Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

All about towing and tow vehicles

Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby GerryS » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:58 pm

We love our outback...the hatch area holds a lot of gear and we don't even feel the teardrop back there....and it still gets 24MPG when towing....28 when not. We've got the H6 engine.

Now on snow...it's boring to drive! Handles it better than my jeep!
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby MtnDon » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:44 pm

Esteban wrote:......... If I bought a Subaru I would probably get it with the less powerful 2.5 engine and a CVT transmission.

I do not have first hand experience, and have not pursued the question, but I have heard a few comments that a vehicle with a CVT is not a prime candidate for a tow vehicle. I have also heard that Subaru recommends changing the CVT oil at 25000 miles when it is used to tow. Like I stated I have not looked into this myself, but if I was considering a Soob with a CVT I would do some research, starting with Subaru themselves.

No special choice I'd recommend. We have an '05 Tacoma V6 I love but I know not everyone wants a truck.
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby doug hodder » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:53 pm

F 250...can pull anything I have and a car hauler to bring all the other projects back home.
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby Aaron Coffee » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:17 pm

Good question. I am strongly contemplating replacing my 200,000+ mile 98 Dakota. Have been leaning towards a 2-6 year old Subaru Outback or Forester, but my price range puts me right around 100,000 mile car, and just not sure if I am buying problems at that mileage. Any suggestions from Subaru owners.
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby 2bits » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:17 pm

Be wary of the 04-08 F-150, they have a known issue where spark plugs break off or pop out of the cylinder head. Just happened to me right after my step dad emailed me the article about the suit against Ford who hasn't issued a recall.

I like to haul firewood, have a 14' Shasta and a flat bed trailer so a full size truck is my choice, doesn't seem to be the direction of the original poster though. Seems like some of the first replies give some good info tho.
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby wagondude » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:39 pm

Aaron Coffee wrote:Good question. I am strongly contemplating replacing my 200,000+ mile 98 Dakota. Have been leaning towards a 2-6 year old Subaru Outback or Forester, but my price range puts me right around 100,000 mile car, and just not sure if I am buying problems at that mileage. Any suggestions from Subaru owners.

The Subaru is one car I would think twice about buying used ( I had two used and two new). Used low mileage Subarus are priced too close to the price of a new one. and if you can get the new with 0% financing you are just better off. At 100K miles, the 4 cylinder is due for a timing belt (in the year range you are looking at). The new 2.5 has a timing chain now as does the 3.6. Also, the 3.6 with the 5speed auto gets almost as good as the 2.5 CVT in daily driving and would probably get better towing. The new Outbacks all get the CVT regardless of the engine. The Forrester got the new 2.5 with the timing chain in 2012 while the Outback got it in '13. If you are buying from a private party, ask for service records to see how well they cared for the car. If buying from a dealer, the best your going to have is a carfax unless the car was bought and serviced there (even then they probably won't show them to you). Older 6 cylinders are 3.0 and also have a chain instead of a belt (except the real old ones, but your not looking for those).

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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby pchast » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:23 pm

I'd look for another compact pickup if anyone made one.
A 2.4l 4 or small 6 and 2wd would be good.

I'll be milking my Tacoma along until a new compact
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby bdosborn » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:01 pm

I'm lusting after the Dodge Ram 1500 with the diesel. 28 mpg on the highway and a 9200# tow capacity :wakka wakka:


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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:53 pm

I'm on my 6th Suby, so I may be a little biased. I just traded in my '05 Outback 3.0R for a 2014 Crosstrek. The CVT is GREAT for towing. After you get used to the sensation of not changing gears, you realize the CVT delivers constant power throughout acceleration. I love my Crosstrek, but they are only available with Subaru's new 2.0L. Coming from my 250hp Outback, the Crosstrek feels anemic, but I am getting a heck of a lot better gas mileage!

The Crosstrek is rated to tow 1500lbs in the U.S., but its identical European counterpart is rated to tow twice that. My new teardrop, when loaded, encroaches upon that theoretical U.S. limit, as it weighs 1280lbs empty. I've only taken the X-Cubed on two trips so far, and the one trip was into the mountains of Northern PA. There was one steep grade that the 2.0L gerbil under the hood really got wound up, but she kept on trucking without issue. I'm definitely happy with my new ride! Suby love for life!

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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby exminnesotaboy » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:57 pm

The wife and I have pulled out 1000lb tear with her 2002 Forester and 2011 Forester. Both Automatics(non CVT). However, our towing with the Subarus was primarily highway, non mountainous roads and they did just fine.

