Towing in the new age

I've always driven pickups and took towing capability for granted. Now that gas is north of 4 bucks a gallon, and I'm due for a new vehicle, I've started to look more critically at my personal needs. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with a big truck if you need or want it (and there are great deals on full-size trucks these days), but I am looking to downsize. Most of my towing typically involves one or two bikes/quads, a single snowmobile, or modest amounts of lumber. It seems possible that I could get away with less than a 3/4 ton truck:bonk:. This is new territory for me, so I looked through a consumer reports vehicle guide, and have listed the smaller vehicles (and their towing capacities) that have at least better than average towing capacity. If you have experience with any of these vehicles (or other small cars) please feel free to comment on actual towing performance. I am still up in the air on which way to go.

Chrysler 300/Dodge Magnum/Charger - 2000 lbs

Ford Crown Vic/Mercury Grand Marquis - 2000 lbs

Hyundai Accent - 2000 lbs

Hyundai Azera - 1500 lbs

Hyundai Sonata - 2000 lbs

Jaguar X-type - 3306 lbs

Kia Amanti - 2000 lbs

Kia Optima - 2000 lbs

Kia Spectra - 1875 lbs

Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix - 1500 lbs

Saab 9-3 - 3300 lbs

Saab 9-5 - 3500 lbs

Subaru Forester - 2000 lbs

Subaru Impreza - 2000 lbs

Subaru Impreza WRX/STI - 2000 lbs

Subaru Legacy - 2700 lbs

Subaru Outback - 2700 lbs

Toyota Corolla - 1500 lbs

Volkswagen GTI - 2000 lbs

Volkswagen Jetta - 1500 lbs

Volkswagen Passat - 2000 lbs

Volkswagen Rabbit - 2000 lbs

Volvo C70 - 2000 lbs

Volvo S40 - 2000 lbs

Volvo S60 - 3300 lbs

Volvo S80 - 3300 lbs

Volvo V50 - 2000 lbs

Volvo V70 - 3300 lbs

Subaru WRX ftw!

4 door, turbocharged, AWD, can tow, and FAST.

out of those cars listed, I'd probably go with a Subaru Forester or Outback. Never been a Chrysler fan, a Crown Vic is just a little too....old, I haven't heard a lot of good things about VW reliability, and the one Volvo I had was a total POS. No experience with Hyundai or Kia, and though I've heard they've made leaps and bounds in build quality in recent years, the last one I rode in was less than impressive.

I can't say much bad about the Toyotas or the Saabs...the Saabs are basically Chevy's these days anyway.

On a side note, Thumpertalk has a special forum section for discussions such as these.

Have you considered a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier in a quad cab ? Then you can for go the trailer all together ! Both have v6 engines available.

Get a Diesel!

I can haul 5 bikes towing a small trailor with quads on it going over passes and still get 18mpg. 20+ if I am empty going over mountain passes. My buddy has the new WRX and my other buddy has a new Tacoma, I blow away both their gas millage, and I got a 5" lift on 35's 340hp 600+tq:)

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+1 for the diesel. Towing with a small car can be dangerous, if you have to panic stop you are alot more likely to get pushed into a jack knife situation than with a heavier vehicle.

Ive got a 99 Nissan frontier 4cyl. You can find these for fairly cheap these days.

I get around 24 city and 28 highway. Ive also towed 3500lb from Maryland to California no prob. Only drawback is the 2 back seats are small.

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I'd go with Audi Allroad quattro... 3300lbs of towing capability, and it's good for light offroad use :thumbsup:

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Get a Diesel!

