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Towing options

WE HAVE a 4.9m poptop caravan that weighs 1200kg unloaded. Which type of car would best tow it? Not just pulling power, but comfortable towing as well. We would prefer the smallest possible car and have been debating diesel v petrol, and smaller 4WD v standard Falcon/Commodore. Cars mentioned in discussions are the Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and some of the larger 4WDs.

YOUR poptop would probably weigh about 1500kg when loaded, so that's the weight you need to consider when buying a vehicle. In my view it comes down to where you want to go when travelling, and what you want to do with the vehicle for the rest of the year. If you stick predominantly to the blacktop on your travels, then a regular Commodore or Falcon is probably the best way to go. Both will easily tow your poptop, are comfortable and will give you reasonable fuel consumption. An X-Trail will tow up to 2000kg if the trailer has brakes, so that will also handle your poptop. A recent experience with a 3.0-litre Subaru Outback, rated to tow 1800kg, showed that when it was towing a 1200kg camper trailer the fuel consumption rose about 30 per cent, and rose even more when towing a camper weighing close to its rated tow capacity. That said, the Outback would be a great compromise for round-town use and towing capacity.

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