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Suggestions For Motorway Cruiser / Part Time Twin Axle Tug - 5-6K


mcbrucer
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Hello all,

My plans changed recently when my wife got a new, small car unable to pull our van.

 

I do quite a lot of motorway miles (20k/yr) and I'm looking for something cheap, 5-6k, maybe up to 6/8 years old to return reasonable mileage as a motorway cruiser (40+ mpg) but also serve as a part time tug for our avante 636 (1650kg?)

 

I've looked at the usual 4x4's and they all seem to return lousy mileage, so no good. Running costs are probably the major factor here. So then I got thinking about big saloons or estates but there don't seem to be many heavy enough to pull our van. A6 all road maybe? A8/s-class/7 series?

 

Would appreciate any/all suggestions or experience.

 

Cheers

ML320CDI & Avante 636

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Don't rule out a higher mileage 5 Series BMW. You can pick up a nice E60 or E61 for good money now. I have an E61 525D and it's the best tow car iv'e ever owned, plus it crunches the miles with pure ease and luxury. I had mine re-mapped and she now returns mid 30s on the motorway and only slightly less pulling a huge twin axle Elddis Crusader. The self levelling system on mine makes towing a pure dream with zero bounce that I had in a few of my 4x4s. Yes, maybe they are not cheap to repair if they go wrong, but mines just clicked over to 100k and other than service items, it's cost me nothing. There are loads of BMW specialists out there now that come highly recommended on some of the BMW forums.

 

Plus they still look awesome in my opinion.

 

IMG_8118_zps1d3edee5.jpg

 

Not bad for 8 years old and 100000 miles.

Edited by Tourershine
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thanks Tourershine - E61's are nice. Does the rear wheel drive present any issues while towing (apologies if this a daft question - i'm new to towing).

ML320CDI & Avante 636

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A Galaxy or S-Max (or something similar) would do the job

The 2. 0Tdci has a towing capacity of 1750kg (1800 if you get a 2,2), a kerbweight of at least 1750kg (it goes up if you put a towbar on ;)) and returns 45-50 around the country lanes and over 50 on the motorways if driven within the speed limit. We get 30mpg when towing our 1600kg van and there's loads of space inside as well. Ours is a single axle but it's steady as a rock

Edited by matelodave

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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thanks Tourershine - E61's are nice. Does the rear wheel drive present any issues while towing (apologies if this a daft question - i'm new to towing).

 

The only negative point regarding rear wheel drive on my car is the snow and the fact it's worse than useless on normal road tyres. Other than that, no issues what so ever. I've personally towed with a few different vehicles, including 4x4s, a van and front wheel drive cars. I can honestly say that my 5series is the best tow car by miles, that i've owned. I wouldn't think twice about replacing it with a newer one if I ever wanted to change, which I don't.

Edited by Tourershine
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Just to add to Matelodave's response above, any diesel people carrier would do the job. If you're not badge sensitive then take a look at the Seat Alhambra.

Land Rover is now back towing.

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A Galaxy or S-Max (or something similar) would do the job

The 2. 0Tdci has a towing capacity of 1750kg (1800 if you get a 2,2), a kerbweight of at least 1750kg (it goes up if you put a towbar on ;)) and returns 45-50 around the country lanes and over 50 on the motorways if driven within the speed limit. We get 30mpg when towing our 1600kg van and there's loads of space inside as well. Ours is a single axle but it's steady as a rock

Just be careful with the 2. 2 tdci.

 

We have the smax auto and whilst it tows the van with ease and munches the miles, Mrs G gets about 25 mpg on the school run and i get mid 30's distance doing less than 70 mph and it does about 25 mpg with the van on the back.

 

Mike

VW Touareg 3. 0L V6 262 R Line with a Unicorn IV Segovia trying to keep up!

 

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It's the auto that chews up the MPG, especially on short runs - mines a manual so doesn't have that penalty. I do find however that if you drive it hard it does adversely impact the fuel consumption - keeping within speed limits and driving sensibly I can keep it around 50mpg or better. They do take about 20k miles before they are run in and the fuel consumption settles down

 

One of my brothers had an S-Max 2. 0Tdci manual for 5years and got the same as me (about 35 towing as his van is only 1100kg).

 

Another brother has the 2. 0Tdci Galaxy auto and gets about 30 around town (he does a lot of short runs as he is disabled) and 40ish on a run

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Don't rule out a higher mileage 5 Series BMW. You can pick up a nice E60 or E61 for good money now. I have an E61 525D and it's the best tow car iv'e ever owned, plus it crunches the miles with pure ease and luxury. I had mine re-mapped and she now returns mid 30s on the motorway and only slightly less pulling a huge twin axle Elddis Crusader. The self levelling system on mine makes towing a pure dream with zero bounce that I had in a few of my 4x4s. Yes, maybe they are not cheap to repair if they go wrong, but mines just clicked over to 100k and other than service items, it's cost me nothing. There are loads of BMW specialists out there now that come highly recommended on some of the BMW forums.

