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View Full Version : Help: need input on new tow vehicle.


gts-20
11-13-2012, 05:03 PM
I want to find a replacement for my 2011 Tundra 4X4 crewmax. I love the truck, and it tows great, but I need something smaller. I live in a gated community near mid-town, in Houston. The driveways and streets in my neighborhood are very small and narrow, and my truck won't even begin to fit in our garage.

The replacement has to be able to tow my '08 Prostar 214 w/ tandem axle trailer, total weight est. +/- 5000k lbs, without any issues. I'd prefer a tow rating of at least 7500 lbs. since we tow a lot in the steep hills around Austin. I don't want to have any problems with stopping. I am assuming that I will be looking @ SUV's in order to get the size that I need. I will be driving this vehicle every day to work, so comfort is important, as well as MPG. My Tundra only gets 14 mpg in town, so that shouldn't be hard to beat. I don't have kids to worry about, but I like having the extra interior room of my crewmax. I would also like to stay in a 4x4, or at least AWD.

Here's the problem, I need to keep within a budget of +/- $35k. I am not against buying used, so that is alway an option. I work for a Toyota dealer, so my pricing for those is great, but I'm limited to the Tundra if I want a tow rating higher than 5k lbs. I like the VW Toureg in the TDI, but they are pricey.

The pics are of the Tundra to be replaced.

What would you suggest I look at? Thanks in advance for your help.

mzimme
11-13-2012, 05:09 PM
2011+ Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 5.7L. Pretty sure they have the 7500lb tow capacity, and that hemi will have plenty of power while still managing 21mpg (not towing). Hemi optioned Grand's start around 34-35k I think.

That's what I'd buy anyway :D

TRBenj
11-13-2012, 05:15 PM
I work for a Toyota dealer, so my pricing for those is great, but I'm limited to the Tundra if I want a tow rating higher than 5k lbs.
Better bone up on your product knowledge...:D the 4x4 V6 Tacoma can tow up to 6500 lbs. I dont think youre going to do much better than 17-18mpg with it in mixed driving, though.

gts-20
11-13-2012, 05:24 PM
Better bone up on your product knowledge...:D the 4x4 V6 Tacoma can tow up to 6500 lbs. I dont think youre going to do much better than 17-18mpg with it in mixed driving, though.

Lol! I work in wholesale parts, so the extent of my product knowlege on Tacoma's is limited to the crash parts I sell to body shops. I looked in the brochure and it said Tacoma and FJ maxed out at 5000 lbs. Where did you see them listed @ 6500 lbs? Either way the Tacoma is too small on the inside for my liking.

TRBenj
11-13-2012, 05:30 PM
Two of my buddies have Access cab V6 4x4's. Check out Toyota.com for the specs.

Not sure youre going to have much luck finding a 4x4 truck/suv that's bigger than a midsize (Tacoma) and smaller than a full size (Tundra). The only truck that fits that description that I can think of is the previous gen Tundra... its just a bit bigger than the current Taco. I thought the point was to go smaller and more fuel efficient, though? Cant have your cake and eat it too!

gts-20
11-13-2012, 05:39 PM
Two of my buddies have Access cab V6 4x4's. Check out Toyota.com for the specs.

Not sure youre going to have much luck finding a 4x4 truck/suv that's bigger than a midsize (Tacoma) and smaller than a full size (Tundra). The only truck that fits that description that I can think of is the previous gen Tundra... its just a bit bigger than the current Taco. I thought the point was to go smaller and more fuel efficient, though? Cant have your cake and eat it too!

ya, thank you, I found it. I'm not sure how I missed that. "Towing capacity (lb.) (standard/with V6 Tow Package) 3500/6400" Very impressive for such a small vehicle. But I want a tow rating somewhere near 7500 lbs. I know its going to be difficult to find something. I'm being very picky.

I am looking for something in the size range of the Grand Cherokee, or the Toureg. It doesn't have to be a pickup.

barefoot
11-13-2012, 06:01 PM
what about a 4runner?

Thrall
11-13-2012, 06:06 PM
The older Toureg V10 TDI's can be had in the $30's in good condition now. They actually seem like a deal compared to what they cost new. They pull like a train. Same hp/tq as the older DMaxes. Not sure if they're finicky or super relaible though.
For the money, I'd look at Grand Cherokees or Dodge Durangos. The 2nd Gen Durangos are butt ugly IMO, but can get them with the 5.7 Hemi. Old boss had the Chrysler version (aspen?) and said it towed his 22' Supra better than his Avalanche 5.3. The new Durangos are sharp looking again, probably find one in your price range.
I know they offered 4 Runners with a V8. Tow rating on those should be close to what you're looking for too I'd think. Never seen a V8 Tacoma though, but I got a buddy who has put the TRD supercharger on his last 3 trucks. 2 Tundras and an older Taco. That Taco with the blower would run up to the Eisenhower Tunnel (I 70, Colorado, proving grounds for how well your truck can tow up a 7% ? grade at 10k ft at highway speeds.) witha 3 sled trailer at 75mph no problem. Any blown Toyota would tug your boat around Texas with ease.

You could probably get a good deal on a TRD supercharger setup being in wholesale parts!

gts-20
11-13-2012, 06:19 PM
what about a 4runner?

