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    Thread: Find me the most fuel efficient family vehicle that can tow 3500 lbs.

    1. 04-10-2012 11:05 AM #51
      Quote Originally Posted by vr6pilot View Post
      You may not think "family vehicle" when looking at the Toyota Tacoma but, yes, I went there.
      This brings up a point, what constitutes a 'family vehicle'?

    2. Member vr6pilot's Avatar
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      04-10-2012 11:08 AM #52
      I was assuming passenger seating? Plus, in the back, the DC Tacoma has the fittings for the child seat harness.
      Cheers, yo.

    3. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      04-10-2012 11:15 AM #53
      I dunno, dude - I feel like any move you're likely to make is going to be lateral. I don't think any of the competition gets fuel economy that's convincingly better than what you've got in your driveway - sure, a few mpg here or there, but nothing that's going to stanch the complaints anytime gas is over $4/gal. You could move up to a Highlander Hybrid, but the increase in your monthly payment would neatly cancel out any gas savings.

      My feeling is that trying to accommodate diametrically opposed uses - like daily driving and capable towing or offroading - in one vehicle is just a recipe for feeling like you're compromised in some important respect. I've never been calmer and more relaxed about my vehicular situation as I am now, because the 4Runner was cheap, it'll run as long as I want it, and I can approach the question of a fun daily driver without trying to make it also suffice for offroading and camping. A two-vehicle solution is likely to be the superior one, if it's affordable. My 4Runner was $8000. A Trailblazer or something related to it would be less than that for fewer miles, and then you could get an efficient daily driver for your wife.
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      04-10-2012 11:16 AM #54
      Quote Originally Posted by Prostho View Post
      Rav4 V6?

      Tows 3500lbs.

      27mpg on hwy for FWD version. 26mpg for 4wd.

      0-60 in 6.3sec when u don' tneed to tow.
      I'll second this suggestion. My mom has one, and it's been a pretty good CUV thus far.

      To whomever said the interior is a cheap POS--ours has held up fine.

    5. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      04-10-2012 11:17 AM #55
      Quote Originally Posted by Mike VR6 View Post
      I'll second this suggestion. My mom has one, and it's been a pretty good CUV thus far.

      To whomever said the interior is a cheap POS--ours has held up fine.
      It's not a great place to be, though, and the cabin is narrower than other CUVs in the class.
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    6. Member reddfoxx's Avatar
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      04-10-2012 11:23 AM #56
      Someone already mentioned this, but just to chime in: my brother's Jeep Liberty diesel gets ~25 mpg. He uses biodiesel when possible, to bring the cost down more. It can tow ~5000 lbs. He says it is easy to park and see out of, drives well, likes the engine. He's 6'2" and has decent headroom, but overall it's a smallish vehicle. I've ridden in it and it's pretty fancy (but then I'm used to 20 year old VWs...)
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      04-10-2012 11:24 AM #57
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      It's not a great place to be, though, and the cabin is narrower than other CUVs in the class.
      Yeah but you can't have everything. Of course it's not a great place to be in comparison to a nicer 4Runner, but that's a ****ty place to be compared to a Land Rover...catch my drift?

      Also, narrow? We've had 3 adults across in the back for a couple hours with not too much of an issue. It's actually fairly comfortable in the back with a flat floorboard + reclining + sliding fore/aft rear seats. I'm sure 3 200lb+ people won't fit well, but again all depends on your needs.

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      04-10-2012 11:42 AM #58
      3500lb options I have pursued:

      B3 Passat G60 Syncro Wagon (from Canada) . Had one but it was problematic, old, rusty
      Audi allroad 2.7TT 6spd manual. Had one but it used too much fuel

      ideal option for me is to import a 1996 Audi A6 Avant TDI, but I haven't got that far yet. Don't know if that's possible with US import rules.

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      04-10-2012 11:44 AM #59
      Quote Originally Posted by reddfoxx View Post
      my brother's Jeep Liberty diesel gets ~25 mpg. He uses biodiesel when possible, to bring the cost down more. It can tow ~5000 lbs. He says it is easy to park and see out of, drives well, likes the engine. He's 6'2" and has decent headroom, but overall it's a smallish vehicle. I've ridden in it and it's pretty fancy (but then I'm used to 20 year old VWs...)
      i was intrigued by these at first, but after working with some folks from chrysler... no one had anything good to say about the liberty diesels. not a single good word.

