4x4 which one?

Aug 1, 2005
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Hi all,

I currently tow with a mondeo estate tdci 130 but with the children turning into teenagers, am looking to change my caravan from a bailey vendee to a senator wyoming. The mondeo tows like a train and returns 36mpg whilst towing.I have looked at a kia sorento but have read on the forum about low mpg, the fuel economy would be my only reason to go for a kia. We do approx 10,000 miles a year, about 3000 towing. In the week the car is used to take children to school, wife to work etc, etc. I have also looked into a mitsubishi shogun lwb and a toyota landcruiser but the servicing, repairs and fuel costs do concern me. Also my budget is about £18,000, so it would be a new or fairly new kia but a 4/5 year old shogun/landcruiser, any thoughts/ advice would be greatly appreciated. Mark
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'll probably be clobbered by the rest of the community but if you're on a tight budget and you're only going to use the car for towing round about 30% of your total mileage, why not keep your current Mondeo and try with that first? Agreed, you'd be a fraction over 100% but assuming your driving licence covers you, you may pull 1800kg with the Mondeo which is still quite a lot more than what even the Senator Wyoming weighs.
 
Aug 1, 2005
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To Lutz,I appreciate your comments but I have towed for 14 years and have always tried to keep below 90% of the weight. To tow a caravan weighing 1714 with a car weighing 1604 I believe would be suicidal. I also go off road alot as we rally, the mondeo does not like wet grass on numerous occasions we have been towed off by a 4x4. Mark
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi mark

I expect that you'll get a varied set of opinions on this one as most people will only have experienced using the car they own and can't compare with others. In my case I've had a Nissan Terrano II 2.7 TD from new in 1995 and find it great as a towcar. We currently tow a Sterling Europa 500 with ease. We also like it because solo it's not far from driving a 'normal' car, with a similar footprint to your Mondeo I should think. In fact my wife prefers it to our Corsa, even for around town. I don't think that they hold their prices too well, so you can probably pick up a fairly new one on your budget.
 
Apr 11, 2005
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Daer mark i would not go over the 85% tow of yoru car. there is a saying that is you do not wont the tail to wag the dog.(the car is the dog and the caravan is the tail.

Have you fort of a Pathfinder.

or landrover.

The Pathfinder starts at
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Mark

It's very difficult when deciding on a new car for towing, the problem is that we tend to focus on picking the right car for towing when really we usually spend more time drive without the caravan on the back.

The problem is we don't like compomising, you say your children are turning into teenagers, remember in a couple of years they'll be moaning about having to go camping with you and then you may find the both you car and caravan may be too big, have you though about a sleeping Annexe for your awning, this would be cheaper then a new caravan and give you the extra space you need and you should be able to tow with your current car.
 
Mar 27, 2005
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Hi mark

I expect that you'll get a varied set of opinions on this one as most people will only have experienced using the car they own and can't compare with others. In my case I've had a Nissan Terrano II 2.7 TD from new in 1995 and find it great as a towcar. We currently tow a Sterling Europa 500 with ease. We also like it because solo it's not far from driving a 'normal' car, with a similar footprint to your Mondeo I should think. In fact my wife prefers it to our Corsa, even for around town. I don't think that they hold their prices too well, so you can probably pick up a fairly new one on your budget.
gosh , you`ve only got the same outfit as us !!

we have a 94 Terrano LWB and a 94 Europa 500 ES
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I agree totally Matthew. My two children loved sleeping in their own annexe and inner tent. It meant that they had somewhere of their own, not just for sleeping but also provided a place for privacy when needed. A good airbed, sleeping bag, light and storage space ensured a comfortable place in which to retire when they felt the need to.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Any of the bigger Japanese 4x4's would do what you need with ease. Spares can be pricy though. Also watch out for the 3.0L Isuzu - it has an engine problem - check out on one of the 4x4 Forums.

Land Rover are good (my personal preference) but their are some bad ones as with most things. Good news is they are relatively simple to repair and immensly strong. The Discovery is excellent.

Don't forger the Mk II Range Rover - the higher spec ones I personally would avoid (more things to go wrong) - The 2.5L desiel has a six cylinder BMW engine which just seems to get better as it ages. From new it was supposedly underpowered but having driven a few now - I am very impressed.

I also think the rear tailgate design is better in that you can open both the upper and lower tailgates when the caravan is attached. The Discovery/Japanese large rear doors can be a pain as it fouls the jockey wheel.

Have a look on auto trader -
 
Mar 14, 2005
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gosh , you`ve only got the same outfit as us !!

we have a 94 Terrano LWB and a 94 Europa 500 ES
Hi Jon, our is a 2001 Sterling, but I expect the weights are about the same. We find they're quite well matched.
 
Oct 5, 2004
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Hi Mark,

I have a Senator Wyoming and have towed it with a 2.5 Sorento for almost 10 months now. Done around 12 trips with the 'van on the back. I've posted on other threads about my mpg and found it to be acceptable considering the outfit weight. Usually averages around 28-30 when towing and around 35-36 when solo. Fitted a tuning box a few months ago and this has made a good towcar even better. Can change up to 5th around 45mph and leave it there on most roads.

Would recommend the Kia.

Cheers

Ken
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I agree with Ken. I have the same outfit (Senator Wyoming and Sorento) and get very similar mileage towing and solo. Recently we went to Newquay for a couple of weeks and it handled the hills leading into that area with consummate ease. For the money, its towing God! Incidentally, on that same journey we travelled from North Notts to Trevornick on a tank of fuel, and no, I don't hang around on the motorway.
 