Our primary tow vehicle is my 2001 Toyota Tacoma V6 Automatic. It has been a fantastic tow vehicle. I just put a canvas topper shell(http://www.softopper.com) on it - best add on purchase I have done to date for camping convenience.
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby Esteban » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:06 pm

:thumbsup: :applause: Thanks everyone who has contributed to this discussion. I'm learning from you all. As I wrote I'm in the beginning stage of considering the purchase of a new vehicle. Subaru offers several models that seem to fit my particular needs well (I'm 6'4" tall). A vehicle with all wheel drive, around 30 mpg, and a tow capacity of 1500 lbs. or more would be a big step up from my low mileage '98 Chrysler Concord. While I like the Subarus I'm very open to other brands and models too. So please share your favorites, and your reasons for your choice, so we all can learn to make a good choice if we were to buy a new vehicle with towing capacity to pull a teardrop and to be a daily driver too.
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby TeriL » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:01 am

Something to consider about All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicles.

Most (I think) have a viscous slip clutch in place of a center differential. The viscous slip clutch is not (usually) intended for a lot of slipping. In normal use, there is a small difference in the rotation rate between the front and rear wheels, hence the need for a center slip clutch. Because of this, both front and rear tires NEED to be identical as possible in diameter. If you damaged a tire because you ran over some road debris or such, then you NEED to replace ALL four tires if you have any mileage on the remaining good tires as a new one will be bigger. This assumes you can even find the exact same tires in Boondock USA or wherever you may be.

I have a real 4x4 1988 Toyota pickup (306K miles so far :D ) and the owner's manual says to not use 4 wheel drive unless you are driving in slippery conditions. This allows the small difference between the rotation rates of the front and rear wheels to be taken up by slipping on the pavement by whichever tire needs it. Otherwise, there would be some tire scrub. The extra stress on the power train isn't any good for it either on dry pavement.

That said, a good friend once told me that it's better to only use 2 wheel drive until you NEED 4 wheel drive since driving along in 4 wheel drive and getting stuck means you're really stuck. Real off road people carry all sorts of gear to extract themselves, winches, anchors, high lift jacks, etc. Also, they usually go in a group for mutual help if necessary.

Another friend had a saying that "4 wheel drive is good for getting stuck further from the highway". :) Truth in that.

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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby buckisland1950 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:20 pm

I tow with a 2011 VW Jetta Sportswagen TDI. I have a 5 wide LG and don't really travel light. I find that I have lots of room for bringing gear in the rear of my TV and load most of the weight in it due to the bouncing of the TD on our great highway system. I have added Firestone Airbags to the rear springs as the only shortcoming of the VW is low suspension. The diesel has great power and while towing I get around 28 to 30 mpg. When not towing I get about 40. It is recommended to change transmission fluid at 40,000 mile intervals at $300 to $400 sevice charge. For fuel economy and power I couldn't find anything I thought would give me better service.

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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby Jdw2717 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:56 pm

I replaced my 14 year old Toyota Tacoma extra cab 4x4 last year with a new 2013 Ram 1500 regular cab 2 wheel drive. I have owned 3 Toyotas before this and always considered myself a Toyota guy but when I was looking to replace my last one, the new ones were just too much money with too low of a gas mileage rating. The Ram is a 6 cylinder with the 8 speed transmission. It gets right at 24mpg highway and 22 city. It has more power than I will ever need and plenty of room. I love this truck and don't believe I will go back to the Toyotas (unless they get their mileages up) :lol:

Now to give you another take on the used / old car debate. Every used car that I have ever had or known others to own have had problems. My personal opinion and experience is that used cars were traded in to run from a problem. If you plan for the hidden costs that's fine but be prepared to drop extra money in a used one. And depending on how old/new, you may not be too far from a new one anyway.
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Re: Which New Tow Vehicle Would You Choose?

Postby wincrasher » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:57 pm

I have an AWD 2014 Ford Escape with the 4 cyl. eco boost (turbo) engine. It's rated for 3500 lbs. I love this car. Plenty of power towing or not. The awd is automatic - so it's mostly in FWD until traction is needed elsewhere. I was going to get the Jeep Cherokee, but the Ford engine has more power.

They are kinda expensive, but well worth it. I never buy used. The peace of mind of knowing the car was not abused and well cared for is worth the depreciation hit to me. If there is one - if you keep it long enough, then so what?

Mine gets around 20 mpg towing on the highway, 28 mpg when not.
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