The last holiday in my xtrail.

Aug 25, 2019
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Hey guys,

My current tow car is an 1.6dci Nissan Xtrail. Although I've been towing with it for 3 years and it's super reliable, I want something more relaxing to drive especially whilst towing. Changing up and down gears on regular basis gets abit tiring.

I have around £16,000 to spend and an automatic is a must.

The first car I'm looking at is the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Is there any other cars you would recommend in my budget?

Thanks for the help.

Chris.

Forgot to mention that my van mtplm is 1400kg
 
Nov 6, 2005
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The Kia Sorento is the sibling of the Santa Fe, same car underneath - some versions of both have self-levelling rear suspension which is useful when towing.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Chris, what size of caravan are you towing or thinking of towing, the Santa Fe auto has a tow limit of 2000 kg, Towing my Coachman at 1645kg I get roughly 25 to 28mpg. Around town it can be thirsty, solo on motor ways about 40 + mpg.
 
Aug 25, 2019
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Chris, what size of caravan are you towing or thinking of towing, the Santa Fe auto has a tow limit of 2000 kg, Towing my Coachman at 1645kg I get roughly 25 to 28mpg. Around town it can be thirsty, solo on motor ways about 40 + mpg.
Would you day the Santa Fe is a good tow vehicle? Have you encounted any problems with it? I commute to work on my bike so the car will 80% of the time be used for towing or long distance journeys. So I don't mind if its a little more pricey fuel wise.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Santa Fe has an excellent reputation, although with your weight of caravan there are a wide choice of cars, SUV and estates.
 
Aug 25, 2019
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8
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The Kia Sorento is the sibling of the Santa Fe, same car underneath - some versions of both have self-levelling rear suspension which is useful when towing.
I feel you get more for your money with the santa fe, Sorento seems to be abit more expensive if you want the same gadgets as the Santa fe, I maybe wrong?
 
Nov 16, 2015
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The Santa fe will easily cope with the 1400kg caravan, the only problem we encountered was coming up the hilly section of the A75 in France, near the Millau Bridge, car was heavy caravan very heavy and the temp was at 35c I had to turn off the AC and open the windows for about 20 miles.
Other wise its a fantastic tow car the 5 seat has an amazing amount of space under the boot area, to store caravanning stuff. Also below and behing the rear seats. My car tax is £290. Just clocked up 82k miles. I have had it since new.
 
Aug 25, 2019
17
8
4,515
Santa Fe has an excellent reputation, although with your weight of caravan there are a wide choice of cars, SUV and estates.
The caravan I'm towing now is quite light, but I want a car that is future proof so If I ever want a bigger van I dont have to change the car to suit.
 
Aug 25, 2019
17
8
4,515
The Santa fe will easily cope with the 1400kg caravan, the only problem we encountered was coming up the hilly section of the A75 in France, near the Millau Bridge, car was heavy caravan very heavy and the temp was at 35c I had to turn off the AC and open the windows for about 20 miles.
Other wise its a fantastic tow car the 5 seat has an amazing amount of space under the boot area, to store caravanning stuff. Also below and behing the rear seats. My car tax is £290. Just clocked up 82k miles. I have had it since new.
Thanks for the info, sounds like I can't go wrong with the Santa Fe.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Would you day the Santa Fe is a good tow vehicle? Have you encounted any problems with it? I commute to work on my bike so the car will 80% of the time be used for towing or long distance journeys. So I don't mind if its a little more pricey fuel wise.
Santa Fe is an excellent tow car - mine blew the head gasket at 35,000 miles, needing the engine and transmission rebuilding, all done under warranty but I sold it at the end of the warranty - I've not heard of anyone else having similar issues so it's not a common problem.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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We are on our second Santa Fe, first one 2013 5 seat manual , current one one 2021 7 seat automatic, think the manual has 2500 towing limit, automatic 2000. Only cost other than servicing on the first one was new battery, and tyres in the time we had it, only criticism of the first one was the headlights were not great, current one has led lights so if you get one check they are compatible with your van. If you need to fit a towbar I recommend Tow Trust, and the Hyundai/Kia electrics kit. We were initially dubious of how good the SF would be after 10 years with a Shogun, SF has done everything the shogun did while towing, but is more car like when driven solo. Suggest you try to arrange a test drive in one of each and see whether you prefer manual or auto, although you may find good low mileage examples are rare, without a price premium as they seem to be sought after. The dealer that took our old one as P/ex sold it within 3 days.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Just had a look on Autotrader, searched for S F automatic between 14k and 16k, 19 cars came up, various mileages and owners etc, might give you a feel of what is available.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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The Santa fe will easily cope with the 1400kg caravan, the only problem we encountered was coming up the hilly section of the A75 in France, near the Millau Bridge, car was heavy caravan very heavy and the temp was at 35c I had to turn off the AC and open the windows for about 20 miles.
Other wise its a fantastic tow car the 5 seat has an amazing amount of space under the boot area, to store caravanning stuff. Also below and being the rear seats. My car tax is £290. Just clocked up 82k miles. I have had it since new.
That bit of road is supposed to be notorious for cars towing caravans over heating. It was a cool day in May when we used that route.
 
