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Livi

Can't Believe The Difference!

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Since buying our present 'van, a Pegasus Milan, 2012, I have never been happy with it's towing behaviour. We upsized from a Sportage to a Sorento, both of which, on paper should have done the job perfectly well, but I was always aware of an unsettled, twitchy feel about the 'van when towing, even in the lightest of winds, and following HGVs was a nightmare.

Have just completed our maiden trip, Huntly and back, with our new car, BMW 520d GT, and I can't believe how well behaved the caravan was behind it. Rock steady at all speeds up to the legal limit, even through some stiff cross winds, and HGVs were no problem. The proverbial "forgot the 'van was there" type tow.

'Van loaded the same way as normal. no other changes. Amazed and delighted.

 

No more SUVs for me.

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How does the wheelbase length compare between the cars. I reckon that a longer wheelbase makes for a more stable tow.

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How does the wheelbase length compare between the cars. I reckon that a longer wheelbase makes for a more stable tow.

Longer wheelbase, short rear overhang, lower centre of gravity and sports suspension should be the optimum for on-road towing - not always good off the black stuff though.

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There do seem to be some apparently random factors involved in stability, sometimes theoretically good matches just do not work and some theoretically poor matches just work. All sorts of factors come into play such as tyre type, and apparently silly details.

 

We once had a car with doughnut type spring assisters. Removing them turned the stability from just about OK to good.

I wish we understood the issue better.

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I do like the look of those GT's a bit pricey though.

 

I've towed various caravans with the following:

 

Toyota Rav 4 (3 door Petrol) - Struggled up hill

Toyota Rav 4 (5 door Diesel) - Still underpowered for towing big caravans and didn't like the cross winds in the South of France

Volvo V40 Petrol - Terrible

Mercedes E320 CDI Auto - Excellent

Honda CRV Diesel - Very Good

Mitsubishi Shogun 5 door Auto - Brilliant

 

 

I'm thinking about getting a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, I've had a test drive solo and I liked it but I'm not sure that it will be as good as the Shogun for towing.

 

I might have a closer look at the BMW, can it tow 2 tonne?

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I found the BMW 520d Touring a better more stable tow than the LWB Mitsubishi Shogun 3. 2d it replaced.

 

The self levelling suspension on the BMW was also a bonus.

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I do like the look of those GT's a bit pricey though.

 

I've towed various caravans with the following:

 

Toyota Rav 4 (3 door Petrol) - Struggled up hill

Toyota Rav 4 (5 door Diesel) - Still underpowered for towing big caravans and didn't like the cross winds in the South of France

Volvo V40 Petrol - Terrible

Mercedes E320 CDI Auto - Excellent

Honda CRV Diesel - Very Good

Mitsubishi Shogun 5 door Auto - Brilliant

 

 

I'm thinking about getting a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, I've had a test drive solo and I liked it but I'm not sure that it will be as good as the Shogun for towing.

 

I might have a closer look at the BMW, can it tow 2 tonne?

Most of the big premium SUVs have 3,500 kg towing limits to suit Australian and American tuggers so should all be fine with European caravans.

 

The Grand Cherokee gets a few poor reviews for on-road handling solo - don't know if that affects its towing - a replacement is fairly close as FCA want to move away from the GC's first-generation Mercedes-Benz ML underpinnings.

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Most of the big premium SUVs have 3,500 kg towing limits to suit Australian and American tuggers so should all be fine with European caravans.

 

The Grand Cherokee gets a few poor reviews for on-road handling solo - don't know if that affects its towing - a replacement is fairly close as FCA want to move away from the GC's first-generation Mercedes-Benz ML underpinnings.

I liked the Jeep, thought it drove well. If you read reviews of the Shogun (for example in Whatcar?) it gets slated and only receives 1 Star, however, if you read owners reviews they love em. I like my Shogun, its fantastic at towing but loves Diesel and is only Euro 5, my local Mitsubishi dealer has talked me out of buying the Euro 6 version, he said its been ruined :o

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I've been towing with MPV for the last ten years, first a C-max, then several S-max's and they've all been good and stable. Last year I had to use a Kuga for a couple of weeks with my 1550kg U3 Cadiz.

 

Same engine as my S-Max and it was a 4wd but it certainly felt a bit less stable and I was more aware of the van, not really twitchy but there was a marked difference between it and the S-max. Even my wife who is the navigator noticed the difference.

Edited by matelodave

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How does the wheelbase length compare between the cars. I reckon that a longer wheelbase makes for a more stable tow.

Longer wheelbase, short rear overhang, lower centre of gravity and sports suspension should be the optimum for on-road towing - not always good off the black stuff though.

