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TechJock

Petrol towcar?

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Hello all,

 

Are there any petrol cars that tow well? I ask because when I got my first caravan, I had a 2.2 litre Volvo V60 and it was really bad to tow with.  I almost didn't make it up a very steep hill one time (screaming in first gear).

 

So the above converted me to diesel cars but as diesels are now known to be more polluting than petrol (and will eventually be banned), I would like to think about alternatives.

 

Thanks for any insights.

 

Cheers!

 

TJ

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15 minutes ago, TechJock said:

Hello all,

 

Are there any petrol cars that tow well? I ask because when I got my first caravan, I had a 2.2 litre Volvo V60 and it was really bad to tow with.  I almost didn't make it up a very steep hill one time (screaming in first gear).

 

So the above converted me to diesel cars but as diesels are now known to be more polluting than petrol (and will eventually be banned), I would like to think about alternatives.

 

Thanks for any insights.

 

Cheers!

 

TJ

 

Normally aspirated petrols like your old car can't match a turbo diesel but then again have you ever tried towing with a normally aspirated diesel?

 

The difference you feel is forced induction, turbo charging.

 

Modern turbo petrols offer a very wide spread of torque over a wide rev range and usually with shorter gearing so can make very good tow cars. 

Diesels will nearly always have an economy advantage due to the thermal efficiency though so chose with care and the price difference will depend on your annual mileage. 

 

An example.

BMW 2.0 Single Turbo  Diesel 190PS, 400NM 1750-2500rpm

BMW 2.0 Single Turbo Petrol. 258PS, 400NM 1550-4100rpm

Edited by logiclee

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I haven't seen any information that diesel cars (as apposed to petrol) will be banned.

Sales of all new cars powered only by internal combustion engines are to be banned in about 20 years (so the politicians say).

Territorial restrictions of cars with high pollution levels are being phased in, but these do not discriminate against diesel engine cars either.

The latest diesel engines are extremely clean and in some cases exhaust gases are cleaner than the air they ingest. 

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Although I have a diesel that is purely down to economics and my annual mileage.

 

But when buying a new car the major cost is depreciation.

 

In most sectors diesel sales have collapsed over the last 3 years and overall diesel sales continue to fall at an alarming rate. Large SUV's are the only sector holding up but even this sector has seen decline in diesel sales.  Small car diesel sales have virtually vanished.

 

This has had a knock on effect to used prices especially on the mid to small sector but the trend is widening.

 

When I'm no longer on this 60 mile a day commute and my annual mileage drops to 10k a year there's no way I'd consider diesel. Future values are unkown as well as future policy,  equivalent petrols are usually more refined and more powerful and do not require as many emission technologies that could cause reliability issues.

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3 hours ago, Ern said:

I haven't seen any information that diesel cars (as apposed to petrol) will be banned.

Sales of all new cars powered only by internal combustion engines are to be banned in about 20 years (so the politicians say).

Territorial restrictions of cars with high pollution levels are being phased in, but these do not discriminate against diesel engine cars either.

The latest diesel engines are extremely clean and in some cases exhaust gases are cleaner than the air they ingest. 

 

Unfortunately the bad press continues even for Euro 6 diesels and evidence is still growing. This all drives public opinion, future legislation and used future resale values.

https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/environment/2019/04/05/london-ulez-euro-6-wrong-standard-for-diesel-access

 

https://www.allowair.org/2019/07/24/dvsa-report-failures-euro-6-vehicles/

 

Mainly driven from this report on Euro 6 vehicles where only 10% met on road limits and some emitting 12 times the legal limit of NOX on the road.

https://theicct.org/news/road-tested-sep2017-press-release

 

We haven't seen the end of the legislation changes yet.

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I towed a 1700kg caravan all over Europe with a petrol Volvo XC70...would probably still be doing so,  if some Italian idiot not decided to drive on my side of the road right in front of me. It was a 2.5 turbocharged engine that performed faultlessly and effortlessly, even oven some challenging mountain passes.

