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Old 09-27-2013, 01:10 PM   #15
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I am very happy with our VW Touareg TDI. 7700lbs towing capacity and gets better fuel economy towing our TT than most pickups get just rolling down the road. Also makes a great daily driver and is loaded with all the features you'd ever want.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:06 PM   #16
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Don't ignore the reliability ratings of the vehicles you consider, the Toureg for example is one of the least reliable SUV's you can buy whereas the Toyota trucks and SUVs are consistently at the top of the list. Nothing worse than breaking down when you are towing something. Consumer Reports and JD Powers are two good sources for this information and CR even details it by type of repair and model year.

Engine horsepower is important but equally so is the rear end gearing. I have bought trucks and SUVs (Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Blazer, Toyota Hi-Lux) and made sure that in every case the rear end was a 41.0 or lower. This took more searching to find vehicles on dealers' lots that had this rear end gearing but dealers will swap vehicles to make a sale so it can be a dealer quite distant from where you live that has the SUV or truck.

The frame on a truck or a SUV like the 4Runner or a Tahoe or Expedition is a lot stronger than that of a SUV based on a car platform as with the Highlander that shares its base platform with the Toyota Camery sedan. A helf-ton pickup or a SUV in the Ford Explorer or Toyota 4Runner class will easily handle the weight.

The Toyota's may cost more initiaily but having put more than a million miles on Toyota trucks I can say they are worth it. I have never had to have anything other than scheduled maintenance done on the trucks. Not one breakdown where the vehicle needed to be towed for any reason. My brother has over 300,000 miles on his 1990 Toyota pickup and it has the original engine and transmission.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:17 PM   #17
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Honda Pilot with factory equipped tow package is rated at 5000 lbs. I was pulling a similarly sized trailer with it before we upgraded the TT
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:52 PM   #18
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I towed with a Honda Ridgeline. It did not have enough power. Seems it needed a bigger V6 or better yet a V8.

The Honda 3.5 litre engine is a great little engine but needs more power to be a good towing engine.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhornsun View Post
Don't ignore the reliability ratings of the vehicles you consider, the Toureg for example is one of the least reliable SUV's you can buy whereas the Toyota trucks and SUVs are consistently at the top of the list. Nothing worse than breaking down when you are towing something. Consumer Reports and JD Powers are two good sources for this information and CR even details it by type of repair and model year.

Engine horsepower is important but equally so is the rear end gearing. I have bought trucks and SUVs (Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Blazer, Toyota Hi-Lux) and made sure that in every case the rear end was a 41.0 or lower. This took more searching to find vehicles on dealers' lots that had this rear end gearing but dealers will swap vehicles to make a sale so it can be a dealer quite distant from where you live that has the SUV or truck.

The frame on a truck or a SUV like the 4Runner or a Tahoe or Expedition is a lot stronger than that of a SUV based on a car platform as with the Highlander that shares its base platform with the Toyota Camery sedan. A helf-ton pickup or a SUV in the Ford Explorer or Toyota 4Runner class will easily handle the weight.

The Toyota's may cost more initiaily but having put more than a million miles on Toyota trucks I can say they are worth it. I have never had to have anything other than scheduled maintenance done on the trucks. Not one breakdown where the vehicle needed to be towed for any reason. My brother has over 300,000 miles on his 1990 Toyota pickup and it has the original engine and transmission.
Every Toyota trucks here are being bought back at dealers due to frame failure due to premature rusting. A lot of happy trade ins and unhappy owners that tought they bought a truck for a long time. I towed heavy with a Ford Ranger but now I would dought the Toyota frame. Thought the power train is great like the Ram with no body around it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:27 PM   #20
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This is an old post and probably not relevant.
Durango of older generation is obsolete on my opinion. Nobody should be fooled by brutal look and high rated towing capacity. The reason is outdated transmission with typical and hated by many people 3-1.6-1 ratios. What it means in the real world is: you you're at third on flat surface with engine spinning at 3000 which is ok, but moderate inclines will trigger downshift to second and push tachometer to redline. Hondas are pretty much the same, but have ridiculously low torque up to 3 500 rpm or so.
There are a lot of modern vehicles to consider: Acadia, Enclave, Equinox, Explorer, Flex, new Durango our JGC. How about your existing Legacy with Canam hitch??
German midsize SUVs are are all ok, lack of reliability is overblown as well as high maintenance cost. I have 2 Benzes after Lexus and Infiniti ( was very happy to trade them in after just 5 years and 50 k miles or so). They are very stable and powtrains are overbuilt. Consider just this. 7g tronic transmission is designed for 543 lb/ft of torque which makes is almost as formidable as Allison 1000/2000 (620 lb/ft), but has 1-2 extra gears, full torque converter lockup at any gear, manual range selection etc...
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by elkhornsun View Post
Don't ignore the reliability ratings of the vehicles you consider, the Toureg for example is one of the least reliable SUV's you can buy whereas the Toyota trucks and SUVs are consistently at the top of the list. Nothing worse than breaking down when you are towing something. Consumer Reports and JD Powers are two good sources for this information and CR even details it by type of repair and model year.
I can only speak from experience of having owned Tregs and a dozen other VWs and NEVER having any real reliability problems except some defective coilpacks on an '03 Passat and a clogged fuel filter on a Corrado. Not exactly the car's fault.

