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Old 06-20-2015, 08:41 PM   #1
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staten island , New York
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Jeep GC vs. VW Touarag vs. ML350 diesels

Next year we shall be getting a new vehicle. It has will be our TV and a work vehicle for my wife. This means it can't be a pick up, she will be be driving cargo back and forth to work in NYC which means that we do not want to big of a vehicle. This has led us to the three vehicles in the title of this thread. For fun lets imagine that money is not the deciding factor. (It is but for conversation lets pretend). I know the 350 has been replaced with the 250 but i'm not interested in that. Our AS is a 74 Land Yacht Globe Trotter, 21ft. long 3300lbs. dry.

We have decided on diesel for towing reasons, AS and other things.

I keep changing my mind on which one. We will probably go test driving in the fall.

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Old 06-20-2015, 09:25 PM   #2
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If you're only towing a 21' Airstream I would definitely forgo the diesel option. It doesn't make financial sense to buy a diesel for such a small trailer for a number of reasons.

1) limits your SUV pick to a very pricey bunch. You will never save enough money on fuel to offset the purchase difference between gas and diesel, especially once diesel starts heading up again.

2) Maintainance costs for these vehicles are outrageous. Before purchasing ask the service department for service quotes on EGR sensors, particulate filters, oil and filter changes; and don't even think of following a VW 15,000 kms recommended service interval as dirty oil will damage turbos and filters. Regular service cost my boss $600+ every 15,000kms on his Touareg versus $100 for the NV2500 Nissan work truck but he had to pay $7,000 to replace a turbo, catalytic converter and particulate filters in his wife's 2010 Jetta TDI when the turbo shaft broke due to dirty oil wearing through the hardened turbo shaft.

But if money is no object, how about the Porshe Cayenne turbo diesel?


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Old 06-20-2015, 09:40 PM   #3
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Money matters. Nonetheless diesel is overkill for your trailer, they offer gas engines that will cost you much less to buy and service. They are all expensive to fix, Touareg has a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty on drivetrain.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:48 PM   #4
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Tourareg, Q7, Cayenne Diesel ... and I think the Q5 is coming in a diesel flavor now. There was a couple pulling a 28 or 30 with the ML at the last rally, unfortunately because it is not as big as the GL350 Bluetec, Q7, Toureg with the same engine people were coming up to them all weekend and asking how they pull with that "little thing".
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:20 PM   #5
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Old 06-21-2015, 05:16 AM   #6
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Agree about not needing a diesel for the 21'. By going gas you have many more options that will suit your needs.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 06-21-2015, 05:24 AM   #7
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I used to tow our 2007 20' with an ML500 and loved it.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:36 AM   #8
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Jeep GC vs. VW Touarag vs. ML350 diesels

I vote for the Jeep GC. Should you ever decide to upgrade your trailer the Jeep can pull it. It comes in V6, V8, or Diesel. I own the Eco Diesel. 30 mpg Highway and 16 Towing my 2013 25 International. Oil changes are $175 at the dealers every 10K. Hitch was iincluded as well as brake harness.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:19 AM   #9
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I would go with the Jeep as it is the most cost effective. The diesels in those rigs has been problematic. With your light trailer, you could get by with a V-6, but the hemi Overland would be better for long distances, mountains.
My sister just got one. Solo it gets good mileage. It drives and handles great. And as a bonus, it is a capable off roader.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:51 AM   #10
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I have a 2013 GC with the factory tow package and a hemi. AS is a 2006 Safari FB 25' The GC has more HP and torque than the 2012 Chev 3500 I was using. Too, the GC is a far better daily driver.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:54 AM   #11
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If the OP wants a diesel, then the OP wants a diesel. Presumably not all their driving will be towing, and I'm guessing that's important.

Suspect I'd look at which has more convenient locations for service, things like that. Probably resale - in absolute amount, not percentage - should be a consideration.
These things probably spell Jeep.

But all that's pretty cold.

Because on the other hand, you gotta live with the thing. If the money's OK, then it's not a crime to find something that makes you grin a little. For me this would probably spell Jeep too, but you aren't me and for you maybe the VW or even the Merc does that job just a little better.

Good luck!
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:49 AM   #12
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I do not understand the notion that there are issues with these Diesel engines particularly from folk who do not drive these vehicles personally. We towed our 20ft FC with a 2014 Cayenne Diesel and have recently upgraded to a 25FB. We towed >15,000 miles in the past 18months at >20mpg. Yes, oil change every 5000 miles for $230 is expensive, flushing the BlueTec system every 10K miles for $120.

The VW 3L Diesel engine is a reliable workhorse, probably hundreds of thousands sold and lots of development went into these engines over the last 2 decades. Europe has 10+ different models, but only one or two made it to the US and I would be surprised if these were not the most reliable ones out there.

We looked into the GC and seriously, I would recommend to test drive all of these cars that you are considering dcorona. Also, get the price of all of them with the options you want. Ultimately, we decided against the GC because a) the engine / car combo is pretty new (first modern Diesel in a Jeep), b) the price difference between the non-plastic version of the Jeep versus the Cayenne was not too much of a difference (10K), c) the ride in the Cayenne . The Touareg is the no-frill brother of the Cayenne - probably directly comparable to the GC. Head to head, they are both nice cars, price is probably quite similar as well. The Touareg has the more developed Diesel technology. The ML350, we never considered - the wife did not like the look of it.

Diesel vs gasser. If you take out the calculator, the extra cost do not add up, but I can tell you that having the torque of the Diesel engine is making a big difference. I would not want to be without it. Also, stopping for fill ups is less frequent, particularly if you tow larger distances (we do).
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:50 AM   #13
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As Touareg TDI owner I agree with Knoff's assessment on the real costs for TDI maintenance. At 80K+ the only costs I have incurred are tires and regular service.

IRT to comparing CG to the German diesels (Touareg, BMW 5D, MB 350 BT) an additional consideration for me was the lack of history with the CG - having owed a couple, I learn Jeep does not generally do a good job the first timeout of the gate, 2nd or 3rd production year they get it right. Also the manufacture's listed towing weight (not a concern in your case) is lower for GC.

My 2cents.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:51 AM   #14
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ML diesel TV

I towed a 27' Flying Cloud with an ML350 diesel. It did fine. Ultimately switched to a 1500 pickup because I really couldn't carry all I wanted. I got 12 MPG. I'd say you need the diesel or the ML500 to make the haul. Expensive to maintain.

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