Rich and Linda,
I'm sure Carol's right, there are cars that don't work as tow vehicles though there are plenty that do. Apparently her Subaru was one of those that did not work.
We want a tow vehicle that gets good mpg and will last us for 10 years and 250,000 miles with only maintenance repairs. We don't like to buy vehicles and we like repairs even less.
Our 2004 Honda CRV proved the test of time towing a loaded Scamp 16 all over North America. We hope our Odyssey does as well.
We both like the Odyssey better than the CRV. It is roomier, quieter and more comfortable. Though we carry very little in the Odyssey when towing we like having the space. It's remarkably comfortable for six and with the two passenger seats in the second row (it's available with a 3 passenger second row), it's easy to get to the third row.
The Odyssey is much more powerful than our former CRV, driving around without the trailer it's hardly ever in the 6 cylinder mode. Recently we took out the second row of seats out and folded the third row into the floor to move a bunch of furniture resulting in 32 (8'x4') square feet of enclosed floor space.
It's all choices. If you want a tow vehicle that will maintain speeds up long mountain runs and power through strong mid-west head winds, then you need gobs of power that most of the time you won't need. Now I recognize some people like having the power. We're not that couple (though our Odyssey seems to have plenty).
Again first consider the trailer, next the type of travel, and lastly what you need the vehicle for besides towing. Once you've figured that out, find something you like that's reliable. The cost of repairs can quickly eat good mileage.
There are lots of tow vehicle choices. We buy Hondas because they have been flawlessly reliable for us. We've had Honda's for 35 years, none has gone less than 250,000 miles during our ownership, none has ever had an engine or transmission repair and we hardly ever bring them for service.
I would love to own a VW diesel as a tow vehicle but have stuck with 'if it works don't change it'.
The only nervousness I have with the Odyssey is the cylinder switching functionality. Ask me in 9 years about it's track record.
Small fiberglass trailers tow very well. Though gas is a significant expense for a couple like us it does not dominate our trailer travel. One $1000 repair can cost as much as the fuel we'll buy on a two month trip to Newfoundland.
Again, first the trailer, go to a rally
where you can see a lot of different ones in a weekend.