Can a BMW 320d tow a caravan? (320d or 320i)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a BMW 320d tow a caravan? We will discuss the BMW 3 Series and whether you should go for the 320d or 320i for towing a caravan.

Can a BMW 320d tow a caravan?

A BMW 320d can tow a caravan and it impresses us with its fuel efficiency. The BMW 320d accelerates from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear in just 7.5 seconds, and the power/weight ratio is 10.2 – this aspect is largely due to the generous engine torque.

BMW 3 Series Towing Capacity

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The New BMW 3 Series 

It could be said that the 3 Series is a worthy little brother of the BMW 5 Series and that this in turn is one of the flagship, the BMW 7 Series. The three models are related, and all three seek to offer a lot of quality and a lot of technology.

Today the technology section has become a decisive purchasing factor, which in turn has made brands compete off the asphalt. It no longer only matters how comfortable, refined or sporty your model is, it matters a lot what advances and what gadgets are included in it. The more the merrier.

Now, technology has to become one more point of attention when developing a new car, but it should not be the only point. See the case of the Mercedes E-Class, a lot of technology but not so much quality. 

In this case, BMW has balanced the scales more and has paid attention to all fronts. Not a single item has been left in the options tray. Everything we can count on its older brothers is available in the new Series 3, and it is even capable of having very advanced gadgets before them.

Everything you can imagine you can have. Displays, three-zone climate control, heated seats, navigator, parking cameras, laser headlights, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assistant, massage seats, sunroof, leather upholstery, wood trim, heated steering wheel, mobile device connectivity.

 WiFi, personal assistant, Head-Up Display, interior lighting, gesture control, wireless charger and of course a wide array of driving assistants such as blind-spot indicator, rear traffic alert, obstacle and pedestrian detection, reader of traffic cameras, lane departure assistant

We could be like this for a long time and we wouldn’t finish. All that technology is mandatory in a car of this category, all its rivals provide more or less the same and the 3 Series cannot be less in that regard. 

One of the novelties of the 3 Series is the digital instrument cluster. Until now this technology had only been present in models of much higher category such as the BMW 8 Series or the BMW X5, but the 3 Series is the first to democratize it. However, it does not measure up to that of its maximum rival, the Audi Virtual Cockpit.

BMW has opted for a much more conservative format for the instrument cluster. Its infographic is not entirely clear, and worst of all, its configuration and customization are very limited. 

320d or 320i: diesel or petrol?

“320d or 320i?” is a fairly common question you can ask yourself if you are thinking of getting a 3 Series. Admittedly, if until a few years ago things were pretty clear, now they tend to become a little more complicated.

Both models come equipped with supercharged 2.0-litre engines. The petrol version, 320i, delivers 184 horsepower between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm, while the maximum torque is 290 Nm, available from 1,350 to 4,250 rpm. 

When equipped with a manual transmission, the 320i accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.2 seconds and tops up to 235 km / h. BMW 320i promises a combined consumption between 5.5 and 5.9 l / 100 km and CO2 emissions between 128 and 134 g / km. 

The other version, 320d, gives you 190 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and engine torque of 400 Nm, from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. Thus, the sprint 0-100 km / h in the case of the manual gearbox is 7.3 seconds and the maximum speed is 235 km / h, given that the promised average consumption varies between 4.0 and 4.4 l / 100 km, with CO2 emissions between 106 and 116 g / km.

As you have already noticed, the dynamic performances of the two models are identical when it comes to the 0-100 km / h sprint and when it comes to top speed. As expected, the difference occurs in the case of the promised average consumption and is about 1.5 l for every 100 kilometres. 

However, in order to try to differentiate the two models in terms of dynamic performance, we must mention that in the case of the 320i the acceleration range from 80 to 120 km / h, in the fifth gear takes 9.2 seconds and that the car has a power/weight ratio of 10.6. 

On the other hand, the BMW 320d accelerates from 80 to 120 km / h in fifth gear in just 7.5 seconds, and the power/weight ratio is 10.2. Therefore, it is quite obvious that, in the case of acceleration in halves, the 320d is much faster than the 320i, this aspect is largely due to the more generous engine torque.

Final thoughts

The main advantages of a diesel engine are obvious: lower fuel consumption, higher torque. The main advantages of a petrol engine are also obvious: lower acquisition cost, increased refinement, increased comfort and lower servicing costs. 

However, another advantage of a diesel engine is that it has a higher resale value. In any case, the choice is quite complicated and depends, in the end, strictly on the preferences of each of us. I, for example, would choose the petrol engine and the difference I would use it for the automatic transmission.

What would your choice be? Please let us know what you think and why would you choose one over the other.  

FAQ on Can a BMW 320d tow a caravan?

What weight can a BMW 3 Series tow?

A BMW 3 Series can tow a minimum weight of 745 unbraked kilograms, and a maximum towing capacity of 1800 kilograms for a braked trailer/caravan. 

What is the maximum weight caravan I can tow?

The maximum weight caravan you can tow will depend on the weight of the towing vehicle. However, the general rule is that the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle should not exceed 3,500kg.

Is there an age limit for towing a caravan?

There is no age limit for towing a caravan, as long as you have a full driving licence. Please check the law for more information, depending on the state you reside in. 

Can I tow a caravan heavier than my car?

It is not recommended to tow a caravan heavier than your car. This could impose a great danger, especially if you don’t have too much towing experience. The general rule is that the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle should not exceed 3,500kg.


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