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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > favorite tow vehicle for small trailer??

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kw/00

Florida

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Posted: 10/20/20 05:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Captain wrote:

Methinks the OP is overlooking the obvious choice... The Honda Ridgeline will do everything he seeks and do it better than just about any other mid sized truck. I bought my 2019 Ridgeline a year and 15K miles ago and could not be more pleased.

I typically tow my 6 X 10" {8' high} cargo trailer loaded to around 2,600# with the Ridgeline and it is awesome. When you are not towing you are basically driving a a Honda Accord. My RL gets 20 - 23 mpg around town/24 on the highway and 15-16 towing. Bought it for $39 OTD with lots of bells and whistles {figure around $4K of that was in taxes and registration}.
For the record the Ridgeline was the Car and Driver mid sized truck of the year for 2017, 2018 and 2019... not sure about 2020 but the 2021 looks like it has been upgraded nicely as well. A lightly used, low mileage 17 - 19 would be a good choice as well.



The bed is the largest in class, it accepts 4 X 8' sheets of plywood stacked as high as you like and beneath it there lies a 8.5 cubic foot trunk. Seriously, take a look at the Ridgeline's out there 2017 - 2021, you will be hard pressed to do better.


OP ......I was just going to say the Honda Ridgeline...it’s what a lot of people need or could use.. the new refresh next year is really nice looking... OP this is the perfect truck for you. It rides like a car but yet is a truck. To me this is one vehicle is so under appreciated, but would work for the majority of 1/2 ton owners out there that don’t tow large trailers and use it for weekend warrior or projects...


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A truck, a camper, a few toys, but most importantly a wonderful family.

APT

SE Michigan

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Posted: 10/20/20 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Subaru Ascent with turbocharged 2.4L should do well, especially at higher elevations.


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albireo13

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Posted: 10/21/20 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Right now, my short list is:
Outback 2.4/turbo 3500lb tow
Subaru Ascent 2.4/turbo 5000lb tow
Honda Passport 3.4L/V6 5000lb tow
Toyota Highlander 3.5L/V6 5000lb tow

I looked at the Rav4 and really liked it. It is very tempting. The wheelbase seems the shortest though. I hope to test drive them and that will thi the list out methinks.


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otrfun

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Posted: 10/21/20 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Captain wrote:

. . . I typically tow my 6 X 10" {8' high} cargo trailer loaded to around 2,600# with the Ridgeline and it is awesome. When you are not towing you are basically driving a a Honda Accord . . .
x1 on the Ridgeline. Excellent option. I believe the Honda Ridgeline and Honda Pilot share the same drivetrain.

JAC1982

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Posted: 10/21/20 01:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't tow much with it, but I love my 2016 Explorer Sport (with the 3.5 Eco-Boost). It could tow the types of trailers you mention without issue. Not sure you'd be too happy with the gas mileage though. I average around 19-20 with city driving, gets up to 23-24 on the highway. But I have a lead foot and live in an area where a lot of the highways are 75mph speed limits.


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p220sigman

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Posted: 10/21/20 02:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Of the ones on your list, I'd probably rank them thusly:

Highlander
Ascent
Passport
Outback (last mainly due to the tow rating)

I too would be a little leary of towing with a CVT. Of course, if you are looking at a new Highlander with the 8 speed transmission, there have been some complaints about it too so who knows?

SweetLou

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Posted: 10/21/20 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an outback with CVT. I tow a 500lb trailer with a 700lb load. It tows it just fine with no issues. Someone mentioned trailer brakes. That is overkill and not needed. If your small car needs to pull a trailer with trailer brakes, you have the wrong TV.


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We'll See

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Posted: 10/21/20 06:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

albireo13 wrote:

Right now, my short list is:
Outback 2.4/turbo 3500lb tow
Subaru Ascent 2.4/turbo 5000lb tow
Honda Passport 3.4L/V6 5000lb tow
Toyota Highlander 3.5L/V6 5000lb tow

I looked at the Rav4 and really liked it. It is very tempting. The wheelbase seems the shortest though. I hope to test drive them and that will thi the list out methinks.


The RAV4 is a compact suv and has an even lower tow rating and is just a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated four cylinder which wouldn't be adequate.

Of your shortlist, I'd choose the highlander.


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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 10/22/20 02:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SweetLou wrote:

I have an outback with CVT. I tow a 500lb trailer with a 700lb load. It tows it just fine with no issues. Someone mentioned trailer brakes. That is overkill and not needed. If your small car needs to pull a trailer with trailer brakes, you have the wrong TV.

Cheap insurance. If you shop around, the parts to add electric brakes on a small trailer are <$500 (backing plates, shoes, hardware, drum and hubs, brake controller). 3 hours labor tops.

TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 10/22/20 08:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really like my 2020 Ford Ranger XLT Crew cab. Less than $35k, 25+ mpg highway. 7,500 pound tow rating. 1,750 pound payload. Room for 5. 300 pound feet of torque with a 2.3 turbo 4 cylinder engine. Rear wheel drive and can be had with 4wd. A little more tow vehicle than you asked for but ready for that 3,000 pound unit in two years

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