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NobbyTucker

Estate Towcar Options - 4WD or AWD but NOT SUV?

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I need a new towcar and want an estate car for economy and I have come to realise it has to be either 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive.  

This is partly for the caravan, but mostly for messing around in boats and using often slippery slipways for launching boats!  (If you want to see how badly this can go wrong there are no end of submerged cars and trailers on Youtube!)

I just don't like SUV's, so this restricts me to estate cars, but the plus sides here are good economy and having a sensible sized car for the roads in the town where I live.

Also. .. I have two sons of six foot plus, so a roomy back seat is essential. (Had an Avensis Estate for the last few years and that has been great for legroom, just not enough friction when towing!)

Personally I'm after something 2010-2012 in terms of age, but also aware that as far as I can see there are very few threads like this, so any help and suggestions appreciated please?

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insignia router came in 4x4 trim around that age, I had one a little before that and it towed my twin axle Swift a treat back in the day. I'm sure loads will be along  to say buy a VAG product so thought I would het an early recommendation in for the Insignia. Mine was super reliable and drove well. Diesel or petrol motors up to 2. 8 t were available. I had the 160 bhp diesel.

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Having had trailered boats from power boat to off shore cruisers and caravans for about 50 years and jets skis up  to a few years ago on many different inland and coastal slipways your need a vehicle to suit that requirements and what size and weight of boat and the caravan consider 2 nd .

 

My recommendation would be a Skoda superb est 4x4 .

 

Another option is a pickup type with a rear hard top and selective 4x4 that gives huge carrying space and high clearance backing in water .

 

Dave

 

 

Edited by CommanderDave

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Various VW Group models have/had 4WD either as standard or as an option - then there's Volvo XC models, Subaru Legacy and Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer.

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As expected. .. here comes a suggestion from the VAG stable.  I'm very pleased with my Passat Alltrack.  I'm on my third Passat now, all have been reliable workhorses, but this 4WD version is the best of the bunch - reliable, powerful and surefooted.  I'll take an estate over a SUV anytime.  

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Subaru estate excellent  also manuals have hill holder which was great for hill starts with the caravan so would be good for a boat. Loved my  legacy sports estate.

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You probably need to guide us in budget and any weight expectations

 

I would be looking at the right price/ weight model in the VAG range.

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1 hour ago, Min said:

As expected. .. here comes a suggestion from the VAG stable.  I'm very pleased with my Passat Alltrack.  I'm on my third Passat now, all have been reliable workhorses, but this 4WD version is the best of the bunch - reliable, powerful and surefooted.  I'll take an estate over a SUV anytime.  

 

agreed re SUVs not for me. Comes with a weight penalty if towing big caravans but compensated by lower centre of gravity and often better on road dynamics

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Six footers sat behind six footers?

 

A Superb is the obvious choice.

 

image.png.d735243832fbef662fc506f2fee3dc46.png

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Have a look at Audi Allroad, it has 4x4 as standard, its a great quality vehicle and with the boat in mind, height adjustable air suspension, it would tick a lot of boxes from the limited info we have. Remember the VAG vehicles are galvanised too.

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With VAG it's all badge engineering anyway, in order of precedence bottom to top, Skoda, Seat, VW, Audi. ..

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I think most cars are galvanised nowadays, but if you are into boat launching its the non galvanised bits that can suffer such as rear diffs, suspension components etc.

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Skoda Octavia Estate 2. 0TDi  4x4 (2012) weight as per handbook which is the same as the V5C mass in service 1,495kg. Plated GVW 2095kg, GTW 3695kg.   Haldex traction puts more power into rear wheels as and when needed, plenty of load / carry space in the rear, slightly raised suspension over the standard Octavia.

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1 hour ago, Guzzilazz said:

With VAG it's all badge engineering anyway, in order of precedence bottom to top, Skoda, Seat, VW, Audi. ..

 

Not all badge engineering, there's more defined lines now.  

 

Audi use different platforms from the A4 upwards. MLB rather than MQB.  

 

And with MQB being modular Skoda can now size bigger so the Mk3 Octavia is now a significantly bigger car than Mk7 Golf and Leon and the Superb is bigger than Passat.

Skoda's materials and equipment now outstrip Seat in most models with Seat now trying to find more sporty buyers.  

 

Skoda is a big VAG success and a big money spinner, especially when compared to Seat who have yet to see a decent profit.

 

In the last few years VAG have actually pulled Skoda back as they are taking too many sales from VW. I'm a Passat owner but I'd say the Superb has a higher quality interior model for model.

Edited by logiclee

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I’m very happy with my VW  Passat Alltrack.  Well worth considering.

John.

3E4CAADA-BD79-45D6-B492-B503A2FF21C9.jpeg

Edited by Leedslad

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1 hour ago, Alexbee said:

I think most cars are galvanised nowadays, but if you are into boat launching its the non galvanised bits that can suffer such as rear diffs, suspension components etc.

You may like to think most are galvanised but sadly it's not the case, even top names like Range Rover for example aren't, well my 2012 isn't yet my 2006 Touareg was. At least the diff housings have some metal about them rather than the relatively thin bodywork and should stand up to water better.

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6 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

You may like to think most are galvanised but sadly it's not the case, even top names like Range Rover for example aren't, well my 2012 isn't yet my 2006 Touareg was. At least the diff housings have some metal about them rather than the relatively thin bodywork and should stand up to water better.

 

Range Rover won't be as they're aluminium now.

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Just now, Black Grouse said:

 

Range Rover won't be as they're aluminium now.

The doors on mine are aluminium and other body panels, but the chassis definitely is not and its covered in rust, even the front subrame is in need of attention to protect it, shocking on a car like this.

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New ones are aluminium “Unlike the previous generation that uses an integrated bodyframe chassis, the L494 Range Rover Sport utilizes an all-aluminium monocoque body, just like the L405 Range Rover”

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Thanks some great ideas there, and I'm trawling through a few websites looking at the options.

 

Dave is on the ball with the boat and slipways first comment and caravans second, and to answer, the boat is 17ft and 1,087kg with the trailer and much lighter than my Elddis Xscape at 1,325kg.

 

Skoda showing well (as it has in reviews) as well as Passat, Audi, Volvo, Subaru and Insignia, so will have a good look at all those, thanks.

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Volvo cross country.  

Skoda Superb 4x4

Several Suburus'

 

 

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58 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

You may like to think most are galvanised but sadly it's not the case, even top names like Range Rover for example aren't, well my 2012 isn't yet my 2006 Touareg was. At least the diff housings have some metal about them rather than the relatively thin bodywork and should stand up to water better.

 

Must admit I was thinking of prestige cars like vauxhall.

  • Haha 1

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Jag  X-Type  Estate  4x4,  something a little different from the crowd.  :)

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9 hours ago, Alexbee said:

 

Must admit I was thinking of prestige cars like vauxhall.

Ah, you were dreaming that explains it :D

  • Haha 1

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BMW Touring  520 D X Drive, self levelling suspension, I had the non X Drive with 2. litre Diesel and found it brilliant, the 520 D    X Drive will probably  be my next car 

Edited by Les Medes

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