Jul 26, 2005
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Mark

Firstly your Mondeo is not heavey or powerful enough to drag a Wyoming - most large 4x4's would be excellent however and owners of individual models tend to trumpet the merits of their own make. Ive never heard any vanner slagging off a 4x4 as a towcar and the heavier they are the better. Having said that they are very expensive to own and run - no vehicle weighing over two tons and as aerodynamic as a brick is ever going to be economical on fuel, whatever you hear; even on LPG they can only do the equivalent of about 30mpg when towing.

My personal solution to this is to use a 4x4 only as a towcar - good 8-10 year old models with auto and all the toys can be had for under
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Mark

I own a Sorento 2.5 CRTD Auto I tow a twin axle Lunar Lexon 1600 Kg mtplm. Bought it new 1st March 2004 I have since covered 11800 miles of which 3800 was towing my van.I have recorded on a spread sheet every single gallon of fuel used in that time. Its exactly 500 gallons divide that into 11800 miles and you have a true average of MPG in all conditions. 23.6 mpg

In spite of that and its very firm ride I still like the car. But don't be kidded by some of these mid 35 mpg predictions. PS I do not have a lead right foot either.

Regards Jim
 
Oct 5, 2004
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Hi Jim C,

Not trying to kid anyone on or exagerate mpg. I too keep a running total of all fuel used. I've had the car since new and done up to today 11551 miles. Brimmed the tank this afternoon and my total fuel is now 351 gallons. Overall mpg = just under 33mpg. Done approx 1000 miles with 'and & around 500 or so with a twin axle trailer which is usually fully laden with stone (around 1.5t).

Its surprising the varied mpg owners are getting. If you browse the various Kia forums, fuel consumption is a common thread.

Ken
 
Jun 11, 2005
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Hi Mark,

I have a Senator Wyoming and have towed it with a 2.5 Sorento for almost 10 months now. Done around 12 trips with the 'van on the back. I've posted on other threads about my mpg and found it to be acceptable considering the outfit weight. Usually averages around 28-30 when towing and around 35-36 when solo. Fitted a tuning box a few months ago and this has made a good towcar even better. Can change up to 5th around 45mph and leave it there on most roads.

Would recommend the Kia.

Cheers

Ken
Hi, I have a Sorento and am really pleased with it. It is still under warranty so I am reluctant to go fora power booster but I would be interested to know which one you fitted, did it improve fuel economy when not using the extra power and did it increase your insurance?

Other Clive
 
May 12, 2005
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mark,

Have a look at the Kia Sedona It will be within your buget (new) and is a big powerful people carrier 2.9ltr deisel I havent got the figures but I think it gives good mpg
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Getting good economy from any car is about keeping the engine around max torque. Go over and you are wasting fuel. This will depend on the car concerned. My Disco 3 has max torque just under 2000rpm, if I accelerate gently and brake gently I can easily achieve 30mpg (solo) If I'm in more of a hurry 25-27 would be nearer the mark particularly if you use cruise control (its an auto also) towing I get about 23mpg. However this is all improving as the engine loosens up. This all makes it rather difficult to compare mpg
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I think Davids idea is probably the most sound. Good low milage 4x4's are arround. If you buy a new large vehicle the depreciation is astounding. No disrespect meant to those advocating the Kia but isn't the depreciation particularly horrendous on these? Or have I got it wrong.

If you have
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I think Davids idea is probably the most sound. Good low milage 4x4's are arround. If you buy a new large vehicle the depreciation is astounding. No disrespect meant to those advocating the Kia but isn't the depreciation particularly horrendous on these? Or have I got it wrong.

If you have
 
Aug 2, 2005
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Mark

Firstly your Mondeo is not heavey or powerful enough to drag a Wyoming - most large 4x4's would be excellent however and owners of individual models tend to trumpet the merits of their own make. Ive never heard any vanner slagging off a 4x4 as a towcar and the heavier they are the better. Having said that they are very expensive to own and run - no vehicle weighing over two tons and as aerodynamic as a brick is ever going to be economical on fuel, whatever you hear; even on LPG they can only do the equivalent of about 30mpg when towing.

My personal solution to this is to use a 4x4 only as a towcar - good 8-10 year old models with auto and all the toys can be had for under
 

tel

May 18, 2005
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I think Davids idea is probably the most sound. Good low milage 4x4's are arround. If you buy a new large vehicle the depreciation is astounding. No disrespect meant to those advocating the Kia but isn't the depreciation particularly horrendous on these? Or have I got it wrong.

If you have
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Jim C,

Not trying to kid anyone on or exagerate mpg. I too keep a running total of all fuel used. I've had the car since new and done up to today 11551 miles. Brimmed the tank this afternoon and my total fuel is now 351 gallons. Overall mpg = just under 33mpg. Done approx 1000 miles with 'and & around 500 or so with a twin axle trailer which is usually fully laden with stone (around 1.5t).

Its surprising the varied mpg owners are getting. If you browse the various Kia forums, fuel consumption is a common thread.

Ken
Hi Ken

Lucky you Ken. I took my figures back to the dealer and they did a number of checks on the engine, compression test and engine management test everything was fine.

My solo driving is mostly short trips which does not help. I wrote to Diesel Doctor in Diesel car magazine, he said he would not expect me to get more than 28 mpg average in my circumstances.

Regards Jim
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Have a look at a mercedes ML 270 cdi. Compact, easy to drive, short rear overhang. Some admittedly had quality problems but the current "facelift" model is much better. New one has been announced, so second hand prices on existing series are dropping. Service is around every 15,000 depends how you drive. At 30,000 mine has cost me far less to run than the previous Disco.

Another benefit is that it is less than 1.83m. and so you do not pay a height supplement on the ferries - worth up to
 

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