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Old 15 June 2015, 13:01   #1
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Rear Wheel Drive Towing?

I've always had soft 4x4 cars for towing my rib - Passat 4motions and currently a Subaru Outback.

I've now the opportunity to buy a BMW 320d at a very good price and having had a test drive in it I quite like it despite getting it stuck on my (steep) front lawn where I'd normally park the Subaru without hesitation.

Makes me wonder what it would be like for towing. My thoughts are that with a decent towbar load it would help give it some grip, what are other peoples experiences if any?

Should I stick with 4x4 or will rear wheel drive be ok?

Any thing I should look out for specifically on a BMW 320D?
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Old 15 June 2015, 13:13   #2
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I tow my 6.5mtr Coastline/130 Honda with a RWD Merc C220. It won't do what a 4x4 will, but it's a lot better than the FWD Citroen C5 and SAAB 95 I used to have.
Best tow car I've had was a RWD..... V8 XJ8 Jag (better than the Range Rover I owned.) However the Range Rover was the only one I'd take onto the beach.
Your BMW should do fine.
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Old 15 June 2015, 15:26   #3
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Plenty comments on tow-cars, but one thing that seems to be missed is rear suspension. One thing to consider is the rear springs on what is basically a conventional saloon or estate car.

I tow with a 2001 Audi 2.5TDI quattro avant. It has sports suspension, so sits a little lower than conventional SE variants, but the key thing is the springs are stiffer. I've replaced the springs on my Audi a couple of times, as coil springs invariable break every 4-5 years. Combination of road salt (typical Scottish winter) plus the stress towing probably puts on the suspension components. This is hauling an unbraked 750kg trailer. There's still quite a bit of weight on the trailer nose, so it's not unusual to watch the car dip once you hook up.

One thing to consider, but I'm sure the BMW will be fine. Having 4x4 capability is useful, but it's by no means essential. 95% of the time you're not towing, so it's all about what suits you.
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Old 15 June 2015, 16:43   #4
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Quote:
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I tow with a 2001 Audi 2.5TDI quattro avant. It has sports suspension, so sits a little lower than conventional SE variants, but the key thing is the springs are stiffer.
Likewise my C220 has lowered and stiffened "sports pack".....down side of that I find is if the boat is left attached to the car in the rain it doesn't drain out the bung hole !
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Old 15 June 2015, 17:06   #5
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Likewise my C220 has lowered and stiffened "sports pack".....down side of that I find is if the boat is left attached to the car in the rain it doesn't drain out the bung hole !
You could try raising the final hull roller nearest the winch post, either that or turn a 4 litre plastic milk carton into a baler!
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Old 17 June 2015, 00:43   #6
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You could try raising the final hull roller nearest the winch post, either that or turn a 4 litre plastic milk carton into a baler!
Park on a hill..............lowest effort solution
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Old 17 June 2015, 17:47   #7
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I tow my 6.2 with a 520 and it's been brilliant. I have recently had the engine mapped and I would thoroughly recommend it as it gives bags of power. Mine has the self levelling air suspension so springs are not an issue.
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Old 15 July 2015, 17:50   #8
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I tow with a BMW 520D M Sport, 6m Ribeye, works great, wouldn't take it anywhere near a soft surface such as the beach - but great on hard slipways.
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Old 07 December 2015, 09:51   #9
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How do you find the Outback? Can you beach launch with it. Asking as I'm thinking of one for my next car.
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Old 07 December 2015, 16:11   #10
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depending on age check its had the swirl flaps removed from the intake manifold
cheap to do expensive to fix if you dont
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