 

Plus they still look awesome in my opinion.

 

IMG_8118_zps1d3edee5.jpg

 

Not bad for 8 years old and 100000 miles.

Beautiful looking car.

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I would ensure that you check your weights carefully as your van could be 1700kg loaded (depends on year?) and you say you are a novice tower?

 

The 5 series are lovely cars (have had a couple and looking at replacing with a another one!) but not sure I would want to tug 1700 kg with one which would be close to 100% match. We only tug 1300kg max so any of the 5 series would be more than adequate for us

 

Tourershine - nice colour - after the carbon black that was my next choice!

 

OP I would say check out the 7 series or A8 as you say BUT do ensure you are prepared to have deep pockets if anything does go wrong or source a good local independent

 

Something like this would make a supremely good tow car at around 1900kg kerb weight and probably not too bad solo cost wise on a run. Already has tow bar this one as well!

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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Beautiful looking car.

 

Yeah, she gets well pampered. .

 

 

Tourershine - nice colour - after the carbon black that was my next choice!

 

 

 

Nah. . Everyone has a Black or Sliver 5 series. I wanted Red originally but they are ultra rare, so settled on the Blue. It looks amazing in the sun.

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Don't rule out a higher mileage 5 Series BMW. You can pick up a nice E60 or E61 for good money now. I have an E61 525D and it's the best tow car iv'e ever owned, plus it crunches the miles with pure ease and luxury. I had mine re-mapped and she now returns mid 30s on the motorway and only slightly less pulling a huge twin axle Elddis Crusader. The self levelling system on mine makes towing a pure dream with zero bounce that I had in a few of my 4x4s. Yes, maybe they are not cheap to repair if they go wrong, but mines just clicked over to 100k and other than service items, it's cost me nothing. There are loads of BMW specialists out there now that come highly recommended on some of the BMW forums.

 

Plus they still look awesome in my opinion.

 

IMG_8118_zps1d3edee5.jpg

 

Not bad for 8 years old and 100000 miles.

 

Never been a BMW fan, but what a fantastic looking car. .

Defender 90  cruising along with a Coachman Laser 640/4.  :)

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Never been a BMW fan, but what a fantastic looking car. .

 

It's given me and the caravan many trouble free and very easy drives up into your territory and thanks, I do kind of forget how nice it looks when I see it sat on the drive every day.

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Yeah, she gets well pampered. .

 

 

 

Nah. . Everyone has a Black or Sliver 5 series. I wanted Red originally but they are ultra rare, so settled on the Blue. It looks amazing in the sun.

 

Strangely my last two have been black and silver ;)

 

The carbon black is still my favourite as has a blue hue to it in bright sunshine - be shame to see this one go as great cars.

 

I do remember the E60 and E61 getting slammed for looks when they first came out in about 2003 - funny how things change and perceptions change once other adopt similar styles

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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What ever you do, don't get a chrysler grand voyager. Rubbish mileage, poor tow car, american lack of build quality. can't wait to get rid of mine!!!

 

Would a Mondeo estate tow a van that big? they are great to drive, economical & reasonable on the spares front too. For that sort of money you'd get a reasonable spec too.

I refer you to the Rt Hon Member for the 19th Century.....................pictured just to the left of your screen..................

 

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A Galaxy or S-Max (or something similar) would do the job

The 2. 0Tdci has a towing capacity of 1750kg (1800 if you get a 2,2), a kerbweight of at least 1750kg (it goes up if you put a towbar on ;)) and returns 45-50 around the country lanes and over 50 on the motorways if driven within the speed limit. We get 30mpg when towing our 1600kg van and there's loads of space inside as well. Ours is a single axle but it's steady as a rock

how do you get 30 mpg towing a 1600kg van. i have a seat Alhambra 20 ltr turbo diesel 140 bhp 2008 model and only get about 24-25 towing a 1500 kg van and i don't hammer it

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That what I get - I cruise at 55 when towing usually using the cruise control and mostly in 5th gear. It's not so happy in 6th at that speed as it tends to balk a bit if the road isn't mainly flat or slightly downhill - it really needs to be doing 60+ for 6th gear and then the fuel consumption drops a bit. If I keep changing up & down between 5th & 6th it increases the consumption as well so I let it settle at 55 and it's quite happy.

 

It doesn't take much longer to get there and most stuff overtakes me rather than me having to do the overtaking. On single carriageway roads then I cruise at 50 or whatever the speed limit dictates.