 

There’s a lot of rubbish talked about petrol v diesel tow cars and there suitability for towing ...or not. There are good petrol cars, bad diesel cars and vice versa.

 

The only significant difference imho is mpg.

 

Despite overegged claims by some, towing a caravan reduces your solo mpg by 20-25%. Diesel cars generally have much better fuel economy. Which means quite simply, choosing a petrol tow car means more expenditure on fuel AND more frequent refuelling on long hauls.  That’s a fact of petrol life.

 

Having flirted with a diesel for 5years I have returned to a petrol model.  LOVELY!

 

 

 

Edited by ericfield

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A turbo diesel engine will always produce more torque than a turbo petrol, and also a lot lower down the rev range too, which is ideal for towing, i used to have an old peugeot 406 td, a P reg one, it had done 283 thousand miles when i got it and was the older pre HDi turbo diesel, the 2.1 XUD engine,  and since that car died ive had a v6 vectra, a 2l non turbo volvo v40, a t4 turbo v40, and another 2l non turbo v40, all of which are / were petrol, and none of them have been anything like as good as that old pug was, the T4 was an improvement over the 3 non turbo cars but still not a patch on the 406.

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11 minutes ago, clarkey1984 said:

A turbo diesel engine will always produce more torque than a turbo petrol, and also a lot lower down the rev range too, which is ideal for towing, i used to have an old peugeot 406 td, a P reg one, it had done 283 thousand miles when i got it and was the older pre HDi turbo diesel, the 2.1 XUD engine,  and since that car died ive had a v6 vectra, a 2l non turbo volvo v40, a t4 turbo v40, and another 2l non turbo v40, all of which are / were petrol, and none of them have been anything like as good as that old pug was, the T4 was an improvement over the 3 non turbo cars but still not a patch on the 406.

Im sure logiclee will be along in a moment to prove you wrong, very wrong.!

 

In fact if you look, 6 posts back logiclee published some figures:-

 

BMW 2.0 Single Turbo  Diesel 190PS, 400NM 1750-2500rpm

BMW 2.0 Single Turbo Petrol. 258PS, 400NM 1550-4100rpm

 

As you can see from the numbers, the petrol is better in every respect.

 

FWIW I prefer the way a diesel drives, Ive driven some of the new petrol turbo engined cars and whilst on paper it's way better than a diesel, more torque, more power, wider rev range and torque starting lower down, it just doesnt feel right.

Edited by AJGalaxy2012

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1 hour ago, clarkey1984 said:

A turbo diesel engine will always produce more torque than a turbo petrol, and also a lot lower down the rev range too, which is ideal for towing, 

 

Nope.

 

See the BMW example above.

 

Or lets look at Ford's single turbo higher output 2.0's.

 

Diesel 150PS, 350NM @ 2000 - 2500rpm

Diesel 180PS, 400NM @ 2000-2500rpm

Petrol 253PS, 380NM @ 1550-4000rpm

 

Or VAG for an extreme comparison.

Diesel 150PS, 340NM @ 1750- 2400rpm

Diesel 190PS, 400NM @1750 - 2750rpm

Petrol,  310PS, 400NM @1750 - 5500rpm

 

Or the new 2.0 single turbo petrol Merc unit with 415PS and 500NM.

 

And that's before we have considered gearing. Shorter gearing means more engine torque reaches the wheels. And most petrols have 15% to 25% shorter gearing to the equivalent diesel.

 

Lee

 

1 hour ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

 

FWIW I prefer the way a diesel drives, Ive driven some of the new petrol turbo engined cars and whilst on paper it's way better than a diesel, more torque, more power, wider rev range and torque starting lower down, it just doesnt feel right.

 

With a totally flat torque curve throughout most of the rev range and smooth refinement a modern turbo petrol can feel a little flat and bland if you are used to a peakier more characterful diesel. Your only reference is the speed piling on.

