Owning a BMW with xDrive is one of life's pleasures, but many prospective buyers have one or two questions...

Are 4WD and 4x4 the same thing? Which models have seven seats? Which is the best version for towing? These are the sort of questions most prospective owners ask, so we've grouped the answers into several sections below.


General questions.

Yes. But not all 4WD systems are as advanced as BMW xDrive.

If you’re travelling over slippery surfaces – from wet grass to snowy roads – you may need a 4WD. If you’d like the peace of mind that your car will give you the ultimate in grip in all weathers, you may also need a 4WD.

BMW makes 4WD vehicles, both road cars with four-wheel drive, and the X Series – a range of SUVs.

Some 4WD vehicles have bigger wheels and some have more ground clearance, both of which will make a car sit higher.

The BMW 120d xDrive 5-door Sports Hatch is available on Motability. You may also want to consider the BMW X1 range, which has a broad range on models available on the scheme. 

Motability Car Scheme

The extra mechanical parts needed to transfer the drive to all four wheels adds weight, which in turn requires a little more fuel.

No more than a two wheel drive BMW. And with BMW Service Inclusive there need be no surprising costs.

BMW Service Inclusive

Model-specific questions.

The BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer has seven seats. A third row of seats is also available as an option on the BMW X5 models.

Excluding the X Series models, the boot with the largest volume with all the seats in place is in the BMW 3 Series Touring models, with 495 litres. Seats down the volume is 1,500 litres, although in this mode the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer have a greater boot volume.

The BMW 220d xDrive Active Tourer has a boot that measures 468 litres with seats up, 1,510 litres with seats down. 

The Gran Tourer’s boot is 145 litres with all the seats in place, but with the 3rd row folded down the volume is 560 litres, increasing to 1,820 litres with the second row also folded. Note also that there’s no lip on the boot sill, providing easy access, and the removable parcel shelf stores under the boot floor, out of the way.

If you include the X Series models, the X5 has the biggest boot, at 650 litres. Seats down this increases to 1,870 litres.

Different BMW xDrive models have different towing capacities, so it depends on the weight of the trailer. 

The BMW 120d xDrive 5-door Hatch has a towing capacity of 750kg unbraked, 1,200kg braked.

The BMW 220d xDrive Active Tourer has a towing capacity of 750kg unbraked, 1,600kg braked, as does the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.

The BMW 320d xDrive Touring has a towing limit of 750kg unbraked and 1,800kg braked, as does the saloon.

The BMW X5 is able to tow the heaviest trailer – up to 2,700kg, providing the trailer has its own brakes. 

Both the BMW 5 Series Saloon and BMW 5 Series Touring are available with xDrive, on selected engines.

The BMW X5 M and X6 M have xDrive, but the new M5 is the only non X model to date that employs xDrive technology.

Running cost questions.

The best mpg for a conventionally-powered model is the BMW 120d xDrive, which returns 62.8mpg in the combined cycle. If you include iPerformance technology, the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, is the best performing, with 141mpg in the Combined cycle.

Vehicles are taxed on emissions, based on the CO2 gm per km. With the use of TwinPower Turbo engines and EfficientDynamics technologies, BMW xDrive models have remarkably low CO2 figures.