best small 4x4 for towing

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 18:34
ThreadID: 100674 Views:7174 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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I am a single lady wanting a small 4x4 to tow a caravan up to 16". Any suggestions on the best one to handle it. I like the Mazda Tribute, but have been told the gearbox overheats when towing and is no good.
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Reply By: gbc - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 18:43

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 18:43
I don't know a damn thing about them, but the single lady over the road drags her 15 foot van around with a hyundai santa fe diesel and she loves it. My problem with those small suv's is by the time you add up the diesel motor, auto gearbox and a few extras you could go and buy something proper like the new colorado for $5 - $10k less.
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Reply By: phillipa d - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:12

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:12
I Hyundai Santa Fe is only 998 braked. I think it has to be at least 2000. ???
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Follow Up By: gbc - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:38

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:38
Just googled it. Santa Fe is 2000kg auto and 2500kg manual.
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Follow Up By: phillipa d - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:50

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:50
mmm. I am looking at the older models. eg 2002 - 04 etc on Carsales and they are saying 998. Maybe the newer models are 2000????
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Reply By: escapesilv - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:29

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:29
Hi Phillipa

You are correct about the Tribute, I had an Escape (the Ford version) and the gearbox did not overheat, it boiled, and consumption when towing was astronomic.

I am not sure about the towing capability, but have you considered a Nissan Xtrail.

Cheers

Rob
AnswerID: 505204

Follow Up By: phillipa d - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:33

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 19:33
Yes, thanks Rob. I am also considering the Xtrail. Many thanks for your reply
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 21:15

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 21:15
hi phillipa
my neighbour over the rd as well has been towing her 16ft heavy full height van with a 2010 model petrol xtrail and says it handles it very well with weight distribution bars installed
she previously had a 2008 xtrail with the smaller petrol motor and she said it struggled
so upgraded to the 2010 model
her old van has a very heavy chassis more like an off rd van than a onrd
cheers
AnswerID: 505214

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 22:23

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 22:23
See plenty of Xtrails towing vans out on the highway.
Just be wary of the diesel auto models - the towing capacity is only 1350 and the power is down - every other Xtrail since 2002 is 2000kgs. In my opinion, the best of the older (T30) models is the 2005 - they had sorted out a few teething problems by then and it was the last of the 132kw models - after Jan 2006 they downgraded the power to 123Kw to suit the new pollution laws.
AnswerID: 505221

Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 00:20

Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 00:20
The first thing you need to do is look at some vans and see what they weigh......there are some pretty light vans these days.

Now are you specificaly looking for a 4wd to go off road or do you just want somthing to tow a van more or less on road.

NOW consider that most of the 4cylinder SUVs, make more power have better brakes and have higher towing capacities than the 6 cylinder station waggons people towed with in the past

For example, The current RAV has a 1.5 tonne towing capacity, but I would limit it to 1 tonne on the highway.

Keeping you size and weight expectations down will make for a very much easier and cheaper experience.

cheers
AnswerID: 505272

Follow Up By: phillipa d - Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 10:13

Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 10:13
thanks for your reply. What is your opinion also on either a Falcon BA or a Holden Commodore Calais towing up to a 16" caravan. I am also considering this against a 4x4 mainly because my job as a carer involves transporting the Elderly. So I need something that will do both.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 09:18

Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 09:18
Jeep Cherokee 2002 onwards in the Diesel 5speed Auto ,, best g/box and transfer case, lever operated , 2 wheel drive h-range ,4 wheel h-range full time , 4 wheel drive h-range part time and 4 wheel drive Low range ,,,,
AnswerID: 505283

Reply By: peter r14 - Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 09:30

Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 09:30
I have seen A few shortys prado's over here in perth they look tops and power to go not shore if there on local market or imported but ideal for two
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Reply By: Best Off Road - Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 14:16

Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 14:16
If you're not going off road you'll do better with a decent sized car. A Falcon running on LPG and using a weight distribution hitch will tow a 16 footer superbly. From my experience, better than a small to mid 4wd (I've towed a 16 footer with both).
AnswerID: 505313

Reply By: GimmeeIsolation - Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 14:49

Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 14:49
"my job as a carer involves transporting the Elderly"
I think a couple of people are not thinking of elderly climbing into a 4X4. As a younger person who has broken my back twice I can say that climbing into these mid-size/largish 4X4's etc would be very hard for elderly people.
I think your suggestion/idea of the Ford would be something along the lines of what suits you, yes Im a Ford man as well as having a large 4X4.
Perhaps a test drive will help you. Some cars have a shocking view from the drivers seat too, large pillars hiding cars coming at intersections, poor rearward view for reversing, cannot work out where the front bumper is when driving into a carport/towards bollards etc.
At least a larger Falcon/Commodore you are elevated a bit and parts are plentiful at wreckers/shops if required and you have a "bit of decent metal around you".
I know driving my wifes government car (Mazda MX3) is shocking for vision of the bonnet (where it ends), tha A Pillar view and out the back if reversing.
At least the Fords/Commodore is reasonably level height for elderly to get in and out, my elderly (mum doesnt go on the net so Im safe saying that) mum has a BA sedan and has a very bad knee and finds it better than the smaller car she had previously.
Sometimes these smaller cars give shocking economy when towing as a lot of time you have the winds to think of and the bigger car will be more stable and give you greater confidence towing and when just "tonking along" give better or same fuel economy than a lot of the smaller cars.
For sure if you were after a newish car a mid size diesel would be the go as the level is good and have the torque for towing but for what you are after you are obviously on the right track and learning about what may suit you and your helping others.
You can still pick up good BA's for a good price, just get it checked over by a reputable mechanic, maybe join RAC, not that I have but Im a mechanic.
Safe travels on the road and enjoy yourself.
Regards,
Brett
AnswerID: 505315

Follow Up By: phillipa d - Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 16:42

Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 16:42
wow. lots of info. Much appreciated. thanks
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