Some turbo petrols have actually been designed to be a bit more peaky for character. Ferrari and Merc have been doing this on their newer turbo petrols. 

 

Not to mention playing engine noise through the speakers like BMW and VAG.

 

You will be able to get the BMW units in the Range Rover soon. 

The petrol 4.0 V8 is available with 640PS and 750NM @ 1800-5800rpm but to early to say what versions JLR will get.

Compares well with the 313PS, 700NM @1750 rpm of the Rangie's 4.4V8 diesel.

Edited by logiclee

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It’s often easy to confuse a big gob of torque at 1953rpm as performance but ‘peaky’ is a good description.

 

My next car will likely be a petrol - we do 12k per annum but they didn’t drink a Passat petrol when ours was built meaning a notable lack of them at 2.5 years old when we bought ours! I’m fairly sure we won’t be having a huge caravan next time so the 190bhp 2.0 petrol model they’ve just introduced will work a treat.

7 hours ago, logiclee said:

 

Normally aspirated petrols like your old car

 

Did they do a N/A V60? I thought they were all blown.

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6 minutes ago, FrankBullet said:

It’s often easy to confuse a big gob of torque at 1953rpm as performance but ‘peaky’ is a good description.

 

My next car will likely be a petrol - we do 12k per annum but they didn’t drink a Passat petrol when ours was built meaning a notable lack of them at 2.5 years old when we bought ours! I’m fairly sure we won’t be having a huge caravan next time so the 190bhp 2.0 petrol model they’ve just introduced will work a treat.

 

The 190PS 2.0TSi is proving quite economical according to owners on the Passat, Superb, Octavia forums.

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Yes, I think whether it’s in a Superb, Passat or Arteon it will probably be our next car.

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12 minutes ago, FrankBullet said:

Yes, I think whether it’s in a Superb, Passat or Arteon it will probably be our next car.

 

I doubt you will be dissapointed

 

I have a B7 TDi and have driven a 190TSi Superb and Octavia and the performance is certainly a step up solo.

 

For the Arteon comparing what you have now to what you are considering.

Diesel 150PS, 340NM @1750-2400rpm. 0-62, 9.4 sec

Petrol 190PS, 320NM @1500-4200rpm. 0-62, 7.7 sec

 

Petrol has 18% shorter gearing.

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Ahh ok, I was always under the impression that diesels were more torquey, maybe its just the power delivery giving the illusion then, as every turbo diesel I've ever driven feels a lot more grunty low down, that t4 I was driving (awaiting the new engine to go in) has had a few bits done to it over standard, so much more like 250bhp compared to the still decent 200 they come out of the factory with, that was wet your pants fast with torque steer and wheelspin in 3rd gear in the dry when it came on boost and all sorts, but for towing it still wasn't as capable as that old 12v TD lump in the Peugeot.

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20 minutes ago, clarkey1984 said:

 that t4 I was driving (awaiting the new engine to go in) has had a few bits done to it over standard, so much more like 250bhp compared to the still decent 200 they come out of the factory with, that was wet your pants fast with torque steer and wheelspin in 3rd gear in the dry when it came on boost and all sorts, but for towing it still wasn't as capable as that old 12v TD lump in the Peugeot.

 

If you are driving a petrol turbo that has been modified and can feel it come on boost then it's likely the turbo has been altered and torque is being achieved later in the rev range. The later T4 engnes were producing maximum torque from 1400rpm.

1 hour ago, FrankBullet said:

 

 

Did they do a N/A V60? I thought they were all blown.

 

I'm no Volvo expert but I can't find a 2.2 petrol either

 

Earlier models had a N/A 2.3 which had 145PS and just 197NM and at a heady 3700rpm

You can now get a 1.0, 3 cylinder ecoboost with 140PS and 210NM at 1400rpm.

