2007 BMW X3 Hitch Installation

rarincincirarincinci Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in BMW
With the purchase of my new 2007 BMW X3, I had the dealer install the receiver hitch option (to use with a bicycle rack). The installation was done such that the rear bumper now has a large hack sawed out opening that looks extremely unprofessional and unfinished for a $43K vehicle. This is unacceptable to me. There needs to be a better, more eloquent and less obtrusive way to provide an opening for the receiver. The receiver is only a few inches square while the hack in the bumper trim is more than a foot wide leaving an unfinished look and exposing parts of the under-structure that are not supposed to be seen.

Is this the standard procedure where they saw along the indentation in the bumper and leave the opening unfinished? I can now see inside behind the bumper cover and the hollow tube formed between it and some unfinished interior bumper under-structure. The edges are left unfinished and the under-structure part is not black like the bumper cover and is obviously not intended to be seen with exposed mounting holes and tabs.

If this is standard procedure, is there an after market trim piece? Has someone else come up with another solution that looks better?


  • x3driverx3driver Member Posts: 18
    Do you have the Sport model? I've seen posts that the Sport Model bumper is different, and does require cutting. My 2007 X3 bumper seems to have come with a removable piece that they just popped out. If is not offensive.

    If you want, I can take a picture and post it for you. If your dealer screwed up, you can show them the other pitcure.
  • rarincincirarincinci Member Posts: 2
    I'd appreciate the picture. I do not have the sport model and I noticed that in the area that they sawed out that right above the receiver hitch and about the right width is a smooth area that appears as though it did not have to get cut. This leads me to think that the bumper was designed to have a much smaller opening, but I never saw it before it was cut out and I neglected to go look at another X3 to compare.
  • x3driverx3driver Member Posts: 18
    I took the pictures, and will upload them later this evening.......
  • x3driverx3driver Member Posts: 18
    I took these today, only from close up, because I wouldn't have a chance to blank out the license plate.

    These are closeups from a low angle. I think it looks much more noticeable here than in person. But I think you needed closeups to see the installation

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    Even my wife didn't complain about it. I think the dealer said that the bumper came with a bump-out / cutout and it was a matter of popping it out. For my use, you need access well to the right and left of the hitch for the safety chains for towing, and for the electric hookup. I'd heard complaints about the bumper being hacked, but really thought BMW took care of that with the pre-set cutouts. In person and from a distance, it really isn't as bad as these photos appear, but however it looks, the things gotta work for a living, too.

    I hope this helps.
  • lftdrnger02lftdrnger02 Member Posts: 1
    i just bought a hitch for my x3. what have you towed, how much weight, and how does it perform? please email me at [email protected] to let me know
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Please don't ask for "personal" responses via email. We all benefit when a problem or issue is discussed on the open forum. Thanks.
  • x3driverx3driver Member Posts: 18
    I never got around to putting an electric brake controller on this vehicle, so I've limited to ttowing. It towed a well-loaded trailer of less than 2,000 pounds just fine. The manual and vehicle plate have the max towing, but personally, I won't go over 3,000 pounds very often. And nowhere near the limits with the brake controller.

    If you get one installed, I'd like to know how that went and how and who did it. Thanks.
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