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Old 02-10-2014, 10:07 PM   #15
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I own a 2009 Ford Escape and it has been my least favorite vehicle of all time. I also consider it to be my least reliable vehicle, the other vehicles being a Honda odyssey with 210,000 miles and a Volvo with over 100,000 miles. The Escape has spent more time in the shop than either of them. They actually had to replace my transmission at $17,000 miles! Under warranty but the hassle was a pain. In addition, the acceleration in this car is awful....I can't imagine how bad it would be when towing something.
Strangers come up to me on parking lots and ask if I've had trouble..... Makes me think.

Maybe just a lemon, but I will never buy a Ford CAR again. Am seriously considering trading it in for a Ford Truck, which I have owned and like.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:44 AM   #16
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Per Edmunds.com, the S10 has a 120 HP engine; and the towing capacity is 5,500 pounds, which should be plenty for a small travel trailer like a Teardrop.

Years and years ago, we towed a 1,200 pound travel trailer with a 1972 Mazda RX2, powered by a 120 HP rotary engine. The rig towed fine, but stopping it with no trailer brakes was another matter. Your S10 is a much more capable tow vehicle. And, with only 50,000 miles on it, it could last several more years.

Personally, I'd try towing with the S10 before putting a lot of money down on an SUV and saddling yourself with new car payments. After all, a few hundred dollars spent on S10 towing mods, upgrades and repairs are only a couple of car payments. New car payments will go on for years.

However, I know how beckoning the new-car "Siren's" call can be. -- Odysseus, resist the Siren's song in your quest for a tow vehicle! (At least, until you have defined how much towing capacity you actually need.)

Note: Dodge recently announced that a 2014 Ram 1500 pickup will be available with a Fiat 3.0L V6 Eco Diesel engine that is supposed to get 28 mpg, highway.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:48 AM   #17
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Test drive the Honda Ridgeline, 240 HP, 5000# towing capacity. Ours has 108,000 mi, a third of that towing. Bought in '05 and still runs like new.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:22 PM   #18
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The S10 has issues with just passengers going up an 11% grade; it works but it strains and you probably don't want the AC on.

That makes me reluctant to use it to tow anything.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:24 PM   #19
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I'm going to be looking at the Honda Pilot and pickups next.

That being said, I do like the feel of the XTerra. Are there any things that make it a particularly bad vehicle (other than mileage)?
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:49 PM   #20
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Here's a reference to good characteristics in a tow vehicle from Airstream towing expert Andrew Thomson.

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Old 02-11-2014, 04:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhw View Post
I'm going to be looking at the Honda Pilot and pickups next.

That being said, I do like the feel of the XTerra. Are there any things that make it a particularly bad vehicle (other than mileage)?
Since you have stated you like the cargo area of an SUV style, consider a truck with a cab high cap. Lockable, weather tight, and a safe place to carry things like generators and fuel cans for them, etc.
By way of comparison, a Frontier has a longer wheelbase than an XTerra. Personally I prefer longer wheelbase not only for towing, but often it can result in better ride quality even when not towing.

EDIT: be aware that adding a cap to a truck is weight that comes off of available payload
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:25 PM   #22
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It is a simple enough task to unplug the radio of the Onstar device.

There are even boxes out there that Bluetooth to one's personal phone to make use of the steering wheel buttons and hands free features of the on-board peripherals.

I have nice one in my sedan. And the Onstar system is completely disconnected.


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Old 02-12-2014, 07:22 PM   #23
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After various test drives, we really love the new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Is there any reason why this would be a bad longterm choice?
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:58 PM   #24
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Test drive the Honda Ridgeline, 240 HP, 5000# towing capacity. Ours has 108,000 mi, a third of that towing. Bought in '05 and still runs like new.
+1
The Ridge has excellent torque and HP for its class, and is designed/geared with towing in mind. It's a complete package.

Pilot has the same engine but doesn't have quite the gear ratios for towing; therefore it gets better mpg than the Ridge.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:40 PM   #25
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After various test drives, we really love the new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Is there any reason why this would be a bad longterm choice?
For what its worth, Consumer Reports did a review of Jeep Cherokee and called it "half-baked". I'd read the review to see what were they unhappy with.

p.s. I must say that CR is sometimes is unkind to off road vehicles.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:23 AM   #26
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For what its worth, Consumer Reports did a review of Jeep Cherokee and called it "half-baked". I'd read the review to see what were they unhappy with.

p.s. I must say that CR is sometimes is unkind to off road vehicles.
There has always been a CR bias towards SUV's foreign and domestic. Because their reviews are dependent on reader/ownership feedback, the numbers are often times skewed.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:06 PM   #27
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We decided on the Trailhawk, and will be towing a 3 Feathers Pinecone.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:48 AM   #28
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Was not CR exposed as a fraud a few years ago, by not using factual info? Jim
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