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Old 21 June 2012, 14:44   #1
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Replacement Tow Car

I have a 2003 VW Passat 4motion which has proven an excellent car for towing the rin and carrying mountain bikes and dive kit all over the country.

I'm looking for a similar car to tow the rib 1150kg bearing in mind I'd like it to have four wheel drive and preferably better ground clearance than the Passat which is a sport model so extra low.

My budget is about 11k and I'm after something 2007 or newer, 43mpg +, and big enough for the bikes to be flung inside.

I'm looking at:

Another passat estate 4motion - very hard to come by, not many about
Audi Quatrro - mostly bigger engines now, 1.9 130bhp often very high miles
Subaru Outback - few around, but seem to have major clutch problems (reading online)
Skoda Scout / Octavia 4x4 - quite low specced interior dont seem to be any nice extra's


Does anyone have any other suggestions to add to the pot or know of anything suitable for sale? I'm loathed to join the big 4x4 brigade as I don't need that and I do mega miles so want something comfortable that handles reasonably well.
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Old 21 June 2012, 14:47   #2
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Look at Kia Sorrento- great tow car with 4X4 options and price wise a 2009 is within your reach with 20-40000 miles
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Old 21 June 2012, 14:48   #3
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Volvo XC70, my son had one, very nice.
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Old 21 June 2012, 14:51   #4
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i have a Subaru Legacy and had a warranty clutch at 30,000 miles. Apart from that great car but would have been £2K if not under warranty...
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Old 21 June 2012, 14:54   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow Buoy View Post
Volvo XC70, my son had one, very nice.
I think that Duncan 'Searider' on here has an XC70 he is about to sell (has replaced with an XC90).....may be worth a PM?
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Old 21 June 2012, 15:10   #6
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Freelander 2 or Volvo xc70
Good second hand 4x4 are like hens teeth at the mo I have it on good authority that overseas buyers are coming to the auctions and buying them up paying silly money
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Old 21 June 2012, 15:56   #7
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Originally Posted by Razorbill RIBs View Post
I think that Duncan 'Searider' on here has an XC70 he is about to sell (has replaced with an XC90).....may be worth a PM?
Thanks Dan

I will be selling my XC70 later in the summer.

But it's a 55 plate and not expensive enough for the OP!

Easy 45mpg on the motorway, very comfy seats. Tows my Scorpion fine.

Will put it up on here when ready to sell once i've swapped the silver rocket for an A6 smoker.
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Old 21 June 2012, 19:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diver 1 View Post
I'm looking at:

Another passat estate 4motion - very hard to come by, not many about
Audi Quatrro - mostly bigger engines now, 1.9 130bhp often very high miles
Subaru Outback - few around, but seem to have major clutch problems (reading online)
Skoda Scout / Octavia 4x4 - quite low specced interior dont seem to be any nice extras
The Passat estate 4Motion is a nice car. It uses Haldex part-time 4 wheel drive, so fuel economy is excellent. From 2005 on it's either a 2.0 diesel, 2.0FSI or a daft 3.6 litre V6 petrol engine.

Audi quattros - I drive a 2001 A4 2.5TDI Avant quattro sport (aka Amtrak locomotive).
I think A4s will be too small, if you've been used to driving a Passat. The A6 is roughly the same size. Lots of engines to choose from, if you're looking for an oil burner with plenty torque. All fixed 4 wheel drive, so fuel consumption won't be as good as the 4Motion. You could consider an A6 Allroad. Plenty ground clearance. Only down side is expensive fix on air suspension, and avoid auto boxes if you want to play safe.

Subaru outback - no personal experience of it - but have heard they're expensive for parts.

New Octavia 4x4 Scout is a great looking car - however still pricey, even for 2008-2010 with average miles which would fit your budget. 1.9 TDI PD engine is frugal, or 2.0 litre.
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Old 22 June 2012, 08:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C2 RIBS View Post
Look at Kia Sorrento- great tow car with 4X4 options and price wise a 2009 is within your reach with 20-40000 miles
I'd 100% agree with Ian . A 2009 car would ( I think) still give you maybe 2 years of manufacturer warranty ( which your unilkely to need anyway , but peace of mind ) .

The badging can make some want to walk away , but give one a drive for sure.

Not a 'BIG@ 4x4 but not the smallest . I have a Hyundai Santa Fe ( who Kia own or is it the other way round? ) which I think is a bit bigger but still quite capable on slips etc ...

Or pay a lot more for an older much higher milage car with no warranty but a 'badge' on it .....?
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Old 22 June 2012, 13:25   #10
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I have a Sorento and it drives very nicely and you hardly notice when towing, very comfortable and reasonably economic. I am very happy with it bar the following which is starting to destroy faith in the cars reliability.
Three unforeseen and immediately disabling breakdowns over the last two years on a newish, fully serviced low mileage car.........
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Old 22 June 2012, 13:32   #11
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I have a Sorento and it drives very nicely and you hardly notice when towing, very comfortable and reasonably economic. I am very happy with it bar the folowing.
Three unforeseen and immediately disabling breakdowns over the last two years on a newish, fully serviced low mileage car.........