Edited by logiclee

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I do not know if this is still the case, but diesels have been heavier than petrols and the reason our car is diesel. If we had a lighter caravan then a petrol would not be a problem and have used a few turbo petrol Saabs to tow our previous caravan with MTPLM 1300 kg.

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1 hour ago, logiclee said:

 

If you are driving a petrol turbo that has been modified and can feel it come on boost then it's likely the turbo has been altered and torque is being achieved later in the rev range. The later T4 engnes were producing maximum torque from 1400rpm.

 

Indeed so, it is remapped, running a 3 inch exhaust system front to back with no cat (ive bought one to fit in the interests of legality) and its running 20 psi of boost over the standard of 14 psi, ive not driven a standard one, but im lead to believe the power is achieved across quite a decent spectrum of the rev range, whereas mine just kicks you in the crown jewels with a big dollop of go all at once, it gives nuts power and high boost at around 2500 rpm but by the time you're up to 5k the boost gauge is dropping down to barely 10 psi, and by 5500 there's practically no puff left, these little td04l 14t blowers haven't got the cfm to maintain boost at that higher engine speed, they just cant push enough air, incidentally, i'm pretty confident that this silly high boost is why its eaten a piston ring and is off the road, very smokey indeed, once i get the replacement lump in ill be dialing it back to 17 psi, that's still a decent amount above standard while remaining relatively safe, i can feel the extra cost of shell v power petrol leaving my wallet already haha

Edited by clarkey1984

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54 minutes ago, clarkey1984 said:

 

Indeed so, it is remapped, running a 3 inch exhaust system front to back with no cat (ive bought one to fit in the interests of legality) and its running 20 psi of boost over the standard of 14 psi, ive not driven a standard one, but im lead to believe the power is achieved across quite a decent spectrum of the rev range, whereas mine just kicks you in the crown jewels with a big dollop of go all at once, it gives nuts power and high boost at around 2500 rpm but by the time you're up to 5k the boost gauge is dropping down to barely 10 psi, and by 5500 there's practically no puff left, these little td04l 14t blowers haven't got the cfm to maintain boost at that higher engine speed, they just cant push enough air, incidentally, i'm pretty confident that this silly high boost is why its eaten a piston ring and is off the road, very smokey indeed, once i get the replacement lump in ill be dialing it back to 17 psi, that's still a decent amount above standard while remaining relatively safe, i can feel the extra cost of shell v power petrol leaving my wallet already haha

 

20psi on a TD04. No wonder it's gone bang and was a bit of a pig in the torque delivery.

When I was tuning Subaru's for driveabilty and reliability on TD04 versions 16psi max.

Edited by logiclee

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6 hours ago, clarkey1984 said:

 

Indeed so, it is remapped, running a 3 inch exhaust system front to back with no cat (ive bought one to fit in the interests of legality) and its running 20 psi of boost over the standard of 14 psi, ive not driven a standard one, but im lead to believe the power is achieved across quite a decent spectrum of the rev range, whereas mine just kicks you in the crown jewels with a big dollop of go all at once, it gives nuts power and high boost at around 2500 rpm but by the time you're up to 5k the boost gauge is dropping down to barely 10 psi, and by 5500 there's practically no puff left, these little td04l 14t blowers haven't got the cfm to maintain boost at that higher engine speed, they just cant push enough air, incidentally, i'm pretty confident that this silly high boost is why its eaten a piston ring and is off the road, very smokey indeed, once i get the replacement lump in ill be dialing it back to 17 psi, that's still a decent amount above standard while remaining relatively safe, i can feel the extra cost of shell v power petrol leaving my wallet already haha

Stick a decent turbo in there, my boy did in his Glanza LOL

 

image.png.6613917676ac50ced2ab7c76120ed1fc.png

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11 hours ago, Paul1957 said:

I do not know if this is still the case, but diesels have been heavier than petrols and the reason our car is diesel. If we had a lighter caravan then a petrol would not be a problem and have used a few turbo petrol Saabs to tow our previous caravan with MTPLM 1300 kg.