    10. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      04-10-2012 11:46 AM #60
      Quote Originally Posted by BennyB View Post
      ideal option for me is to import a 1996 Audi A6 Avant TDI, but I haven't got that far yet. Don't know if that's possible with US import rules.
      It's completely impossible.
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      04-10-2012 11:48 AM #61
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      I dunno, dude - I feel like any move you're likely to make is going to be lateral. I don't think any of the competition gets fuel economy that's convincingly better than what you've got in your driveway - sure, a few mpg here or there, but nothing that's going to stanch the complaints anytime gas is over $4/gal. You could move up to a Highlander Hybrid, but the increase in your monthly payment would neatly cancel out any gas savings.

      My feeling is that trying to accommodate diametrically opposed uses - like daily driving and capable towing or offroading - in one vehicle is just a recipe for feeling like you're compromised in some important respect. I've never been calmer and more relaxed about my vehicular situation as I am now, because the 4Runner was cheap, it'll run as long as I want it, and I can approach the question of a fun daily driver without trying to make it also suffice for offroading and camping. A two-vehicle solution is likely to be the superior one, if it's affordable. My 4Runner was $8000. A Trailblazer or something related to it would be less than that for fewer miles, and then you could get an efficient daily driver for your wife.
      I think Turbio has a good point. While we would all love to see options (particulary small diesel options) in the US that can meet these criteria, the reality is what you are looking for may require a little compromise. Think about these things

      • Take into consideration the number of miles your family anticipates driving the vehicle annually and the annual cost of fuel for the vehicle.
      • How often do you think you will be towing this boat you are planning to acquire?
      • Also look at the difference annually in the cost of fuel for the car/truck/suv/cuv.
      • Say the equinox, what's the mpg difference for the V6 vs 4cyl? how much will that cost you annually?
      • How much annually are you willing to pay to have this capability?



      If I were you, I would be looking at the dollars and cents of it all. Narrow the list down to a few vehicles you like and meet the needs of what you are looking for. Run the numbers for the lease. Run the numbers for the annual fuel costs. Drive them and narrow your choices down. You may find the drop in fuel economy and increased cost to have that V6 is perceived to be a higher cost than what you might think.

      Good luck in your search, I hope you find something that can accommodate your needs and wishlist.

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      04-10-2012 11:56 AM #62
      Quote Originally Posted by vr6pilot View Post


      Hell of a trunk, too.
      Great truck, would be perfect for the OP except that I don't think you can get the 4 cyl in the double cab 4x4 configuration, and the V6 won't meet the OP's fuel economy requirements, as it only does about 20-21 mpg.
      I'm not happy until I've posted something

    13. Member vr6pilot's Avatar
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      04-10-2012 01:02 PM #63
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      Great truck, would be perfect for the OP except that I don't think you can get the 4 cyl in the double cab 4x4 configuration, and the V6 won't meet the OP's fuel economy requirements, as it only does about 20-21 mpg.
      Ah, for 2012, yes you can. But you'll take a hit on towing and the daily driveability is somewhat dull, I've heard. Still. Truck would be even less expensive and get you around 24-26ish


      Edit...oh maybe not in 4x4.
      Cheers, yo.

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      04-10-2012 01:13 PM #64
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      It's completely impossible.
      look at the poster's location.

      it's definitly possible.

      though, not sure i'd wanna tow 3500lbs with an a6....

      it's funny though, there are 2 threads like this on TCL alone right now and I know that i'm looking for options as well, let alone a few other people i know. the auto companies seem to be a little flat footed on this one??? good fuel mileage with good utility, surely this has been thought of before now?!
      Last edited by boner; 04-10-2012 at 01:16 PM.

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      04-10-2012 01:15 PM #65
      Has there been an indication what mileage a Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 will get wth the new 8sp transmission? The current setup will easily tow what you need (rated up to 7500lbs), and could squeeze ~22-24 mpg hwy with cylinder deactivation (not towing). The 8 speed should make things better, but not ideal.
      The P-Star V6 is rated at 3500lbs...probably too close to the limit for your needs.