Was it the fuel tank?
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Old 22 June 2012, 13:49   #12
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06 Sorento bought new at £5k below list, tows well, drives well, just got to 61k never had a single fault despite it being the car I always take if the weather is gonna be wet/windy or snowing. And as I commute back and forth to Cumbria thats most of the time!
Thats probably the kiss of death for it I suppose
Just come back thru a well flooded Cumbria and Lancashire with it-faultless. Keep thinking of changing it but these stories of various faults on allegedly better badged cars makes me think why bother! Daughter's Discovery for instance helped the unemployment situation by keeping the local landrover garage busy in warranty repairs til she saw the light and got rid.
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Old 22 June 2012, 14:07   #13
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Quote:
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06 Sorento bought new at £5k below list, tows well, drives well, just got to 61k never had a single fault despite it being the car I always take if the weather is gonna be wet/windy or snowing. And as I commute back and forth to Cumbria thats most of the time!
Thats probably the kiss of death for it I suppose
Just come back thru a well flooded Cumbria and Lancashire with it-faultless. Keep thinking of changing it but these stories of various faults on allegedly better badged cars makes me think why bother! Daughter's Discovery for instance helped the unemployment situation by keeping the local landrover garage busy in warranty repairs til she saw the light and got rid.

Thats good just ordered a Sorento to replace a Nissan Tow car. I knew that some pre 2006 ones had a fuel tank that had a form of delamination that meant a new tank but Kia did replace at their cost to someone we knew. The car has a tow car of year award and well written up in most mags and forums. Manages snow in Forest and will tow a good weight and new ones come with 7 year warranty and 100,000 mile cover. Says something about reliability
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Old 22 June 2012, 14:15   #14
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2007 model at 39k, FSH

First fault- drove into a petrol station and then could leave the forecourt after fueling, jammed in second gear and couldn't get it out. Recovered to Kia who repaired under warranty after some argument. Turns out this was a known issue with cars of that year and was admitted, eventually!

Second fault- wife driving away from tescos in town, car starts making awful racket. When I go down to look cap screw has sheared holding in injector on No1 cylinder and injector bouncing up and down. According to Kia fault unknown so write off as one of those things and replace with genuine Kia cap screw.

Third Fault- pulling away from toll station at the weekend in republic of Ireland same cap screw shears again. Bought one and a spare and Kia still insisting in dealership that unknown fault. No reply from HQ after a week asking for advice.

All three faults happened with absolutely no warning and are destroying faith in cars reliability, especially as we only sold previous car after 10 years just in case it broke down after 10 years of no breakdowns on a car that didn't even get serviced for 9 of the 10 years we had it!

I like the car but one more breakdown means it goes........
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Old 22 June 2012, 16:17   #15
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I don't know if you'd get one at your price point but the Skoda Yeti is a terrific car. Well worth a look
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Old 22 June 2012, 17:40   #16
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I'm not sure what mpg you need but it may be worth looking at one of the modern SUV's. Honda CR-V, Nissan X-Trail, Peugeot 4007 all give 40mpg round town and 45 on a run. Drive is suprisingly ok (but not as good as the Passat ) , high ground clearance and all tow 2000kg with ease.
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Old 22 June 2012, 17:45   #17
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I'm not sure what mpg you need but it may be worth looking at one of the modern SUV's. Honda CR-V, Nissan X-Trail, Peugeot 4007 all give 40mpg round town and 45 on a run. Drive is suprisingly ok (but not as good as the Passat ) , high ground clearance and all tow 2000kg with ease.
Wish my 3 litre Terrano was as good on the go juice as the makes and models you've mentioned.
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Old 23 June 2012, 02:14   #18
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ford kuga awd, gets about 40mpg, quiet, comfortable and plenty of room and tows my 6.2m like it's not there. Happy with mine
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Old 23 June 2012, 02:59   #19
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Quote:
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ford kuga awd, gets about 40mpg, quiet, comfortable and plenty of room and tows my 6.2m like it's not there. Happy with mine
We borrowed a brand new Kuga the other day to tow a SR 6m down to Cornwall from Portsmouth. Lovely car and surprisingly upmarket for a Ford. I think the price reflects this fact though.... It too was an AWD model but I must admit I cant agree with regards to the comment "it tows like its not there". Sure its a great tow car and I like it a lot but as for towing like the boat was not there - I'm not sure about that.

Nice car though but I think residual prices are still quite high at present.
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Old 23 June 2012, 03:02   #20
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Wish my 3 litre Terrano was as good on the go juice as the makes and models you've mentioned.
Ahh, but your Terrano could tow this:



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