Yes the wheelbase is significantly longer than the Sorento, lower centre of gravity and stiffer suspension, along with rear wheel drive and wide low profile tyres definitely combine to make a well planted car. Don't do muddy fields/ CLs so that side of it doesn't bother me.

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My outfit (see profile) is solid as a rock up to about 60 mph. Over that it can feel a bit "nervous". I can only guess that the turbulence set up by such a large vehicle gets more significant as the speed increases and starts to upset an otherwise stable tow.

 

In any case, legalities aside, I'm not sure I want to be responsible for almost 5 Tonnes, at speeds in excess of 60 mph.

Edited by Flying Grandad

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I liked the Jeep, thought it drove well. If you read reviews of the Shogun (for example in Whatcar?) it gets slated and only receives 1 Star, however, if you read owners reviews they love em. I like my Shogun, its fantastic at towing but loves Diesel and is only Euro 5, my local Mitsubishi dealer has talked me out of buying the Euro 6 version, he said its been ruined :o

We all have different priorities when it comes to buying cars, and caravans. Since none are perfect we compromise by buying cars/caravans that do all the important things for us and accept it's weakness in other less important areas.

 

So inevitably, those who buy a particular model will have already dismissed its weaknesses and are pleased it does the job they want.

 

Sometimes a different specification within the same model can make a big difference to an individual person - when I ordered my Touareg one of the things high on my list was comfort so I chose the model with the smallest wheels, highest profile tyres, non-sport suspension and added air suspension as an option - I love it, but last year while mine was being repaired, I was given a like-for-like Touareg for a 1,000 mile trip I needed to make - it was the R-Line version so big bling wheels, rubber-band tyres, stiffer/lower suspension and no air suspension - the difference was very noticeable to me but another person might well prefer that to mine.

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Yes the wheelbase is significantly longer than the Sorento, lower centre of gravity and stiffer suspension, along with rear wheel drive and wide low profile tyres definitely combine to make a well planted car. Don't do muddy fields/ CLs so that side of it doesn't bother me.

I've never rated RWD over FWD - but then my last RWD car was a '60s Cortina-Lotus with all of 108 bhp from it's Twin-Cam, the bee's knees in those days but not by modern standards.

 

I do like 4WD with a rear bias though - a FWD with smart part-time 4WD will dig you out of a hole on the right tyres but nothing like a proper system to spread the power on a "drive it like you stole it" day (solo of course!)

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I had Hyundai ix35 premium,2ltr 135 Bhp bit underpowered,not good towing,twitchy at times.

Recently bought Hyundai Tucson 2 ltr I simply cannot believe the difference,much more powerful,very stable towing,much better comfort.

Chose 2wheel drive model as I rarely tow on grass,but in Somerset recently after nights rain I deliberately towed up wet greasy slope,it simply wouldn't slip!

I have towed almost every type of caravan and trailer with a huge selection of tow vehicles last fifty years,

This car is up with the best.

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The 5 series GT is actually based on the 7 series floorpan which gives you the longer wheelbase and legroom. My old E Class Estate was a really nice tow, only slight issue was the overhang at the back waved the rear of the van about a bit on full locks

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We had a Hyundai Santa Fe 7 seat with self levelling suspension, it was a terrible towcar I was glad to get rid of it. Our van is a small Bailey 2 berth and whilst the power was fine the handling was twitchy and pitchy. I don't know if it was because we didn't have enough weight in the car or that the self levelling suspension was fighting with the caravan but it was very uncomfortable. Oh I always check tyre pressures, car and van and the nose weight prior to every outing. Changed to the Mazda CX-5 and it was like chalk and cheese. The Mazda is great minimal pitching very stable and a dream really with the same caravan.

Incidentally the CX5 is having the gearbox rebuilt unde warranty and the garage have arranged a hire car for us as we had a holiday booked. I have now towed over 400 miles using a Ssanyong Musso double cab pick up. While it's extremely stable even in some strong winds it is not in my top 10 towcars. Without loads of weight in the back it is extremely jittery loaded up it's ok. Like all cars of its type it is huge and I mean huge great to be able to chuck everything into the back though. I suspect that there are much better pick ups around. Also it was an automatic and the first time I have towed with an auto for some time and it was constantly changing gear feeling more comfortable in 4 th or 5 th even on the flat. 22 mpg seemed about the going rate whilst towing.

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We had a Hyundai Santa Fe 7 seat with self levelling suspension, it was a terrible towcar I was glad to get rid of it. Our van is a small Bailey 2 berth and whilst the power was fine the handling was twitchy and pitchy. I don't know if it was because we didn't have enough weight in the car or that the self levelling suspension was fighting with the caravan but it was very uncomfortable. Oh I always check tyre pressures, car and van and the nose weight prior to every outing.

