM
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Yeah, I understand that. I thought along those lines when I bought a new Highlander and it sucks towing. I'm hoping to avoid a similar mistake in buying another BMW. I know it won't tow like a 3/4 ton truck, but I'd like it to do at least as good as the 4.4i did.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:35 PM
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Don't see why the diesel isn't the way to go. And a simple tune like jbd would give it a huge tq bump.
I just dynod with my 35xdrive gas model today on an e30 Cobb map 333hp 524tq. Enough tq to tow whatever
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:16 PM
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I tow 8k without issues sometimes on my 2006 X5 4.4i
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyohay View Post
Don't see why the diesel isn't the way to go. And a simple tune like jbd would give it a huge tq bump.
I just dynod with my 35xdrive gas model today on an e30 Cobb map 333hp 524tq. Enough tq to tow whatever

Oh do I want that tune. How did it affect your mpg?


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Old 04-20-2014, 09:21 AM
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The X5d is the only way to go for towing. 425 ft-lbs of torque from the factory and better gas mileage than my old 335i which had the twin turbo n54 motor. The X5 35i is the single turbo n55 motor which has 300 ft-lbs of torque and has lower fuel economy than the d. I two my miata race car without issues and I get 23 mpg. Trailer and car are estimated at 3500 lbs.
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