.

My days of tearing around and wanting to be at the front are over (15 years on the M25 cured me of that)

 

Coming back from Scotland to Cambridgeshire last year I got 33mpg (that's probably because it's downhill ;)) but we did have the wind behind us. We used to get about the same with our 2. 0Tdci C-Max towing 1400kg

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Hi

 

Big hurdle seems to be the weight. With your van weight of 1650 you need a tug of around 1950kg to be within the 85%.

 

Ideal for a motorway would be a traditional car layout. Far more comfort and better mpg. But it is a struggle to find one that weighs enough. Even my merc e class is not quite that heavy but you may find a model that is or something like a Volvo estate etc.

 

The people carrier route may give you some options but then you are driving round a big lump of car. The 4x4 option just gives you a less comfortable car stuck on a heavy tractor chassis with lots of bits you don't need that weigh a bit and eat up lots of fuel.

 

With the miles you are doing the fuel cost must be a huge consideration. 25mpg will cost you £5,500 in fuel each year when there are cars that will cost half that to run. If you can avoid paying an extra £2000 in fuel each year then why not get a good car for the motorway and then hire a big lump of car when you want to tow the van?

 

A tricky one.

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Audi A6 2. 0 TDI or above big, classy and comfy. Decent MPG, decent performance. AWD if you can with an autobox.

Edited by Happy Jack
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Audi A6 2. 0 TDI or above big, classy and comfy. Decent MPG, decent performance. AWD if you can with an autobox.

I think that would probably be a little bit on the light side hence why I suggested the Allroad, significantly heavier, air suspension which works really well, v6 diesel for plenty of torque and of course 4wd

 

Rt

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Thanks for all the advice.

 

I like the idea of of mondeo, s-max or galaxy (love fords!) but sadly, I don't think these are quite heavy enough.

 

Our van has the plate upgraded to 1800kg - principally because I got worried that adding a heavy 4wd mover would eat up most of my weight allowance.

 

a6, 5 series and e class all appear to be borderline with the heaviest being around a 90% match. (At what point should I begin to be concerned? 92%?)

 

Allroad is heavier but seems to command quite a premium over regular a6 avant - too much for me!

 

That leaves the big saloons like the a8, 7 & s class which I suppose would be great for motorway cruising just as long as you don't need to park them anywhere. VW Phaeton appears to be the heaviest and cheapest of the bunch.

 

Thinking now that maybe I should be looking for the most economical 4x4. If I could get 40mpg on a run that might do the trick.

ML320CDI & Avante 636

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OK if its 1800kg you are now looking to pull (not 1650) then i think all our above suggestions for 5 series / A6 and the Fords will be too light

 

What is the car used mainly for - is it regualar motorway munching?

 

A well loaded 7 series or A8 should be around 1950 / 2000kg which could put you around 90%ish and assuming you load car well and not load van to max should be fine. Long wheel base and low centre of gravity should also help stability compared to a 4x4

VW Phaeton is a potentially fantastic tow car but not sure I would risk my own money on one and with the support from VW. Id id actually look into one fo these recently and got scared off which is shame because they are fantastic pieces of kit

 

However the other options are really into decent size 4x4 - VW Touareg, Jeep Grand Cherokee, LR Discovery. Running costs with these could be rather rather watering especially if / when something goes wrong. Not siure there is such a thing as a cheap to run large 4x4 for 5-6k

 

Something a little off the wall but what about (if you can find one!) a Chrysler 300C saloon or touring. The diesel weighs in at 2000kg+ and is rated to tow just under 2000kg

Edited by sunshinetours

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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Thanks for all the advice.

 

I like the idea of of mondeo, s-max or galaxy (love fords!) but sadly, I don't think these are quite heavy enough.

 

Our van has the plate upgraded to 1800kg - principally because I got worried that adding a heavy 4wd mover would eat up most of my weight allowance.

 

a6, 5 series and e class all appear to be borderline with the heaviest being around a 90% match. (At what point should I begin to be concerned? 92%?)

 

Allroad is heavier but seems to command quite a premium over regular a6 avant - too much for me!

 

That leaves the big saloons like the a8, 7 & s class which I suppose would be great for motorway cruising just as long as you don't need to park them anywhere. VW Phaeton appears to be the heaviest and cheapest of the bunch.

 

Thinking now that maybe I should be looking for the most economical 4x4. If I could get 40mpg on a run that might do the trick.

 

 

 

 

My Sorento KX2 Auto has a mass in service of 2005Kg, tow limit of 2000Kg over 40mpg on a run, seats 7 and pulls like a train.

Edited by Steve W77

2015 SorentoKX2 pulling a 2011 Sterling Eccles Moonstone

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