What to buy for city driving and occasional towing. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-09-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
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What to buy for city driving and occasional towing.

Hi all,
I am interested in suggestions of what to buy for a tow vehicle. I drive a lot in the city for work and want a small, very comfortable and reliable car but also one that can tow my U-Haul on weekends. Also I prefer a higher-end hatchback.
This will be an upgrade car and I am currently considering a Volvo c30 but wondered what the forum might suggest.

My U-haul is a CT, about 1500lbs I believe. It does not have brakes right now but I am willing to put them on next year. I currently tow with a Subaru Impreza but I would like a vehicle that is easier to parallel park in the city.

Thanks,
Bridget
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:11 PM   #2
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I towed a 13 ft Burro with a Honda Element. It suited both of the needs you specify to a T.

Doesn't the UHaul have surge brakes? I thought they all came that way. If not, you will definately need brakes of some sort.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:47 PM   #3
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I don't know what your feelings are about tow ratings. I tow with a Scion xD, which is similar to a Toyota Matrix. In the US, they don't give a tow rating, but the same car carries an approximate 1,700 pound rating in other countries. Likewise, the Honda Fit carries a 2,200 pound rating in many countries.

If you want a car with a good rating, check out Subarus.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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You might look at a V6 RAV4 with tow package...
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
You might look at a V6 RAV4 with tow package...
Agreed. I test drove a Rav4 before buying my Highlander and the Rav has an unusually tight turn radius. Which means it will turn more sharply for parallel parking. The salesman had me do a tight circle in a parking lot and it brought a smile to my face. If I hadn't wanted the higher (5000 lb) tow capacity of the Highlander, I would have bought the Rav4. Get the V6 engine and you'll be happy.
on edit: I looked up the turn diameters of the vehicles on autos.msn.com (under Specs & Features: Exterior) and found these numbers:
Impreza 34.8 ft
Volvo C30 38.1 ft
Rav4 34.8 ft.
So actually you have a really tight turn on the Subaru already! The Volvo will be harder to maneuver into parallel spots, not easier. To get a tighter turn and more maneuverability than what you already have, you may need to go to something as small as a Toyota Yaris (30.8 ft) or Prius (34.2 ft, 50 mpg hybrid)... but these smaller cars are not usually rated for towing.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Michael Galazin View Post
Agreed. I test drove a Rav4 before buying my Highlander and the Rav has an unusually tight turn radius. Which means it will turn more sharply for parallel parking. The salesman had me do a tight circle in a parking lot and it brought a smile to my face. If I hadn't wanted the higher (5000 lb) tow capacity of the Highlander, I would have bought the Rav4. Get the V6 engine and you'll be happy.
on edit: I looked up the turn diameters of the vehicles on autos.msn.com (under Specs & Features: Exterior) and found these numbers:
Impreza 34.8 ft
Volvo C30 38.1 ft
Rav4 34.8 ft.
So actually you have a really tight turn on the Subaru already! The Volvo will be harder to maneuver into parallel spots, not easier. To get a tighter turn and more maneuverability than what you already have, you may need to go to something as small as a Toyota Yaris (30.8 ft) or Prius (34.2 ft, 50 mpg hybrid)... but these smaller cars are not usually rated for towing.
The 2011 Subaru Forester has a 34.4 ft turning circle and a rated towing capacity of 2400 pounds. We are using a 2003 Subaru Forester for towing our 13 foot trailer and it does it very well and it is a great car for driving also. Consumer Reports rated the Forester as the top small SUV.

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Old 12-11-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Michael Galazin
, you may need to go to something as small as a Toyota Yaris (30.8 ft) or Prius (34.2 ft, 50 mpg hybrid)... but these smaller cars are not usually rated for towing.
Toyota rates the Yaris to tow up to 1,984 pounds with the 1.33L gas engine or 2,315 pounds with the 1.4L diesel. They don't offer the "big" 1.6 liter US spec engine in the UK, so I was not able to find a tow rating for it.

Toyota Motor North America does not list tow ratings foe their cars. They will happily point you towards a truck instead.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:43 PM   #8
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Always so interesting to see how your comment is interpreted! Of course my desire to 'have something easier to parallel park' could mean the turn radius, but actually I meant I would like a shorter car!
Also I'm surprised to find out that the turn radius of the impreza is good, I don't find it that tight really, but my last car was a civic hatchback.

