Help needed please!! Which of these have you towed with and what are they like?

Sep 11, 2009
Well as you can see from my mini photo I have a Hyundai Santa fe which I purchased in May this year and I'm very disappointed with it, sadly it's on finance and I've a very limited budget but I think it has to go!!
Anyway our van MTPLW is 1600kg's, it's a 26ft twin axle, I've narrowed it down to a few cars and your experiences of them would help me make up my mind, I know all fall down on weight and all will be toowing around 95%ish which I know is far from ideal but I'm just not getting on with 4x4's

Rover 75 tourer Diesel Mg Zt-t cdti 1620kgs around an 04 plate
I had one of these before my santa fe, what a car, by far the best car I've ever had, wish I'd still got it, I had it for 4 and a half years, when I sold it she had nearly 220k miles on it, and it still was more stable and more powerfull than the fe!!!

Saab 9.3 sport wagon (Estate) 1.9 diesel (150 ps) 1635kgs maybe a 55 plate but high mileage?
I don't know anything about Saab's other than most of the running gear is Vauxhall and the diesel engine I'm told is superb??

Volvo V70 2.4 Diesel (estate) 1640kgs around an 04 plate again hopefully with less than 100k on the clock.
Again I know nothing about these except they seem good for 200K miles plus and they seem good cars??

I do approx 20k miles a year as I live about an hour from work, most of my journey is dual carriage way/ motorway, it has to be diesel and it has to be good on fuel, I don't want another 4x4 and I don't rreally want a people carrier as most of the time it's only me in the car, sadly I can't lift share with anyone, but I want the outfit to be stable. I know the Rover, even though it's the lightest of this bunch was a mighty fine tug, not once did my outfit ever feel unstabke or lacking in power, sadly something I have felt since having the Fe. I ca't find much info on the vovlo as towcars and the only comment I've read about the saab is when going down hills with a van on the back it can sometimes feel unstable??

Comments folks please, I have a budget I hope of around £5000 if I can sort out/ part ex my Santa fe, I have to be careful though as I'm not in my wife's good books, but I'm simply not getting on with the Hyundai
Sep 21, 2007
Hi Mikey
Probably not quite the reply you were after but can I ask what the problem is with the Santa Fe? I'm looking at changing my car and a Santa Fe was top of the list. I am looking at a 2006 2.2 diesel. From what I've read they seem to be very good tow cars.

Sep 11, 2009
With the mk2 2.2 you should be better, but make sure you're happy with it before you do the deal, I towed with a rover 75 diesel tourer before my Fe and it was fantastic, I had it for over 4 years and put 130kmiles on myself plus what it already had on, there isn't anything wrong with the fe, I've done nearly 10k miles since I've had it, mine is one of the late mk1's with the 2.0 engine, compared to my Rover it's very slow, under powered, uncomfortable, noisey, bouncy, thirsty and doesn't stop very well and handles like a bowl of jelly, other than that it's fine!!! LOL
I do approx 20/25K miles a year and with my Rover it just felt like I sat there where as with the Fe it doesn't matter if you're popping to the shops or driving across to France, everywhere you go they have to be driven, and they're nowhere near as refined, I'm seriously looking for a way out of mine, big mistake buying it, and if I can stop 1 person making the same mistake then I'll be happy, like I say, there's nothing wrong with my Fe, just doesn't live up to my expcetations, I wanted the comfort of my Rover but in a 4x4, unless you've mega bucks to spend, it's not going to happen!
Aug 11, 2010
I would assume one of the reason could be due to having to do 20k a year and the cost in fuel? compared to the other cars on your shopping list?alternatively I assume you like car like performance and driving experience?
The cars on your list,Would not the rover and Saab be on the light side for towing a caravan that has a max of 1600kg?

I know you are not after alternative suggestion,but our van is 1500kg max 1300kg unladen, we have a 04 seat Alhambra 130bhp for towing it, cost 4k just over 5 months ago. our back up vehicle is a ford Mondeo 2.2tdci 155. 06 plate bought 15months ago also cost us a shade under 4k.The Seat is car like to drive has room and space and does 45 mpg solo in spirited drive mode.Mondeo is better on fuel and quite a class act solo, but very rarely do i use her to tow out van, the seat is better suited for that.
of your choices the Volvo I assume to be the weightier car ? so with a caravan your size given the three you mention, i believe i would have gone for the Volvo, which incidentally was on my list too, but it lost out twice if you see what i mean. good luck
Mar 14, 2005
I had a 2004 Volvo V70 D5 for 3 years. 2.4 diesel, 163 bhp, manual. I've now got the new shape.

In some ways I preferred the 2004 model. It was certainly more economical than the new one and it had load compensating suspension which did make some difference

My 'van's 1500 kg and I take it down to SW France / Northern Spain every summer. Towed with ease.

In the past I've had Passats, Mondeos and Vauxhalls. All very good but, for me, didn't come close in terms of quality, comfort or stability. Without doubt the best cars I've owned, both solo and towing. But owners of the others will probably tell you the same.

However, one thing that you should be wary of is the kerbweight. For a big car they aren't particularly heavy. They weren't as heavy as the new ones and I think that the Passats and Mondeos were heavier.

I've been caravanning for over 25 years and personally wouldn't have a problem with towing your 'van with my old car.

Should have added: I was doing a lot of motorway / dual carriageway driving (18 - 22k a year) and with cruise control set around 60 I was averaging around the low 50's per gallon.
Jun 17, 2011
My son in law has the saab 93. (About 90k).Had lots of problems on the inlet side including the diesel return. Seems to have spent hundreds on it.
Sep 11, 2009
Well the tables have turned, I've messed around with the tuning module that I fitted and having just spent 4 days on Wales towing I have to say it's quite a change from the last time I towed with it, because of the size of our van I've decided to keep the Fe, not only that but I live in a hilly part of the country so over winter the 4x4 should be in it's element, thanks to all that have responded, I do like the Volvo, I think I'll be taking a closer look at those when I do change the car


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