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BMW X5 - 30xd aut. and Swift

Adrian reviewed on 01-09-2018 a BMW X5 - 30xd aut. (190 Kw/258 bhp year: september 2013 - up to now) and a Swift Challenger 635 of (laden) 1680 kg.

Exact Car is BMW X5 3.0d M Sport.
Exact Caravan is Swift 635 Fairway Dealer Special 2017 with quad motor movers fitted and weight limit increased to 2000kg by Swift.

The X5 was a dealer demo car with 1500 miles on the clock but didn't have tow bar fitted. Dealer wanted lottery win to fit removable BMW tow bar and I found out that BMW fit Westfalia tow bars so got independent tow bar specialist (PF Jreones) to fit it with 13 pin electrics using BMW bespoke wiring kit (doesn't invalidate warranty). Only thing they couldn't do was enable the Tow Bar zoom feature on the reversing camera, really useful for error free hitching. BMW refused to enable it as they didn't fit the tow bar and wouldn't accept the liability ???? Independent BMW dealer could code it but wanted £70 + VAT. I bought ODB reader from Amazon for £17 and downloaded Bimmercode for £20, did the job myself, dead easy.

The weight limit upgraded on the 635 as the quad movers added to the mass and gave very little load margin. Upgrade was simply a new rating plate to stick over the old one and a new NICC certificate. The Alko chassis is rated at 2200kg so there is plenty of margin. The only difference is the tyres need inflating to 36psi instead of 30.

The X5 pulls like a train and never suffers from overheating our struggle on hills. The downside is the MPG drops from a normal 34 to a paltry 24 when towing. That's the price you pay for towing 1840kg of caravan (confirmed on a weigh bridge). The car sits well on the road and is not pushed around by the van, suspension on comfort setting seems the best. Sport makes the ride too hard for my taste but might suit some.

Highly recommended as a tow car and solo it is the dogs!!!!

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