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Old 06 September 2011, 13:59   #1
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Towing Vehicle

Know this has been flogged to death already but I'm after a straw poll and some advice please

I'm looking at buying a used Towing Vehicle. It needs to be compatible for the family as well as being tough enough to tow strong. I'll list some of it's requirements below and hopefully somebody can put some input into what my best options are

1) diesel ideally 4x4 to get the big boats off the slip
2) capable of towing from 750kgs-2000kgs
3) comfortable for long distances, motorway etc
4) fairly refined in terms of spec
5) manual or auto - which is best on each model ?

We are looking spending as little as possible based on us being likely to trash it throwing motors in th boot. Were not looking at new or (nearly new) so will be buying with around 100k on the clock.

We have looked at

Disco TD5 (2.5), not convinced it will be nice when not towing
Range Rover P38 (2.5) not convinced it will have the speed to back up the power
Audi Allroad A6 (3L 180bhp) not sure if it will be happy at heavy towing

The one the wife is quite fixed on is the X5 (3.0) with all the refinements such as TV and Sat Nav. Is that a big mistake for towing ?

We have a limited budget for an older car but reasonable for the right spec

Over to you....

Peter ~ Boatsandoutboards4sale ~ askboatsandoutboards4sale@sky.com ~ 07930 421007
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Old 06 September 2011, 14:04   #2
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Disco 3 ? They came out in 2004 so plenty out there, worlds apart from the TD5 in both comfort and performance, high spec too.
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Old 06 September 2011, 14:07   #3
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Nissan Terrano 3ltr diesel. Superb tow car and more reliable than a Land Rover.

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Old 06 September 2011, 14:11   #4
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Disco td5 is a great towing car- my dad has had one from new (slightly biased), and he just cant bare to part with it for somthing newer! Its pretty bog standard inside, with none of the luxuries and isnt the most comfortable car in the world. We used to use it to tow a fishing boat here there and everywhere and it never missed a beat (now has around 130k on the clock).
I think the P38's have renowned suspension issues, but i suppose as with all things it depends on who owned it before you.
Regarding the X5's, iv heard nothing but bad things about them from a few people we know who have owned them.. One person spent 1000's putting his right, only to still end up getting rid because the costs kept mounting.
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Old 06 September 2011, 14:15   #5
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I would go for a late Disco series 2 rather than an early Disco series 3 - more likely to be reliable.

P38a - I have this in diesel - fantastic car if you get a good one - pain in the xxxx if you get one with dodgy electrics / air suspension - not fast enough as stock - but get it chipped / converted and it is transformed - I spent 1,000 at JE Engineering to have it taken to stage 2 - which gave it circa 50% more horsepower (v. noticeable) and fuel consumption improves from 22-25 range to 25 if driven hard - 28 norm and I have even had it at 33.8 on one journey... the conversion paid for itself in fuel savings... I regularly tow 3.5 tonnes and have had c. 1 tonne in the boot

Tourage is a possible and the V10 diesel will certainly be fast enough when not towing!

Volve XC90 is good

X5 3.0 litre is very nice (but not a patch on the landies for off-road...) usually found on slicks!

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Old 06 September 2011, 14:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow
Disco 3 ? They came out in 2004 so plenty out there, worlds apart from the TD5 in both comfort and performance, high spec too.
Looks like 10k will only buy one with massive miles. Rules that out I'm afraid

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Old 06 September 2011, 14:22   #7
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X5's are not great, just have a certain image, look at the costs in maintaining such motors Disco 3 were not great for reliability, can cost a fortune out of warranty, the Disco 4 is a much better and sorted motor. The TD5 Disco is a good by now My father, myself and my neighbouring mechanic have all had Terrano's with problems although you would have to say Jap stuff is going to be more reliable but when they go wrong -ouch! It can be pricey. I will never go Jap again, they are soulless for a start , no good if you are a car enthusiast But an older Land Cruiser is a very good buy if you have chosen well.

Get yourself an old Series 2. I use one as my daily drive, school runs, work, supermarkets, it has never let me down and is great fun . We also have a SAAB 95 - terrible tow-ers, weak rear shocks etc. I use my new Defender for hauling anything around and preserve it in the garage the rest of the time, it's a keeper and the last of the 2.4's

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Old 06 September 2011, 14:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagato
X5's are not great, just have a certain image, look at the costs in maintaining such motors Disco 3 were not great for reliability, can cost a fortune out of warranty, the Disco 4 is a much better and sorted motor. The TD5 Disco is a good by now My father, myself and my neighbouring mechanic have all had Terrano's with problems although you would have to say Jap stuff is going to be more reliable but when they go wrong -ouch! It can be pricey. I will never go Jap again, they are soulless for a start , no good if you are a car enthusiast But an older Land Cruiser is a very good buy if you have chosen well.

