I am contemplating- ok, obsessing over- my next tow vehicle. I have a small travel trailer - dry weight is 2500#, hitch wt is 280#. I currently tow it with a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser. I like this vehicle, but I’m kind of “outgrowing” it. Besides, it gets piss-poor gas mileage- even worse when towing (10-12 MPG). I am ready for something else (ok- that’s the “mid-life crisis” thing talking). New tow vehicle MUST have the following: be able to tow AT LEAST 3300# and handle a hitch wt of 280#; comfort (the cushier the better), lots of leather and wood, soft quit ride, great gas mileage. I do NOT want an Escalade or Navigator- prefer an import, overseas delivery would be cool. I just want something I don’t mind spending a lot of time in and still look and feel civilized. Any ideas? I can’t afford a Bentley- otherwise you would not be reading this post!
I am looking at a new vehicle for work right now, currently have a a trailblazer and looking at a Chevy Traverse AWD with towing package. 6200 lbs towing capacity, 750 lbs tongue weight ~ per salesman targeting $30k!
Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500, Ram 1500; all with 6-cyl. and RWD. You can get a cap for the bed if you want. If you ant extra seats, get the crew cab.
Your problem is “great gas mileage”. You can’t get great gas mileage with most tow vehicles, especially when the trailer is hooked up. Check out the newest Ford Escape and see which drive train can handle 3000+ lbs. and make sure you get a tow package.
You really should consider a pickup with a diesel motor if you do a lot of towing.
I would go with a diesel pickup or a 1500 GMC or Chey EX Cab 2 or 4X4 5.3 V8 19-22 mpg all day long. I get 15 pulling a 5000 lbs of fith wheel with a 1500 SLT GMC 4X4 5.3. Diesel will get you over 20 mpg. Take good care of it and it will go 300K - 400K on the gas trucks. My next truck will be Diesel. I wish GM or Ford would put a diesel V6 or V8 in a 1500 or F150 truck.
A great possibility, would have been a 2012 RAV 4 v6 rated for 5k lbs. look for a 2012 holdover. They have excellent mileage and is one of Toyota’s better handling vehicles ( which doesn’t say a whole lot) and rides quite well.
A Toyota 4Runner is also designed for your needs. But, this suggestion will not get great mileage especially while towing. The FJ rides and handles like crap, is off road first, towing second. The 4Runner makes more passenger concession.
My other choices for more comfort would be a Chevy Avalanche domestic name plate or .Honda Ridgeline /Pilot for foreign sounding name.These vehicles have coil instead of leaf springs, yet full frames. Any truck will ride like a truck (AKA FJ Cruiser) which you are trying avoid.
Other suggestions would include those suggested by @barkeydog and are frameless awd car based SUV with beefed up sub frames for towing…but, though they are comfy too, all will have poor mileage while towing though these may be a little more car like when not.
The new Ford V6 turbo in a pickup gets better-than-v8 mpgs (a bit better, not a lot) for not nearly the cost of a diesel rig. Recent tests showed it to have good towing capabilities (within its rating, of course) and decent mpgs when not towing (for a full-sized pickup).
Towing over 3000lbs != “Good gas mileage”
I know @mike. Without being too much of a wise a$$$, some think that towing a 3000 aditional lbs of " UN powered " weight should be nearly as efficient as not towing at all. Like, we could just make a 3000 lbs car to begin with that used no fuel what so ever ? Nothing personal @alphacat63, but expect towing 3000lbs to start approaching the extra gas used as running another very small vehicle at the least.
If I could buy a SUV that could tow 3000lbs AND give me 30mpg…I’d buy it…They don’t exist.
Maybe you might find one that gets in the mid 20’s…but when towing…don’t expect anything over 17-18.
When you look at @olderbody 's suggestions, they make sense in this way. The larger tow vehicles that normally may get worse mileage in normal driving, can actually do better then more economical vehicles when towing. Case in point is his suggestion of including a diesel. If you do a heck of a lot of towing, a diesel or other tow dedicated vehicle makes sense. So, we could banter this back and forth but the only thing that ultimately makes sense and is often done in multicar families, is to have a small compact when you don’t tow, and a purpose built vehicle when you do. Then, all you have to worry about is purchase price, insurance and registration of more then one car. Best of luck in what ever you decide.
Lot of good suggestions here.
The truth is, as far as I know, that you won’t find a vehicle that fits all of your criteria. I’ve yet to see a vehicle that can tow 3k pounds and get “great gas mileage”, much less with " lots of leather and wood, soft quit ride". The closest thing, I think, would be a Honda Pilot. Maybe look at one and then determine where to go from there? If it were me, I’d be looking at a Dodge or Chevy truck, but that’s just my opinion.
The closest is the RAV4 v6 which they stopped making in 2013. Rated for 3500 lbs with tow package and highway mileage when not towing 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway with awd which is a must for towing in this car.The newer RAVs don’t have the v6 option. I know two people that have them and successfully tow quite large boats. It’s a motor that will be missed. As I suggested, look for a hold over 2012.