Can A BMW X3 Tow A Trailer?

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The BMW X3 is a great SUV for family commuting, long trips, everyday errands, and even towing. 

A BMW X3 has a towing capacity of 4,400 lbs which is enough power to tow a lightweight trailer. A small open utility trailer has an average weight of 700 lbs and a max weight capacity of 3,000 lbs. A BMW X3 could easily pull a trailer of this type. However, larger trailers and campers are too heavy.

Knowing the towing capacity is helpful, but it’s hard to know what you can tow with a 4,400 lb capacity. Read on to learn more about what your BMW X3 can tow.

2021 BMW X3’s Towing capacity

The 2021 BMW X3 has a towing capacity of 4,400 lbs which is much higher than the average for competing SUVs. When properly equipped for towing, a BMW X3 can haul small trailers for items such as canoes, kayaks, motorcycles, and small campers. With the BMW X3, you’ll be set for any adventure you want to take. 

While the 2021 X3 has an excellent towing capacity, it is important to find the exact towing capacity of your specific model year. Some older BMW X3s have a lower towing capacity. The upcoming 2022 model also has a lower towing capacity of 4,000 lbs. There is a consistent capacity from 2018-2021 of 4,400 lbs, but the year 2017, and anything produced before, has a max capacity of 3,500 lbs. 

It’s also important to note that some trim levels can tow more weight than others. While they all technically have the same capacity, the higher trims with more powerful engines are better equipped to tow. They are more durable and reliable when it comes to towing frequently or towing heavy objects. 

Still not sure what kind of trailer your BMW X3 can tow? Below is a table with average weights listed for empty trailers and loaded trailers.

Average empty weightAverage loaded weight
Canoe or kayak trailer200400
Jet ski trailer3001,800
Motorcycle trailer5002,400
Fishing boat trailer6003,300
Tow dolly6004,000
Small open utility trailer7002,500
Small camper1,7002,400
Curt Manufacturing

Actual trailer weights will vary. Before towing a trailer with your BMW X3, check the weight of the trailer itself, and carefully determine the weight of what you will be towing. Some loads will be easy to determine weight, such as a motorcycle. Other loads may require some guessing, so looking at the averages in these instances is a good idea. 

The BMW X3 can tow up to 4,400 lbs, but you shouldn’t push your vehicle to the limit with every load. If you can’t determine the exact weight of your load, you should make sure you stay under 4,000 lbs. The more weight you tow, the more strain your vehicle will face. The base model handles the strain of towing well, but upgrading to a higher trim level will give you extra power to tow your load.

To tow with a BMW X3, you will need to get proper equipment. You will need a trailer hitch, tongue and towing ball. Each trim offers a towing hitch addition, but if your BMW didn’t come with one equipped, you can have one installed at any time. You can easily purchase your own hitch kit and attach it yourself or you can take it to a professional to have the work done. 

Other features of the BMW X3

Now that you know how much a BMW X3 can tow, let’s discuss some other features that help your X3s performance.

Cargo space inside

The BMW X3 also has great indoor cargo space. The cargo area in the back is roomy with 28.7 cubic feet of space available. With the seats folded down, you can increase your space capacity to 62.7 cubic feet. There is also an extra storage compartment under the floor in which you can put more valuable items to keep them hidden away and protected. 

The X3 also comes with rails on the top of the vehicle to allow for more cargo space. BMW makes sure you have enough space for those big adventures, so you never have to worry about leaving the important things home. 

With this much cargo space, you might not even need to tow a trailer.

Trim levels

The base trim is the X3 sDrive30i This model provides rear wheel drive, power fold, heated mirrors, LEd fog lights, roof rails, oak trim, and leatherette power adjustable seats.

The X3 xDrive30i adds all wheel drive and hill descent control which improves towing handling and durability. This is a great upgrade if you plan on towing frequently. 

BMW introduces a hybrid with the X3 xDrive30e. This hybrid helps improve gas mileage and gives you 288 horsepower. 

The next trim level, the X3 M40i will give you even more power with a 3 liter TwinPower inline 6 cylinder engine capable of 382 horsepower. These features improve towing abilities, but this trim doesn’t stop here, you also get four way lumbar support, a panoramic moonroof, keyless entry, and twelve speakers for great sound throughout the whole car. 

The top trim is the X3 M which offers 473 horsepower by way of its 3 liter BMW M TwinPower turbo engine. It also has an eight speed automatic sport transmission, sort adaptive suspension and differential, 20 inch wheels and heated front seats. The X3 M offers a great option if you will be towing often. It will give you the extra power to keep towing. 

While the base trim is capable of towing, the more powerful engines and higher horsepower in the trim upgrades make towing easier. With more horsepower, you can accelerate more quickly and maintain faster speeds more easily when you have a heavy load. 

Not only do the basic engines provide superior horsepower, but you can upgrade your engine with the Competition package to get more than 500 horsepower.

Gas mileage

The base trim gets 25 mpg in the city and 29 on highways. With the more powerful engine, you will see a decrease in gas mileage. Some report a decrease to 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on highways with the X3 M. While there is a decrease in gas mileage, you also get the benefits of a hybrid car, ultimately saving you on gas.