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Jul 19, 2021
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We went from xtrail to Freelander 2, to a Tiguan to a Santa Fe.
Santa Fe automatic is without doubt the best tow car we have ever had. About on a par with the Freelander for mpg and nowhere near as good as the Tiguan.
But overall we are really happy.
Towed 230 odd miles from Leicestershire to North Devon last week and got 30.3 mpg towing an 1800kg twin axle and surfboards on the roof rack. 30+ ⁰c Aircon front and rear on full chat on the M5 car park (2 Aircon compressors on the 7 seat model) no issues
Premium se models have great spec.
 
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JB1

Aug 4, 2022
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VW Touareg is worth looking at, I have towed with a Ford Kuga 180 auto ( power shift ) it towed well no problems 15/1600 kg van no problem good on fuel, not very big though. A good drive solo as well.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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VW Touareg is worth looking at, I have towed with a Ford Kuga 180 auto ( power shift ) it towed well no problems 15/1600 kg van no problem good on fuel, not very big though. A good drive solo as well.
VW Touareg is a premium car with premium maintenance prices - it's a sibling of the Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga - it's not a bigger VW Tiguan.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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VW Touareg is a premium car with premium maintenance prices - it's a sibling of the Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga - it's not a bigger VW Tiguan.
I personaly thintk the Touareg is more aligned to the Audi 4x4 , I drove my friends One a 3.o v6 and it is a lovely powerfull tow car but I didn't like the automatic gearbox, a 07 model. Several problems with the fuel control system, but that may have been a one off Friday car. And even thirstyier than myself.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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i like my Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 190 bhp 4motion sel dsg great towcar easy tow a 1400KG but i have to admit the boot small .
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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If you think choosing a tow car is difficult it’s dead easy compared to deciding what to choose when you go down from two cars to one. Apart from university when I had a Humber Hawk and Zephyr 6 and an E30 BMW in 1990 we have always had estates or SUV. So today it’s off to Swindon to main dealer alley to see if anything lights our fires. Thus far not very enthused.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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996
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I personaly thintk the Touareg is more aligned to the Audi 4x4 , I drove my friends One a 3.o v6 and it is a lovely powerfull tow car but I didn't like the automatic gearbox, a 07 model. Several problems with the fuel control system, but that may have been a one off Friday car. And even thirstyier than myself.
Audi covers a very wide range of cars with lots of commonality with VW, Skoda and Seat at the bottom end and Porsche and Bentley at the top end - the Audi Q5 and Q7 are related to the VW Touareg and all are premium cars with premium maintenance prices.

In my view the VW Touareg sits between the Audi Q5 and Audi Q7, all based on the same platform shared with Porsche and Bentley with the Touareg bigger than the Q5 and smaller than the Q7.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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If you think choosing a tow car is difficult it’s dead easy compared to deciding what to choose when you go down from two cars to one. Apart from university when I had a Humber Hawk and Zephyr 6 and an E30 BMW in 1990 we have always had estates or SUV. So today it’s off to Swindon to main dealer alley to see if anything lights our fires. Thus far not very enthused.
I had the Zephyr Mk 2 with the straight six engine in the late sixties. My Dad had the Mk3 with a floor gear shift. They were very rare. A gallon of petrol cost about 2/6 at the time even though the Ark Royal maintained oil sanctions on our country. :D
 
Nov 6, 2005
5,805
996
25,935
If you think choosing a tow car is difficult it’s dead easy compared to deciding what to choose when you go down from two cars to one. Apart from university when I had a Humber Hawk and Zephyr 6 and an E30 BMW in 1990 we have always had estates or SUV. So today it’s off to Swindon to main dealer alley to see if anything lights our fires. Thus far not very enthused.
Keep in the back of your mind that you may consider reverting to two cars at some point in the future - the covid lockdown highlighted the potential risk of using an expensive (diesel) car for short journeys so I bought a little (petrol) car for the short journeys, it was 10 years old with 100,000 on the odometer but it does the job admirably - it's not a cost-based decision as it does cost more than simply running one car.

Personally, having had an estate/SUV within the family since the '70s, I wouldn't contemplate giving up the practicality of that type - but the range is still huge to choose from.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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If you think choosing a tow car is difficult it’s dead easy compared to deciding what to choose when you go down from two cars to one. Apart from university when I had a Humber Hawk and Zephyr 6 and an E30 BMW in 1990 we have always had estates or SUV. So today it’s off to Swindon to main dealer alley to see if anything lights our fires. Thus far not very enthused.
Hi Clive i hope you fine what you are looking for ;)
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hi Clive i hope you fine what you are looking for ;)
That’s the problem BB I don’t really know what I’m looking for. The one criteria that’s key is that I can get into it without gymnastics as last December I had an attack of sciatica and it was impossible to get into the runabout. So my first criteria is to be able to get in without banging head on roof or bending triple. Oh the joys of thinking ahead in older years. So a Focus ST or 130N are definitely out.
 
Nov 6, 2005
5,805
996
25,935
That’s the problem BB I don’t really know what I’m looking for. The one criteria that’s key is that I can get into it without gymnastics as last December I had an attack of sciatica and it was impossible to get into the runabout. So my first criteria is to be able to get in without banging head on roof or bending triple. Oh the joys of thinking ahead in older years. So a Focus ST or 130N are definitely out.
Make yourself a list of all the Forester's qualities that you must retain and then a list of qualities that would be desirable to keep - the ease of access is a main reason for the popularity of CUVs and "soft-roaders".

Check out the Audi SQ5 - if you hanker for a ST or 130N, the ordinary Q5 would be too tame.
 

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