I have taken some time over the last couple of weeks to research tugs assuming a real world trailer weight
of 3,500 lbs. Given a real world trailer weight
of 3,500 lbs., I am eliminating all tugs rated at 3,500 lbs or less. On the other hand, I don't really want to do hardcore overkill in terms of a tug since it will be used as a daily driver, so no long bed quad cab F350 dually!
I figure a tug rated at around 5,000 lbs would suffice. I have been a Motor Trend subscriber for about 35 years and I researched all truck/SUVs with a tow capacity of around 5,000 lbs to preferably no more than about 7,000 lbs with the goal of staying closer to 5,000 lbs. I have researched both SUVs and Pick Ups. My DW prefers an SUV. I prefer a quad cab PU, but given a smaller trailer (16' or 17'), I am fine with an SUV.
Tow capacity is a primary issue, but other important issues include:
I think the above are my ranked ordered priorities (assuming the tow capacity issues has been met).
I have no brand loyalty and have tended to drive small cars during my adult life, including 1 old Datsun, 2 Mazdas (including a minivan), 1 Subaru, an old Saab, an old Volvo 240, 1 Toyota, three Hondas, and a Ford Taurus.
OH, let me make this decision even tougher. The tug has to be used. Cannot afford a new tug. In fact, here are the parameters I have established given my research and my budget:
1. Try to stay as close to $10,000 as possible.
2. Try to stay under 120,000 miles.
3. Try to stay no older than 10 years old.
Yes, I know. I just made this tougher.
Over the last couple of weeks and most of the day today, I have read and reviewed used Audi Q7s, Buick Enclaves (as well as GMC Acadias and Chevy Traverses), Ford Explorers, Ford Expeditions, Ford Flexs, GMC Yukons (Chevy Tahoes), Jeep Grand Cherokees, Land Rovers, Lexus GXs, Mercedes Benz ML 350s, Nissan Pathfinders, Nissan Xterras, Porsche Cayennes, Toyota 4 Runners, Toyota Sequoias, and VW Tourareg as well as the following 4 door pickups: Nissan Frontiers, Toyota Tacomas, and Toyota Tundras (the older ones are not quiet as big as the current ones).
Based on my research, there are several tugs that would do well, but factoring in reliability as a priority, it appears that one would be hard pressed to beat a Toyota product:
1. 4 Runner
2. Sequoia (too big)
Given my limited parameters, it is not easy to find these cream puffs due to their popularity. I am not wedded to a Toyota product, but I think I would be happy with a 2004 to 2007ish Toyota 4 Runner or Tacoma (Quad Cab).
What are your thoughts? What I am missing, overlooking, or overthinking!
I always enjoy your expertise.