My current '06 model has also never had a single recall. Hellllloooooo Toyota. I also have no timing belt/chain.

I will say that, like anything that has more "stuff" to it, the potential exists for issues and you do need to maintain them properly.
You can't buy a nice car like a VW/Audi/Porsche and "maintain" it like a Toyota.
That said, I just helped my buddy fix his Tacoma for the third time.

But getting back on topic, my rule on towing is that the towing capacity of the vehicle should be at least the Gross Vehicle Weight of the trailer (trailer fully loaded to the max). Or as a general rule of thumb, a 30% margin to dry weight.
You also need power and/or gearing, good tires and stong brakes. Chassis goes without say. The lower rear end gears will make your engine rpm higher on the highway (bad for noise and fuel economy) but will let you get off the line/up hill better. For a diesel, this is not really what you want because they don't rev as high and make more torque than horsepower, all down low. My TDI has 627lb-ft (currently) and spins about 1500rpm at 70mph. This is perfect for a diesel, but would not be manageable by any gas engine.

Remember the old adage: People buy horsepower but drive torque.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:58 PM   #22
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Remember the old adage: People buy horsepower but drive torque.[/QUOTE]

Yes, high torque engine will get big load going easier and work on much lower rpm which is comfortable, at least subjectively. However, at the end of the day, the horsepower rating ( energy output) well determine how fast you can go which is quite important on steep hills. Read the article on the home page of this forum about motorhome in the mountains. The author could only manage 9 mph. He has astronomical torque, but really pathetic hp/weight ratio. A V6 gasser with an ultralight trailer would be going at least 3 times faster under similar conditions.
I go on 3000 with trailer @ 60-65, when I am solo I go 80-85 at the same rpm; doesn't look like real drama with good sound insulation and radar detector. -
V10 TDI is definitely a unique vehicle, very few were sold, probably it's nearly impossible to find now.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:45 AM   #23
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Wow - quite a flurry of replies to my old post! Lots of good advice and food for thought. Our intention was to keep the price around $10K, so in the end we bought a 2005 GMC Envoy for $11K, and are very pleased with the towing experience. It isn't very good on gas mileage, though, and not very roomy as a passenger car, so we'll use it mainly as a tow vehicle, and put it into storage for the winter along with the travel trailer.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:26 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhornsun View Post
Don't ignore the reliability ratings of the vehicles you consider, the Toureg for example is one of the least reliable SUV's you can buy whereas the Toyota trucks and SUVs are consistently at the top of the list. Nothing worse than breaking down when you are towing something. Consumer Reports and JD Powers are two good sources for this information and CR even details it by type of repair and model year.

Engine horsepower is important but equally so is the rear end gearing. I have bought trucks and SUVs (Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Blazer, Toyota Hi-Lux) and made sure that in every case the rear end was a 41.0 or lower. This took more searching to find vehicles on dealers' lots that had this rear end gearing but dealers will swap vehicles to make a sale so it can be a dealer quite distant from where you live that has the SUV or truck.

The frame on a truck or a SUV like the 4Runner or a Tahoe or Expedition is a lot stronger than that of a SUV based on a car platform as with the Highlander that shares its base platform with the Toyota Camery sedan. A helf-ton pickup or a SUV in the Ford Explorer or Toyota 4Runner class will easily handle the weight.

The Toyota's may cost more initiaily but having put more than a million miles on Toyota trucks I can say they are worth it. I have never had to have anything other than scheduled maintenance done on the trucks. Not one breakdown where the vehicle needed to be towed for any reason. My brother has over 300,000 miles on his 1990 Toyota pickup and it has the original engine and transmission.
I don't agree with this at all. Rear end gearing of 4.10 only matters if you have a 4 speed transmission. These days, most trucks and suv's will have either a 5 speed, 6 speed, or an 8 speed. You can have a much lower ratio rear end that'll give comparable torque in the lower gears when you have more cogs in your transmission. Telling people to look for 4.10 is only relevant if the vehicle has a 4 speed transmission.

I also don't agree that body on frame design is best either. Some of today's SUV's are more stiffer than a C channel ladder frame from the 90's and early 2000's. The toureg is the european towing champion, it's a total beast when it comes to towing and does it very well. For me, VW reliability is hit or miss, most of the reliability gremlins come from their interior peices and other nit picking gripes. Unfortunately, these gripes ding the overall reliability score, but the only reliability i'm concerned with is powertrain. As far as engines, except for the 1.8T, they aren't any less reliable than any other car. The V10 TDi is just a big engine crammed into an SUV, i wouldn't buy that because it's hard to work on. I would buy a V6 TDI in a heartbeat if one came up for a great price, problem is the resale value is way too high. My brother is pushing 300k miles on his jetta TDi. He had to replace the suspension, some wheel bearings, alternator twice, injectors and glow plugs as well as normal maintenance. But for 300k miles, i'd say that's all pretty normal.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #25
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...but the only reliability i'm concerned with is powertrain. As far as engines, except for the 1.8T...
My other car is a Passat with a 1.8T. They had two potential issues only:
1) bad coil packs which is an easy and cheap fix... not and engine issue.
2) oil sludge from people who go to Jiffy Lube and get the wrong oil at the wrong frequency.

That said, I wouldn't buy a used one not knowing the above #2. I bought mine new a couple hundred thousand miles ago and no issues.
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