      And the JGC is a very nice place to be...I'd own one today, if I had the $$.
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      04-10-2012 01:27 PM #66
      Quote Originally Posted by boner View Post
      good fuel mileage with good utility, surely this has been thought of before now?!
      It exists, just not in the US.

      Land Cruiser Prado 3.0 turbiodiesel gets about 27 US MPG combined (Aussie figures). 170 hp, 302 lb-ft @ 1600 RPM, 5500 lb tow rating.

      I rented a previous-generation one in Belize and it was awesome.

      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    17. 04-10-2012 01:34 PM #67
      I need to be very clear on this:

      I absolutely will NOT do a Tacoma. Not in any form, not in any configuration, not when I can go get an Ecoboost F150 for not much more.

      Family vehicle for me means an SUV, station wagon, some form on 2 box vehicle that is comfortable, can carry cargo, and is ideally AWD. So ideally, I am not looking for a pickup.

      THe Q5 is a solid option. I just priced one up and it is hovering around $40,000 for a 2.0T Premium Plus, which ain't bad at all. Looks like it can tow 4,000 lbs too. That's a nice bump.

      The reason why I am doing it this way is I want 1 practical family car, and 1 somewhat impractical sporty car in the garage. Right now, the Equinox and GTI fill those roles. Eventually, I see the SUV joining with a Mustang GT Premium.
      Last edited by Maximum_Download; 04-10-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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      04-10-2012 01:47 PM #68
      Jeep Grand Cherokee. Dodge Durango.

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      04-10-2012 01:49 PM #69
      2013 GLK250 Bluetec...if you can hold out until Nov. Should base out within $1K of the current GLK. Standard 4Matic and the 350 can tow 3500 so the BTC should do it no problem.
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      04-10-2012 01:51 PM #70
      Quote Originally Posted by GolfVIDriver View Post

      I absolutely will NOT do a Tacoma. Not in any form, not in any configuration, not when I can go get an Ecoboost F150 for not much more.
      Adding to that, you can get a decently-equipped extended cab F150 4x4 with the 3.7-liter V6 in either STX or XLT trim for $24-25k after incentives. Tow rating is 5,550 lbs — city mileage sucks at 15, but if you mostly run around the suburbs/highway that figure is a pretty decent 21 MPG.
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    21. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      04-10-2012 02:01 PM #71
      Quote Originally Posted by DCubed View Post
      2013 GLK250 Bluetec...


      /bluetec nutswinger

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      04-10-2012 02:11 PM #72
      Quote Originally Posted by DCubed View Post
      2013 GLK250 Bluetec...if you can hold out until Nov. Should base out within $1K of the current GLK. Standard 4Matic and the 350 can tow 3500 so the BTC should do it no problem.
      I had no idea that the GLK started at $35.8k.

    23. 04-10-2012 02:18 PM #73
      Quote Originally Posted by FlashRedGLS1.8T View Post
      I had no idea that the GLK started at $35.8k.
      Depends on area, of course, but they're generally selling for well below MSRP here (NoVa).

    24. 04-10-2012 02:39 PM #74
      Quote Originally Posted by FlashRedGLS1.8T View Post
      I had no idea that the GLK started at $35.8k.
      Q5s with the 2.0T are suprisingly well priced too. I'd probably do a Q5 before a Benz though.
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    25. 04-10-2012 02:44 PM #75
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Having towed as much as I have, and knowing the OP and his towing experience....both of us would rate it marginal at best. For occasionally dragging 2500-3000lb on city streets, maybe. For towing on highways, grades, and distances longer than a few miles, hell no.
      I drug a 4,000 lb trailer and a huge cargo carrier up top from Florida to Kentucky with my 2010 sportwagen tdi and it was fine. Had no problems on the interstate at my usual 75-80 mph. Still got about 35 mpg. Without trailer and stuff I can get 42 mpg. Only real difference was on braking distances, but not much more really.. The sportwagens have 4 wheel disc and rear IRS.. The jetta's no longer have that.

      It's plenty capable.

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