Car recommendation? Wagon that can tow


#1

Hey, all
So, I have a 1999 Subaru Outback with 160k miles and a manual transmission. It’s my car, and is the only car that we have that can pull the small boat we have. Third gear is getting crunchy, and I’m considering the options of either replacing the transmission (relatively cheap fix, not much else wrong with the car) or replacing it.
So, I’m looking at options.
What I would like is a wagon or sport wagon, manual transmission, rear wheel or all-wheel drive (Wisconsin winters), that can pull a small boat (2000 pounds) that gets reasonable (over 20mpg) mileage.
Yes, it’s a tall order. Too bad it’s not Europe. They’re all over the place.


#2

If you are willing to settle for an automatic there are lots of choices. My own choice would be a Ford Flex; it has a lot of room and equipped with the larger engine can pull a lot of boat. As can the Ford Explorer. Many posters will recommend such vehicles as the Toyota Highlander, the Chevy Tahoe, and other rear based SUVs.

I would seriously reconsider why you want only a standard shift.


#3

Honda CrossTour? Toyota Venza?


#4

Thanks, Docnick and Uncle Turbo.
Nope, manual transmission is non-negotiable. I’ve owned automatics, and had serious trouble in the snow. Manual allows someone to do some things in the snow that are not possible in an auto.


#5

stick shift is so rare these days, and finding one that can handle towing and 20+mpg narrows the field even more.

You might look at the VW Jetta diesel wagon

Good luck.


#6

The Hylander is not a rear drive based car. It’s front drive based. The most significant vehicles thatt can handle 2k without aging them too much and still be car based and reliable are the Hyghlander and Honda Pilot. The only way I would go manual and tow 2k would be a compact pick up in 4wd with the low range feature. A Tacoma crew cab gives you all the towing and room you could possibly want. If you have problems with autos in snow, you havn’t driven newer cars with traction and stability control. Transmission becomes a non factor. I used to prefer manual in snow too, but …newer traction aids makes it unnecessary. If you still insist though, get a crew cab compact pick up.


#7

Strange we always preferred automatics in the snow(most of our old vehicles had the snow gear) I drive big trucks for a living and consider an automatic transmission a upgrade(I could always feather the throttle to the point the wheels were about to lose traction-had trouble stalling the engine on the manual transmission when I used this technique) just dont let this preference for manual let you pass up a deal on a good vehicle-Kevin


#8

Subaru Legacy/Outbacks come in manual transmissions. My 2005 can pull about 2000 pounds (kinda), and get about 20-30 mpg when not towing.
Remember, Europoean tow ratings are not hamstrung like US tow ratings because of legal questions.
Subaru is (still) probably your best bet.


#9

No manual offered but the 17 Honda Ridgeline is as car like as an Accord, reasonably well economical and can handle that weight with ease.


#10

If you’re buying new the 2017 Forester can be had a with a manual, but it’s only rated to tow 1500 pounds
The base VW Sportwagen can be had with a manual, but it’s not recommended for towing anything.

I think you’re going to have to compromise on the manual thing, if you want both a wagon and 20 MPG.


#11

Mid and large size SUVs with manual tranny are almost non existent. In fact I don’t know if one that’s still around.

If you do a lot of towing then you want an automatic. It can tow more and won’t be replacing clutch


#12

yog revived a 4 year old thread to make a recommendation. I think the OP has either long since forgotten about this thread, or has already bought a vehicle.


#13

The OP told himself that he now has a 2005 Outback.