4x4 towing stability

Mar 14, 2005
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Just came across a comparison test of a Freelander TD4, Nissan X-Trail 2.2dCi and Toyota RAV4 D4, all towing the same 1500kg caravan. As may be expected, the Nissan, with over 20bhp more than the others, had the best straight line performance but lost points in a 'snake' test. Both the Freelander and the Toyota were able to dampen a deliberately induced snake much quicker than the Nissan, despite the Nissan's higher noseweight capability (100kg vs. 75kg for the other two). Just goes to prove that good load distribution, while certainly most important, is not the only criterion for a stable outfit. Although it didn't explicitly say so in the report, I assume that the caravan was loaded identically in all 3 cases. Thought the result may be of interest to some of you.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I am hardly surprised given the kerb weight difference of these cars. No one should be using a 1500 van with an X-Trail unless very experienced; at its best its just over 1600k kerb weight and many models are just over the 1500k weight.
 
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Interesting if not the best news as an X driver! Possibly the longer rear of the X could be a factor but I have to say that I have never experienced any instability but then these tests induce situations that could happen but should not if you drive normally.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The actual measured kerbweights stated in the report were 1645kg for the Freelander, 1625kg for the X-Trail and 1555 for the RAV4 so if weight ratio were the determining factor, the Toyota should have been worse than the Nissan.
 

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