I like the size of the new 4Runners, but there max towing cap. is 5k lbs.

gts-20
11-13-2012, 06:20 PM
The older Toureg V10 TDI's can be had in the $30's in good condition now. They actually seem like a deal compared to what they cost new. They pull like a train. Same hp/tq as the older DMaxes. Not sure if they're finicky or super relaible though.
For the money, I'd look at Grand Cherokees or Dodge Durangos. The 2nd Gen Durangos are butt ugly IMO, but can get them with the 5.7 Hemi. Old boss had the Chrysler version (aspen?) and said it towed his 22' Supra better than his Avalanche 5.3. The new Durangos are sharp looking again, probably find one in your price range.
I know they offered 4 Runners with a V8. Tow rating on those should be close to what you're looking for too I'd think. Never seen a V8 Tacoma though, but I got a buddy who has put the TRD supercharger on his last 3 trucks. 2 Tundras and an older Taco. That Taco with the blower would run up to the Eisenhower Tunnel (I 70, Colorado, proving grounds for how well your truck can tow up a 7% ? grade at 10k ft at highway speeds.) witha 3 sled trailer at 75mph no problem. Any blown Toyota would tug your boat around Texas with ease.

You could probably get a good deal on a TRD supercharger setup being in wholesale parts!

The Toureg, old and new body styles, in TDI, are hard to find unless you want to drop $50k+ at the dealer. I really like the looks and interior space of the Grand Cherokee limited/Overland editions. The Tacomas just feel really small on the inside. Maybe its just an illusion. I need to take one home for a weekend and try to drag the boat around.

SP Maristar
11-13-2012, 06:22 PM
We towed our 24' travel trailer and now our Maristar with a 2003 Lexus GX470. 6500lb is the rated towing capacity when outfitted with a frame mounted hitch. Funky exterior looks (IMO) and a bit short on wheelbase, but cushy, roomy, AWD, and mechanically bulletproof (so far, knock on wood). The motor is rated at something like 260 hp, but closer to 300 ft-lb of torque. As long as we don't get into races with Turbo Diesel American trucks while traversing mountain passes, it does just fine.

barefoot
11-13-2012, 08:00 PM
I like the size of the new 4Runners, but there max towing cap. is 5k lbs.


Perfect...well, not really. why don't you give me your boat to lighten your load! :D

zsqure
11-13-2012, 08:25 PM
You will have a difficult time replacing that long wheelbase stability. Tahoes, yukons, exploders, cherokees and 4 runners will all feel squirrely compared to your crewmax until you get used to them. Look for something with trailering package of course or sport tuned suspension that gets you thicker sway bars, and higher rate springs. 5k lb of boat is not that much weight, especially if it carries its own brakes. Have fun shopping, thats the best part of buying a new vehicle, driving everything out there.

bzettler83
11-13-2012, 08:25 PM
Its really too bad the new 4runner's only have the straigh 6. If they put the 4.7L V8 it would be a perfect truck, put that in the Tacoma and it would out sell everything.

If you can find a used 4runner with the V8 they are rated at 7k towing... Air Lift makes an air bag set up that you can install fairly quickly that bumps it to 8k and it rides nicely.

I have an 05 4runner V8 with the air bags and I tow my 03 X30 fully loaded with no problem.

jafo9
11-14-2012, 09:34 AM
Don't forget about the FJ100 series land cruisers. I drove one to tow a 21 ft cobalt on a double axle trailer about 100 miles. Pulled great. They have the 4.7 and are pretty swank and have a decent full time 4wd system. They ran from 98 to somewhere in the 08 range before the FJ200 replaced it.

willyt
11-14-2012, 10:11 AM
You will have a difficult time replacing that long wheelbase stability. Tahoes, yukons, exploders, cherokees and 4 runners will all feel squirrely compared to your crewmax until you get used to them. Look for something with trailering package of course or sport tuned suspension that gets you thicker sway bars, and higher rate springs. 5k lb of boat is not that much weight, especially if it carries its own brakes. Have fun shopping, thats the best part of buying a new vehicle, driving everything out there.

maybe its just because i've gotten used to them... but my tahoe doesnt feel at all squirrely towing my xstar around (1k lbs more than the 214)

mzimme
11-14-2012, 10:13 AM
I actually really love the shorter wheel bases. While not ideal for stability, it sure makes swinging the boat around in a gas station or tighter turns nice and easy.

Nick911
11-14-2012, 10:15 AM
Grand Cherokee no questions asked! Get the Overland Edition with 5.7L Hemi.

fskof
11-14-2012, 10:45 AM
In the mid $30k there are many great vehicles to look at:

Preowned:
Audi Q7
BMW X5
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Mercedes-Benz GL430
Porsche Cayenne S
Range Rover Sport
VW Touareg V8
Toyota Land Cruisers
Lexus LX (lexus version of the Toyota Land Cruiser

I would test drive each one and go with what fits your life style. They are all great vehicles.

I have a 2004 VW Touareg V8 and its a better tow vehicle then my Dodge Dakota V8 and Chevy Silverado were!

TRBenj
11-14-2012, 12:29 PM
If used is a consideration, then take a look at the last gen 4Runner. It had the 4.7L V8 as an option... I have a '07 and dad has a '08, theyve been great. Tow capacity on the V8 4wd is 7k... 7200 for the 2wd.

Im still a little confused on the size though- do you want smaller or no? If you want smaller than a full size, then midsize is going to be the next step down- Taco, 4Runner, JGC, Touareg, etc all fall into this size range... but youre saying its too small? A full size SUV (Land Cruiser, Tahoe, etc) will be shorter than the CrewMax by a good bit, but still just as wide... and they'll drink just as much gas- so I dont see the change as being significant enough to justify. Maybe you should just keep the Tundra?

maxpower220
11-15-2012, 11:21 AM
Chevy Colorade comes in a 5.3L V8. Jeep GC has the power and room. Not sure if you want a truck. Used, you could find a Hummer H3T Alfa with low miles.