Originally Posted by panheaddale
I am glad people on here are finally starting to realize that towing with these new downsized suv is not the way to go. Emperiorr andy will eventually get someone hurt or killed overloading these suv and telling people they can tow with no problems. If DOT ever starts enforcing laws on the general public like they do on us that tow for a living they would make alot of money off of people that are more worried about comfort and status than safety in their tow vehicles.
One problem is that sometimes people plan based on the advertised "towing capacity", which is meaningless. E.g. VW Touareg (BTW, a very capable vehicle and is used here just for illustration purposes only) has a 7700# towing capacity. Assuming 770# is on the tongue and the gas/DEF tanks are full, you are only left with 150# of payload for a driver -- that's it. I doubt most people want to tow a camper just by themselves. They usually have family members/gears/etc. Reality is that payload, tongue weight, and front/rear axle weight ratings will limit the towing capacity way before the maximum towing capacity is reached.
Besides, the maximum towing capacity of cars/trucks is not being measured in an objective way, and many times is inflated by car companies for marketing purposes (hence things like the 80% rule to counter that). Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), came up with a test plan to objectively determine the max towing capacity of cars/trucks. One of the tests was that a car/truck should be able to do a 0 to 60 with max towing capacity in less than 30 seconds. Another test, they have to go up a mountainous road with AC on and with a specific speed without overheating, and other tests. Toyota accepted the standard (kudos to them), and revised its towing capacities (Sequoia's tow rating dropped from 10000# to 7400#). GM agreed to implement the standard as well, but backed away when Ford did not implement the standard (BTW, Ford, GM and Chrysler all had input on how the tests should be designed). The reason the big three did not accept the standard is that they know their cars/truck will be down rated and nobody wants to be the first. So I would take the towing capacity of the big three cars/trucks with a grain of salt.
I think MB is very conservative with their tow ratings; they are not advertising their cars/trucks as tow vehicles, hence they advertise the "actual" tow rating. I know of several people on a Benz forum that have maxed the tongue weight/payload/axle ratings/tow rating and the truck still performed.