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TOPIC: First Tow Car

First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #425952

  • phd1986
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Hi Everyone, I'm currently looking for my first tow car but I can't decide which one to go for, at the moment I like the Kia Sportage 2.0 AWD, Honda CR-V 1.6 i-dect, Astra Sports Tourer 1.6 BiTurbo, Suzuki Vitara 1.6 DDIS Allgrip, and waiting to see the new Peugeot 3008. I don't have a caravan yet but we quite like centre washroom, rear island bed layout but as this is going to the be first caravan I've owned I'm waiting till I get the new car and then match a caravan to that. What would everyone recommend as a decent, first time, mid-sized tow car? Its only going to be for 2 adults and 2 dogs.
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #425955

  • Thingy
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I would do some real research before you choose either car or van. See which vans you like and then compare the weights to the cars you like. Can be a bit of a minefield this one.
Shogun 3.2 SG3 (197) tugging Challenger Hi Style 524.
(Im a caravanner - if it aint broke -it will be tomorrow.)
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #425957

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Afraid the caravan is going to have to match the car, have a lease car at the moment which is due to be changed in the next couple of months and I'm not allowed to buy a caravan till after the new car has been delivered. Been doing some research and there are a few vans (Compass Casita 550/Sprite Major 4 EB) we both like that are well within the 85% match suggestion for the Kia and the Honda.
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #425958

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As for recommendations, what about the xTrail.
Shogun 3.2 SG3 (197) tugging Challenger Hi Style 524.
(Im a caravanner - if it aint broke -it will be tomorrow.)
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #425959

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Looked at the X-Trails but they're just too expensive on the lease car scheme at work. Both the Kia and Honda are between £220-£250 a month, the X-Trail is well over £300, as is a Mondeo, Insignia, Mazda 6, Hyundai Tuscon, Skoda Octavia + Superb :-(
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #425963

  • Thingy
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Guessing the XC60 will be overbudget then?
Shogun 3.2 SG3 (197) tugging Challenger Hi Style 524.
(Im a caravanner - if it aint broke -it will be tomorrow.)
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #426002

  • Raywood
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From that list my only choice would be the Kia. The Honda looks underpowered with a 1600 engine and the rest are just too light for a good match. The Kia is a very popular towcar with an excellent reputation.
Personally I would go for the Mazda CX5 if you can afford it but I am biased.
Ray
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #426008

  • ProfJohnL
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I'm sorry Ray but I have to challenge your last post. Simply judging a car based on its engine size alone (e.g. Honda at 1600cc) is no longer safe way to judge a vehicle for towing. The fact is that in recent years most car producers have dome a massive amount of work on improving engine efficiency and performance.

Up to the late 1970's there was no real alternative to cubic inches, and 3lite engines were not uncommon. then the introduction of Turbos, in the late 70's and their wide spread proliferation in the 80 and 90's meant that engine sizes seemed to come down to about 2Litre often with more power than the previous 3 litre engines.

And now the latest generation of cars have again reduced engine size, but power outputs do not seem to have dropped. It's beginning to seem that 16 to 1800cc seem to have the same peak power output of the prior 2L engines.

I do acknowledge that peak power is not the only criteria for towing, Torque is just as important, but even here modern engines do seem to have adequate torque.thanks to turbo technology.

You need to look at the power/torque figures rather than engine cc.

Edit notes - I have just corrected a few typo's. But i would add that I have just become aware of the latest VW Passat GTE - which is a plug in hybrid, with a 1400cc turbo petrol producing 156bhp! and an electric motore capable of 115 bhp. Unfortunately this new vehicle is limited to 1600kg towed weight
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
Last Edit: 10 months 2 weeks ago by ProfJohnL. Reason: typo's and added information
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #426009

  • saint-spoon
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Personally I would go for the Kia, I was looking at them myself when I was thinking about buying a caravan, alas I bought a bigger van and ended up with a Sante Fe (which I love). You have obviously done a bit of research opting straight for the AWD version which has a much better kerb weight. the same is true for the Ford kuga as well, the $WD has the advantage of being heavy enough for a lot of caravan.
Hyundia Santa FE 2.2 CRDI 4x4 tugging an Adria altea 552 Tamar... just the wife, the organic alarm clocks (kids) and myself.
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First Tow Car 10 months 2 weeks ago #426044

  • otherclive
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The OP hasn't said what licence he has, so this would be the starting point of his quest in selecting his car and caravan. I'm with Prof on engine performance as I've towed a 1300kg caravan with a Mondeo (1999) TDDI at an output of 89bhp and torque of 177NM. It was always well loaded with family, luggage and two large dogs, but took us all over Scotland and France without any problem. So you really have to look at the engine power, torque character, cars weight (loaded and unloaded) and caravan weight in order to make a reasoned judgment. The CRV has a better load capacity than the Sportage which depending on what the OP carries might rule in its favour.

The Dutch matching site "tow car.info" is a good one to use as it includes UK caravans but you can also input generic caravan details to see how it would match a given tow car. Like any of these sites they are not absolute and are an aid to decision making. There are some given fixed spots such as licence, tow car max tow weight, caravan MTPLM, noseweight caravan and car, all whilst trying to stay within the 85% guidelines. Who said caravanning was easy eh?
Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDi SE CR 170ps DSG 4x4 carrying two Springers, Sprite Musketeer TD 2013, and Vango 300 Icarus tent too.
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