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Old 04-12-2008, 01:33 PM   #1
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Convertibles and towing

Got my latest issue of Consumers report yesterday.

They reviewed a number of late model convertibles and listed all of the usual stats including tow ratings. Although in most cases Airstreams would be too heavy for these vehicles it is interesting to investigate them.

There were a few surprises...

The highest tow rated vehicle at over 3,300lbs capacity was one of the smallest and lightest vehicles the SAAB 9-3. The Saab uses a 2.0 litre, 210HP, turbo charged engine and has a wheel base of 105 inches.

The lowest rated vehicle was one of the most powerful, and heaviest vehicles of the lot which was the Pontiac G6 convertible with a tow rating of 1,000lbs. It uses a 3.9 litre engine with 222HP. The wheel base of the Pontiac was the longest of the group at 112".



The Chrysler Sebring with a 3.5 (235 HP) was tow rated at 2,000lbs.

The Volvo C70 with a 2.5 litre engine was tow rated for 2,000lbs.

The VW EOS with a 2.0 litre 4cyl had 200HP and had a tow rating of 1,500lbs.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse with a 3.8, 260HP engine was not tow rated.

The BMW 3 series rag had a 3.0 litre engine with 230 HP that was not rated.

All of these vehicles weighed in between 3,500 to 4,000lbs.


The numbers raise questions....

The Pontiac G6 looks the best on paper but has the lowest tow rating.

The Saab is the smallest, lightest vehicle with one of the smallest engines and has the highest tow rating which is over 3 times higher than the Pontiac.

Two vehicles are not rated even though they have V6 engines.

Here is a cool pic of Saab 93 convertibles towing a lightweight TT.
One of the comments on the site were..."please find attached a collection of photos, showing our SAABs caravaning through Europe, mainly Austria, Italy and Greece during the last 8 years."

Saab Pride - Caravanning Style
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:28 PM   #2
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Were there any sedans that could tow one of the smaller Airstreams (like a 19 foot Bambi)?
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:49 AM   #3
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Old American iron..

We really like our old American ragtop TV and alumunum!
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:49 AM   #4
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshAir
We really like our old American ragtop TV and alumunum!
Nice!
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:20 PM   #5
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Freshair-that is stylin!

Bill
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Wow, tow capacity and the Saab kept changing from blue to yellow in those pictures, too.

I get around the rag top/tow capacity issue by having a factory sun roof in my F-250 Super Crew. Less buffeting of my hair, too.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:57 PM   #7
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We would love to tow our Bambi with a late model convertible t-bird assuming it could handle it - and assuming we could afford to buy one!
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Road Ruler
Got my latest issue of Consumers report yesterday...
cr tends to focus on products for the masses...

IF i were planning to tow ANY modern heavy 'stream with a 'newer' topless car...

the only reasonable choices would be the pre 2003 bentley or rolls...

these were body on frame, 5000-6000 lb cars with plenty of muscle and bones...

i'd opt for the azure over the corniche because it has more power and agility

after the german purchases of rolls and bentley, the newest models are unibody aluminum space-frame construction...

the new ones are magnificent, but not ideal for towing...

i don't recall the last time consumer reports rated these 2 cars....

but if ya wanna go topless select the proper tool!

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by smccollister
We would love to tow our Bambi with a late model convertible t-bird assuming it could handle it - and assuming we could afford to buy one!
Cyle, Scott...you 2 would be so cool with that set-up. A RED ragtop?
Neil.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjohnston
Were there any sedans that could tow one of the smaller Airstreams (like a 19 foot Bambi)?
There sure are. We see many modern sedans towing Airstreams in these parts.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:21 PM   #11
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There is a lesson here.

What I got out of the ratings review is just what I have always suspected.....that towing capacity is probably less reliable than a
misoverestimated guesstimate.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:29 PM   #12
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Hmmmm, I've been thinking I'd use my Tahoe as a TV when I get an Airstream, but perhaps we'll use our Toyota Solara convertible instead...
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:56 PM   #13
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I can tell you from personal experience that my 1997 Saab 9-3, 2.3L, non turbo was a great tow vehicle. When I retired in 1998, we went west from Michigan on the blue highways. When we were going to get very wet if we continued, we turned right (north) on the pacific coast highway with 2000+ pounds of Coleman in tow. At one point the highway was washed out and we had to detour. We had two choices, go about 20 miles of 18% grades, or 100 miles of flatter roads. We took the short route and ran 55 mph up and down in 2nd gear! Never saw another car. Others must have wimped out and taken the long route.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:14 AM   #14
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Saabs seem to be good tow cars. I'm surprised my sister-in-law didn't use her Saab convertible to tow her single horse trailer. The one she has is supposed to be ultra lightweight.
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Hmmmm, I've been thinking I'd use my Tahoe as a TV when I get an Airstream, but perhaps we'll use our Toyota Solara convertible instead...
My brother-in-law was going to have a hitch put on his Camry to tow the horse trailer and the hitch shop refused because the Camry was not rated to tow even that small amount of weight. However, if the Solara can do it, that would be a beautiful site: the gentle curves of the Solara and the smooth lines of the Airstream...just made for each other.
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