Passat GT 190 vs Audi Avant 190 using Match Up

May 15, 2016
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Hi All,

I’ve narrowed my choice down to either a Passat GT or R-Line 2.0 TDI (190) or a Audi Avant 2.0 (190).

I’ve used Towcar Info a Caravan Car Match Up site. How accurate it is, I’m not sure. Your thoughts on my two choices and the use of the site https://towcar.info/GB/

Thanks
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Ive used Towcar.info for three cars now (XC70 AWD auto, . Superb 170 auto 4wd estate and Forester 4wd auto 2.0 150bhp) and found it to be the best matching site which allows some adjustment of parameters so you can see how sensitive aspects may be. Of course its only as good as the data it holds on cars and caravans and only as good as the data you put in. I had done all my research on kerbweights, MTPLM etc for the various cars I had so Towcar.info was really just an interest/curiosity thing. One aspect where it was dead on is that I had Subaru Forester 2.0 litre petrol auto with a makers tow weight of 2000kg. It had not been bought for towing but I used it for towing 1300kg caravan. It towed okay and gave no stability concerns, but as a 150bhp non turbo it required a a lot of revs at times, which made it a less than relaxing drive. Towcar.info was spot on with its predictions. Ive now got the turbo Forester and didn't need to check that one on Towcar.info.
 
May 7, 2012
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There are probably mistakes in all of the sites giving you towing match information so before you buy do check with the plate on the car itself to make sure if you have any doubts. Having said that both cars look easily capable of towing the caravan safely.
You should not need spring helpers if you are towing within the cars nose weight limit. The nose weight limit should take into account the effect of the extra weight on the tow bar, and the car designers would have set it at a level that should provide safe towing. Both makes are extremely competent as tow cars and if there was a problem with either we would know it.
I would certainly not bother unless you find you do have some instability that cannot be cured by correct loading. If you do fit them you must inform your insurer as it is a modification and you might find your premium increased. If you do not tell them, they could turn down any claim you make.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Bailey Unicorn Madrid (2015) I was also wondering if anyone has had any experience with MAD Helper Springs and their effectiveness?


At the risk of raising my head above the trench I will admit to having used MAD supplementary springs on a Saab 9000 turbo and more recently a 2014 Skoda Superb 170 4x4 estate. On both cars they worked well and on the Skoda they stopped it’s towball bottoming on speed humps where we lived. And to preempt comments I had the Skoda checked out before fitting MAD springs by a long established Skoda family dealership. The car OEM suspension was found to be all within spec and they commented that they had fitted several sets to local owners who tow caravans, horse boxes etc. In three years of ownership I never felt that the MAD supplementary springs brought any negative effects.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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You all probably know my thoughts on towing ; lots of variable etc but the towing capacity of the Passat is 2200kg and the Audi 1900kg. ( I dont subscribe to worrying too much about kerbweight-legal towing capacity is more my thing!!! Hides head etc). Both will with that sort of power , make mincemeat of the lovely Bailey and you'll have no issues at all with either-however the mags really rate the Passat as a tow car VERY highly-not sure on prices but spec for spec VW tend to be better than Audi-I would always think-if I buy an Audi, how much I could save by buying a VW, and continuing this theme, again how much more i could save by buying a Skoda-all said and done most of the parts are the same!! and skodas seem to be better rated by their owners-that being said I'd have neither and buy a Superb (which really is a superb car and in 4motion an amazing tow car apparently) or Kodiaq but that is just me being perverse! Sorry!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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You all probably know my thoughts on towing ; lots of variable etc but the towing capacity of the Passat is 2200kg and the Audi 1900kg. ( I dont subscribe to worrying too much about kerbweight-legal towing capacity is more my thing!!! Hides head etc). Both will with that sort of power , make mincemeat of the lovely Bailey and you'll have no issues at all with either-however the mags really rate the Passat as a tow car VERY highly-not sure on prices but spec for spec VW tend to be better than Audi-I would always think-if I buy an Audi, how much I could save by buying a VW, and continuing this theme, again how much more i could save by buying a Skoda-all said and done most of the parts are the same!! and skodas seem to be better rated by their owners-that being said I'd have neither and buy a Superb (which really is a superb car and in 4motion an amazing tow car apparently) or Kodiaq but that is just me being perverse! Sorry!

The Skoda Superb was a good car solo or towing. It’s ability to swallow luggage DIY etc amazing. Better than E class. It also knocked spots off of the XC70 (2010) which for such a long car had cramped rear leg room and a smaller luggage compartment than the Superb.
 
May 7, 2012
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My daughter had the Passat saloon and it was a superb car. Not been in the estate version, but it has the advantage of a bit more weight. Estates also tend to have slightly stronger rear suspension, although I am not sure about the VW.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I have fitted the MADS springs to a 2.2 Vectra, and they were great just helped at the bottom point when towing, no noticable effect to solo driving.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Bailey Unicorn Madrid (2015) I was also wondering if anyone has had any experience with MAD Helper Springs and their effectiveness?

The car manufacturer makes provision for the tow bar loading and provided you follow their loading limits, the additional tow bar loading (providing it is within the specified limits) will not by itself render the car unstable. The spring assister manufacturer in this case is raising an unrealistic danger.

There can be a problem with fitting spring assisters or uprated springs to some vehicles, where the vehicle is fitted with suspension sensors that link into the cars stability systems. Changing the length rating or linearity of the springs action by fitting any of the above items, will change the sensors responses and will change the signals being fed to the stability system, with the consequence the stability system will be out of calibration and might produce the wrong correction signals and might make a situation worse rather than better.

This is another product where the manufacturer is playing on an implied danger, but unlike tyre bands which are simply an unnecessary expense, these devices can affect a vehicle's handling away from the manufacturers specification.

The fitting of such devices is classed as a modification, and you should advise your insurance company if you decide to fit them.