Thanks for all the comments, keep em coming. I'll let you know what I get.

Bridget
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:43 PM   #9
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You are facing the question I recently answered. I was needing to replace a failing Subaru Legacy wagon, 5 sp. I also wanted an economical car, trying to stay with a 4 cyl and able to tow 2000 lbs. We looked a lot. Since there was just two of us we were going to go with a Toyota Tacoma extended cab, 5 sp. which is actually very good on fuel. The volvo dealer suggested a XC 70 with all wheel drive for towing. We ended up with a gently used Volvo V 50, 5 cylinder, better fuel consumption than the subaru, and since used , a lot cheaper. Automatic transmission with sport shift. Its very comfortable to drive. Have yet to tow, that will be when warmer weather comes, tow capacity is 1900 lbs.
Another vehicle that surprised us was a Kia Rondo, V6.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kent I
We ended up with a gently used Volvo V 50, 5 cylinder, better fuel consumption than the subaru, and since used , a lot cheaper. Automatic transmission with sport shift. Its very comfortable to drive. Have yet to tow, that will be when warmer weather comes, tow capacity is 1900 lbs.
Typical American dumbing down of the tow ratings... Your car has a 3,300 pound tow rating in Europe. Of course, you'd need a Euro hitch to tow that much. Not surprising, though... A VW Golf also has a 3,300 pound tow capacity.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:58 AM   #11
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We ended up with a gently used Volvo V 50.....tow capacity is 1900 lbs.
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Your car has a 3,300 pound tow rating in Europe.
Time for my usual comment about European tow ratings - that they assume a legal towing speed limit of 50mph and a hitch weight %age as low as 4%, instead of the North American 10% - the higher hitch weight %age increases high speed stability and so allows higher towing speeds.

The V50 in Europe is limited to a 75kg/165lb hitch weight so if you want a North American 10% hitch weight, that would give a 1,650lb maximum trailer weight.

While checking the Volvo's hitch weight ('nose weight' in England), I came across this description in a Volvo towing guide:

Quote:
Tough durability tests
As well as its towing tests at home in Sweden, Volvo Car Corporation also tests its cars in Death Valley, California. In extreme heat, with temperatures well over 40 degrees, test cars are driven with fully loaded trailers on a 23.3 kilometre long uphill climb with an average gradient of 7%. Nowhere else in the world can a tow car be subjected to such extreme trials. All Volvo cars have to go through this extreme test before the test engineers give their approval.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:22 PM   #12
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So,
I test drove a used 2008 subaru impreza hatchback today which seemed quite nice to drive. But it has no tow rating. Now my present car is a subaru impreza wagon and I tow the U-haul with that OK, rating is 2000lbs without brakes I believe.
Now to test drive a volvo C30, and to consider what other hatchbacks might be able to be a good small city car but also tow the U-haul.

Thanks for the advice so far,
Bridget
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget T View Post
So,
I test drove a used 2008 subaru impreza hatchback today which seemed quite nice to drive. But it has no tow rating. Now my present car is a subaru impreza wagon and I tow the U-haul with that OK, rating is 2000lbs without brakes I believe.
Now to test drive a volvo C30, and to consider what other hatchbacks might be able to be a good small city car but also tow the U-haul.

Thanks for the advice so far,
Bridget
Bridget:

Have a look at Subaru Warranty, and Towing information page

It says Subaru Impreza has 2000 lbs towing capacity with brakes.

Brian
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:23 AM   #14
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Van Snell View Post
Bridget:

Have a look at Subaru Warranty, and Towing information page

It says Subaru Impreza has 2000 lbs towing capacity with brakes.

Brian
Brian, This is what it says:

Impreza
Subaru doesn't supply hitches for the sedans or recommend towing and so it is not suggested or recommended and there is no offficial approval. Warranty could be affected by any towing.

Plus, this site is not a Subaru site, but is maintained by Joe Spitz.

Now Joe may be a fine individual, but he is not an official Subaru spokesman.

I would only rely on official Subaru documents for any information re: Subaru vehicles.
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