Get yourself an old Series 2. I use one as my daily drive, school runs, work, supermarkets, it has never let me down and is great fun . Don't buy a SAAB 95 - terrible towers, weak rear shocks etc. I use my new Defender for hauling anything around and preserve it in the garage the rest of the time, it's a keeper and the last of the 2.4's
Looks the business. The wife says....

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Old 06 September 2011, 14:29   #9
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I used to have an X5, towed various boats with it. Didn't have any issues with it, my only gripe was it was too smart for what I used it for. Now have a VW transporter crew van and that's fantastic all be it 2wd

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Old 06 September 2011, 14:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boats&Outboards View Post
Looks like 10k will only buy one with massive miles. Rules that out I'm afraid

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Pity, I bought a new one in Nov 04, one of the very first, been v. reliable and a truly lovely drive. Consider Land Cruiser perhaps?
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Old 06 September 2011, 14:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow

Pity, I bought a new one in Nov 04, one of the very first, been v. reliable and a truly lovely drive. Consider Land Cruiser perhaps?
Time for an upgrade ?

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Old 06 September 2011, 14:50   #12
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My Dad has several TD5 Discos in his business of delivering cars on trailers around the country.
Automatic seems best for towing but he seems to chew through gearboxes every 100k miles.
Not very refined as a daily driver in comparison with other stuff.

Volvo XC90 a very nice family car but check the towing limit - i've got an XC70 and love it but think that 2000kg is right at it's limit. I only occasionally tow my boat and only short distances but seems OK on the 20 mile motorway trips i've towed on. XC70 is same mechanicals as XC90.

A 3.0L Diesel A6 Allroad would be a good daily.

3.0L Diesel Tourag? Possibly cheaper than an Allroad?

Stay away from 2.5TDI Audis.
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Old 06 September 2011, 14:51   #13
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Quote:
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Time for an upgrade ?

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Probably is, but we're through the risky just out of warranty stage (4 years out) and depreciation will be limited for the next few years having taken the early initial hit. There's lot's of independants out there who can deal with the complexity's of the 3 series so I may well stick for the time being

(otherwise read as- No, I want a bigger newer boat!)
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Old 06 September 2011, 15:00   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow

Probably is, but we're through the risky just out of warranty stage (4 years out) and depreciation will be limited for the next few years having taken the early initial hit. There's lot's of independants out there who can deal with the complexity's of the 3 series so I may well stick for the time being

(otherwise read as- No, I want a bigger newer boat!)
I could help on the boat front....

Looks like I'm going to view an X5 tomorrow so we shall see what happens

Anybody else have any input it is most welcome

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Old 06 September 2011, 15:07   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boats&Outboards;

Looks like I'm going to view an X5 tomorrow

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I intend trying one next time as well, good luck with it.
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Old 06 September 2011, 15:13   #16
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Cheers. I'll let you know how I get on.

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Old 06 September 2011, 15:18   #17
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Decent gen 3 Hilux Surf? 5k change and will last as long as any of the other options.
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Old 06 September 2011, 15:26   #18
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Looks like I'm going to view an X5 tomorrow
The best on tarmac, hopeless off of it.

The D4 is the one to have in my opinion.
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Old 06 September 2011, 15:49   #19
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The best on tarmac, hopeless off of it.

The D4 is the one to have in my opinion.
I'm not planning on going off road. The closest it will get is on the Slipway. I never launch from beaches or anything like that so the "off road" aspect really doesn't come into it for me, other than the snow if it comes back again

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Old 06 September 2011, 16:49   #20
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my hard earned cash would be going on the latest TD5 Disco I could find with a low mileage and all the extras, they are as bomb proof as you will find for the money, will tow anything up to 3ton with ease and not too bad on the go juice (stay away from the V8's, lovely bit of kit but the fuel!!!!!) we've done over 100k in ours now, still on the original exhaust and only just fitted new hubs, it's been used for towing since new and never misses a beat. The only big issue with them is leaking sunroofs, so have a good look at the headlining before buying.
we've also got 2 defender 90's in the family, a TD5 and a Puma (ford engine), both brilliant for towing and off roading, but the disco is the one for long distance towing and it's got loads of room in the back.
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