I can haul 5 bikes towing a small trailor with quads on it going over passes and still get 18mpg. 20+ if I am empty going over mountain passes. My buddy has the new WRX and my other buddy has a new Tacoma, I blow away both their gas millage, and I got a 5" lift on 35's 340hp 600+tq:)

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My friend has the 2500 Cummins, and he only gets 15mpg with no trailer. I dont know why you're getting better mileage, but my car(WRX) gets 25mpg. :p:thumbsup:

Ohh, and my WRX has 300HP, 340ft/lbs tq

Carn't go far wrong with eithier a Passat or Volvo , TDi of course

My friend has the 2500 Cummins, and he only gets 15mpg with no trailer. I dont know why you're getting better mileage, but my car(WRX) gets 25mpg. :p:thumbsup:

Ohh, and my WRX has 300HP, 340ft/lbs tq

Fueling box, afe cold air, cats removed. the Chip made a pretty big difference, instead of .5 to .75 throttle for passing or merging on the freeway I can now go little over a 1/4 throttle. Same with freeway cruising, much less needed to maintain speed. Also if he has changed the size of his tires he needs to reflash the comp that his mpg and milage is correct, mine was off by 9mph at 60 which affected my MPG and Miles traveled on one tank.

You need to also consider the brakes. I can't understand people using a little car to tow stuff, when the brakes can't handle the load. :thumbsup:

You need to also consider the brakes. I can't understand people using a little car to tow stuff, when the brakes can't handle the load. :thumbsup:

If a vehicle is rated for a certain weight, all systems on it are rated for the total weight, brakes, engine/tranny, cooling etc. So if your not exceeding any of the rated specs, tongue weight, trailer weight, gvwr,etc you should not have any issues.

Another option to look at is a minivan. I have a 2002 Mazda MPV rated for 3000 lbs that I have been using for years to tow bikes. I get about 20 with it on the highway towing bikes. If you can get over the soccer mon stigma and you don't need a truck to haul a ton of lumber, nothing beats a minivan as far as practicality goes. A minivan and trailer make a wonderful dirtbike hauler, there is a ton more locked enclosed interior space to haul MC gear and passengers than just about any pickup or car. It will get much better gas milieage than a truck. Its even pretty good for light hauling of things like washers and dryers and fridges and so if you fold/take out the rear seats.

We will be loading up this week to take the family (2 adults and 2 kids) and a my DRZ400 and her KLX250s and all our stuff for two weeks from Nebraska to Montana to drop the kids off at the grandparents and do some riding while we are visiting.

some times you just need a truck

some of my buddys run older non computerised Cummins and get 30 MPG ( not towing ) with simple cheep modds

but you have to be willing to buya 20 year old truck and to be willing to work on it

now they are filtering used motor oil and FRYer grees and poring it strate into the tank running 100% most of the time

but they did some tinkering to do that ( like adding heaters to the fuel filters to keep every thing flowing

I didnt know I could tow 2000 lbs with my GTI. Thanks.

My previous car was a TDI and the mileage was unbelievable. Around 60 mpg. Also there is a lot more power, if you need it, by 'chippin' it.

Small cars can tow as long as the trailer being towed has its own brakes.

None of those cans are built for towing. Most are FWD.

Dude, my Toyota Corolla, with 1.8 liter 4-cyclinder (126 HP), front-wheel-drive, is rated to tow 1500 pounds.

I've already towed the 4x8 trailer with the bike in it. It did fine.

This thread reminds me of oil discussions.

:thumbsup:

Get a Diesel!

I can haul 5 bikes towing a small trailor with quads on it going over passes and still get 18mpg. 20+ if I am empty going over mountain passes. My buddy has the new WRX and my other buddy has a new Tacoma, I blow away both their gas millage, and I got a 5" lift on 35's 340hp 600+tq:)

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Word...

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My '03 got a few mpg's better than my '07. Best diesel mileage can be found on 2003 Standard Output Cummins diesel 2wd's. Over 24mpg if you drive it right...

And this car got 26-27 mpg while towing on the freeway (burns premium, though. Yuck):

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18 mpg in diesel isn't much savings over 15mpg of gas when diesel is almost a dollar more per gallon...

I'd love to have a diesel car though...diesel would have to be $15 a gallon before 60mpg didn't save any $$$

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