It’s no secret that just because a car is rated to tow a given weight, it doesn’t mean you should tow that weight, but it should be able to manage something with a decent buffer beneath that maximum.
Something like the 17-foot Avida Wave Tourer Electric Pop-Top single-axle caravan, which is built in Sydney and available from $54,990, which represents a pretty common type of lighter van and weighs in at 1746kg.
So to see if this rocket scientist/supermodel could chop wood, we put it through its paces with the Avida Wave attached. To provide context given the relatively unfamiliar energy consumption measures of an electric vehicle, we went beyond our usual test regime by doing the same test with a 200 Series Land Cruiser diesel, which is arguably Australia’s favourite tow vehicle.
We chose the most appropriate and cheapest version of the Model X Long Range (formerly known as 100D), which listed at $129,500 at the time of testing.
Ours was optioned up to $188,215 (drive away in NSW) though, with Pearl White Multi-Coat paint ($2800), black and white premium interior trim ($2100), six-seat layout ($8500), Full Self Driving Capability ($7100), Autopilot ($4300), and then on-road costs.
Like the Model X Performance that sits above it, it comes equipped with the big 100kWh battery system and dual motors that give it all-wheel drive. The Long Range produces total outputs of a mega 386kW and 660Nm that result in claimed 0-100km/h performance of a genuinely fast 4.9 seconds.
It’s a proper large SUV, but weighs more than most at 2459kg because of that huge battery system, but manages a decent payload of 620kg that even pips the ‘Cruiser by 10kg.
The Model X Long Range carries an official driving range 565km (NEDC) or 17.7kWh/100km, but wait until you see what happens to this figure when towing.
When you plug in a caravan's electricals to the Model X, it automatically switches to 'Trailer Mode', which is signified by a blue caravan-shaped light in the instrument panel.
When in Trailer Mode, the rear parking sensors, Autosteer and Autopark functions are disabled. The adaptive cruise control also increases the distance to vehicles ahead, the air suspension functions are limited, lane guidance is disabled and the AEB brake force is scaled back significantly.
Our LandCruiser LC200 was the second from the top-of-the-range VX, which currently lists at $98,510 in diesel form. Or not much more than half the drive away price of our particular Model X.
It’s got full-time four-wheel drive, with a more rugged ladder chassis construction and a low-range transfer case and solid rear axle and long-travel suspension for serious off-roading.
It’s also got the now-legendary twin-turbo 4.5-litre V8 diesel which now produces 200kW and a very close-to-Tesla 600Nm. Toyota doesn’t offer a 0-100km/h rating, but it’s fair to say it’ll take about twice as long as the Tesla.
The ‘Cruiser also comes with a built-in towbar but you’ve got to pay extra for the tongue, and it’s rated to the industry-benchmark 3500kg.
It’s 46mm shorter than the 5036mm Tesla and rides on a 415mm shorter wheelbase than the EV’s 2965mm, but the Toyota’s tall body and rugged all-steel construction make it even heavier than the Model X at 2740kg, but with a payload of 610kg, it can’t quite match the EV.
The diesel Cruiser carries an official combined fuel consumption figure of 9.5L/100km, and its total diesel capacity of 138L suggests a theoretical range of over 1400km, without a caravan on the back of course.