 

Not a lot in it if you pick the same engine size. The days of big old heavy cast iron diesels are gone but there's still the added weight of the extra emission equipment. 

 

Looking at a brochure I have to hand.

XF 2.0 Diesel  Auto 1734kg

XF 2.0 Petrol Auto 1704kg

 

But really when you consider the extra  30kg weight is in the engine bay is that really an advantage to stability if the caravan decides it wants to move the car? 

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, clarkey1984 said:

A turbo diesel engine will always produce more torque than a turbo petrol,

 

I was always of this mind but reading this topic it seems I am well out of date.  I have attempted to summarise here, please tell me if this is incorrect.

 

Thinking about 2 litre turbo charged engines.

 

A modern Petrol is better with regards to:

 

Torque 

Acceleration

Quietness

Power output

Road tax

Initial cost

 

A modern diesel is better for:

 

Longevity

Depreciation

MPG

 

If this is somewhat true.  From what model year has this been the case?

 

John

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34 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

 

I was always of this mind but reading this topic it seems I am well out of date.  I have attempted to summarise here, please tell me if this is incorrect.

 

Thinking about 2 litre turbo charged engines.

 

A modern Petrol is better with regards to:

 

Torque 

Acceleration

Quietness

Power output

Road tax

Initial cost

 

A modern diesel is better for:

 

Longevity

Depreciation

MPG

 

If this is somewhat true.  From what model year has this been the case?

 

John

 

It's a massive generalisation John and there's different outputs offered by different manufactures at different price points so there's plenty of choice either way.

But it's true to say it's no longer the case that you have to buy diesel to get low down torque or that diesels will always be better for towing.

 

And unfortunately the Longevity and Depreciation comments are no longer always true.

Diesels are no longer simple compression engines that run for many hundreds of thousands of miles with just oil changes. Pick out a Euro6 diesel and you have VNT Turbos, twin watercooled EGR's very high pressure common rail, SCR with adblue, oxidisation cat, diesel particulate filter. It's going to be more common that a diesel is scrapped due to an aux component failure than an engine failure.

 

And Depreciation.

The diesel market has imploded in nearly every sector apart from the larger SUV sector. New car diesel sales have more or less  gone from  the small car sector.  There are 38% fewer diesels sold now than just 21 months ago and by the end of this year diesel sales will be less than 30% of cars sold.

This drop in diesel demand has had a knock on effect to used car values as 50% of 3 year old cars are diesels. Glass's have been reporting drops in diesel used car values for nearly two years. In some models the cheaper petrol now sells for more than the more expensive diesel at 3 years old.  And the market continues to shift.

Edited by logiclee
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Thanks for that very clear explanation.  I will certainly consider a petrol next time (I don’t buy new). On the other hand, might get a excellent diesel bargain the way things are going.

 

John

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2 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

Thanks for that very clear explanation.  I will certainly consider a petrol next time (I don’t buy new). On the other hand, might get a excellent diesel bargain the way things are going.

 

John

 

Yes and that's what I did recently, Haggled hard for a used diesel and got a great price. I know I wont get much for it come resale as it will be high miles by then.

 

I was at my local Skoda dealer last week.

They had two Octavia's side by side and both £10k and had done 28k miles.

 

One a 1.6TDi and the other a 1.4TSi.

 

The big wow for me was the diesel was a 2016 66plate and the petrol a 2013 63plate.

 

So they are asking the same price for a petrol that's three years older than the diesel.

 

 

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Can’t help feeling there is a lot of straining at gnats with all this torque Talk.  Modern 2 litre turbo engines, be they petrol or diesel , will be more than adequate for lugging a 1500kg trailer around Europe.  A heavier trailer recommends a heavier tow car for stability ...which will generally come with an uprated engine spec anyway.

 

I have come to the conclusion, every vehicle will depreciate much much more than we like in this new crazy green era.

So I bought a comfy thirsty petrol car that I enjoy driving solo.

 

 

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