 

It may depend what age of Santa Fe is was - the suspension settings were quite different for 2000-2006 (very wallowy), 2006-2009 (a bit wallowy), 2010-2012 (over firm) and 2013-on (about right).

 

We had a 2011 Santa Fe 7-seat with self-levelling towing a 1218 kg MTPLM Bailey which did pitch a little - being an automatic with slightly lower towing limit, it had the slightly lower noseweight limit of 80 kg - which I ignored and used the manual's 100 kg and that towed absolutely fine, giving 24 mpg average towing.

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I've been towing with MPV for the last ten years, first a C-max, then several S-max's and they've all been good and stable. Last year I had to use a Kuga for a couple of weeks with my 1550kg U3 Cadiz.

 

Same engine as my S-Max and it was a 4wd but it certainly felt a bit less stable and I was more aware of the van, not really twitchy but there was a marked difference between it and the S-max. Even my wife who is the navigator noticed the difference.

 

We recently changed to a Kuga from a Honda CR-V, I am inclined to agree with you in windy condition with our 1450kg Swift the Honda was much more stable, despite being identical on paper.

I've never rated RWD over FWD - but then my last RWD car was a '60s Cortina-Lotus with all of 108 bhp from it's Twin-Cam, the bee's knees in those days but not by modern standards.

 

I do like 4WD with a rear bias though - a FWD with smart part-time 4WD will dig you out of a hole on the right tyres but nothing like a proper system to spread the power on a "drive it like you stole it" day (solo of course!)

 

I had a 64 and a 66 in the mid 70's wish I had them now.

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I had a 64 and a 66 in the mid 70's wish I had them now.

 

In '72 I bought RPX719E, a white '67 mk2 Cortina-Lotus (no green flash on the mk2) - one "careful" previous owner in the log book, Chief Constable of Sussex, with zipped slit in roof lining and a vinyl roof - presumably where the blues went!

 

Great fun balancing the two twin-choke barrels by ear every week.

 

The guy in the flat below us had an ex-Jim Clark mk1 Lotus-Cortina - presumably Clark's "company car".

 

Apologies for Fred Drift.

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I do like the look of those GT's a bit pricey though.

 

I've towed various caravans with the following:

 

Toyota Rav 4 (3 door Petrol) - Struggled up hill

Toyota Rav 4 (5 door Diesel) - Still underpowered for towing big caravans and didn't like the cross winds in the South of France

Volvo V40 Petrol - Terrible

Mercedes E320 CDI Auto - Excellent

Honda CRV Diesel - Very Good

Mitsubishi Shogun 5 door Auto - Brilliant

 

 

I'm thinking about getting a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, I've had a test drive solo and I liked it but I'm not sure that it will be as good as the Shogun for towing.

 

I might have a closer look at the BMW, can it tow 2 tonne?

Im quite sure you would not be disappointed with the engine performance especially towing,produces quite a bit more power and torque than the shogun respectfully.

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Changed at the beginning of the year from a Volvo XC60 to a V60 Cross Country.

 

The lower centre of gravity is noticeable solo and towing, the XC60 was a great towcar, but the lower V60 has the edge for stability! Not by much but noticeable.

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Maybe this is the reason that the Passat Estate and Skoda Superb Estate (same floor pan) are also brilliant towcars?

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I do like the look of those GT's a bit pricey though.

 

 

I might have a closer look at the BMW, can it tow 2 tonne?

I got a pretty good deal on a delivery mileage pre registered car loaded with extras.

It was registered before 1st April so is on old road tax charges.

Replaced now by the 6 GT so should be some more decent bargains out there.

 

BMW quote permissible trailer weight as 2100 kg but that would be towing over 100%.

530d GT would be a better prospect on paper and apparently wouldn't be much less mpg.

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In '72 I bought RPX719E, a white '67 mk2 Cortina-Lotus (no green flash on the mk2) - one "careful" previous owner in the log book, Chief Constable of Sussex, with zipped slit in roof lining and a vinyl roof - presumably where the blues went!

 

Great fun balancing the two twin-choke barrels by ear every week.

 

The guy in the flat below us had an ex-Jim Clark mk1 Lotus-Cortina - presumably Clark's "company car".

 

Apologies for Fred Drift.

I spotted a Lotus Cortina on a forecourt in the 70's. Big sign saying 1 previous owner. Asked to see log book, stamped Merseyside police. I decided against it.

 

 

John

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Longer wheelbase, short rear overhang, lower centre of gravity and sports suspension should be the optimum for on-road towing - not always good off the black stuff though.

 

? Not always good of the black stuff though?

Me simples don't understand.

Kind regards

Andrew

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