The BMW X3 would have been a worthy winner of the 1700-1899kg class if it hadn’t been outpointed by 5 Series Touring.
It’s a great tow car in its own right. In fact, if you favour the high-up driving position of an SUV you may prefer the X3 to the BMW estate.
The X3 was immense in the lane-change test. Some SUVs lean heavily, especially as speeds increase and the emergency swerve becomes more violent.
Not the BMW. It breezed through the first two runs and there was only slight movement from the caravan on the third and quickest attempt.
Similar composure is evident at motorway speeds. Only in crosswinds could we see some slight movement from the caravan in our towing mirrors.
With the same four-cylinder engine as the 5 Series, it’s no surprise that acceleration is similar, pulling from 30-60mph in 11.4 seconds.
There’s a bit of a grumble from the engine when accelerating hard but the noise largely stays in the background.
As you’d expect of a 4×4 with plenty of pulling power, hill starts are straightforward. The electronic parking brake held car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope, and the X3 towed to the top with no wheelspin or other sign of complaint.
Our practicality testers were almost as impressed as the drivers. They couldn’t fit as much luggage in the X3’s boot as in the 5 Series Touring, but were pleased to note towing-friendly features like trailer stability control, a reversing camera, and a 12V socket in the boot.