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  1. #1
    mjh3ides's Avatar
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    Shopping for a new tow vehicle...what does everyone think of these

    Our lease on the Altima is up & we're looking for a better tow vehicle suitable for pulling a double trailer out of any type of ramp. I was interested in the Murano, and with the options I want it retails for ~34K and the dealer is willing to come down to ~30K...AWD, 265HP, 18/23 fuel economy. I am also interested in the Dodge Nitro which retails for ~25K(haven't gotten quotes yet) with Travel Group(upgraded engine/power steering cooling, full size spare, class 3 hitch/wiring harness), 260HP, 4WD, 16/21 fuel economy. Others I am looking at include Toyota Highlander & Honda Pilot. I was also told by my father in law that trucks with intuitive AWD are more likely to roll if driver loses control...any truth in this? This will be the wife's ride, so I want something small enough that she won't have a hard time parking it. I've never bought an American car, but with the prices on the Jap trucks it's very tempting to buy American. I'll be test driving some this week, so any advice or recommendations are appreciated.


  2. #2
    It's not the destination, it's the journey!! Rip'nTear SHO's Avatar
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    Use an M Roadster!!

  3. #3
    YoYamma's Avatar
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    My brother has had good luck with his Dodge trucks, he swears by them.
    Personally, I will never own another Dodge vehicle, they are junk in my opinion, even if you have a warranty you will still be stuck at the dealer with constant repairs. I have a paid subscription to Consumer Reports Website, I just checked and I can tell you based on owner feedback the Nitro is on track for being another unreliable piece of junk from Dodge.

    We dumped our p.o.s. Grand Caravan and bought the wife a Highlander she loves it. I will put Toyota up against any vehicle on the road at any price. You might want to take a look at the 4Runner also, I think it's better designed for towing. If possible, I would probably avoid AWD because of tire wear and fuel mileage, I prefer "selectable" 4WD vehicles, (if you really need 4WD) but that's just me.

  4. #4
    Fat Man, Little Boat Region8Ultra250X's Avatar
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    we have a 2003 murano that is getting ready to click over the 150K mark so and not an issue. tows a double trailer just fine (gp800 and stxr on the trailer)

  5. #5
    mjh3ides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoYamma View Post
    My brother has had good luck with his Dodge trucks, he swears by them.
    Personally, I will never own another Dodge vehicle, they are junk in my opinion, even if you have a warranty you will still be stuck at the dealer with constant repairs. I have a paid subscription to Consumer Reports Website, I just checked and I can tell you based on owner feedback the Nitro is on track for being another unreliable piece of junk from Dodge.

    We dumped our p.o.s. Grand Caravan and bought the wife a Highlander she loves it. I will put Toyota up against any vehicle on the road at any price. You might want to take a look at the 4Runner also, I think it's better designed for towing. If possible, I would probably avoid AWD because of tire wear and fuel mileage, I prefer "selectable" 4WD vehicles, (if you really need 4WD) but that's just me.
    Thanks for the input Yo. I agree you can't beat Jap reliability, but with a 9K differnce in price for a similarly equipped vehicle it's tempting to go the other way. I will check out the Forerunner too...4WD SE w/4.7L V8 MSRP 34,600... That's a lot more truck than the Murano for the same price.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    I think the Murano uses a CVT type of transmission. You may want to investigate long term reliability of the particular transmission used in the Murano.

    Despite the 3500lb tow rating, many people are suspicious of using a CVT transmission for any type of towing duty. Early generation CVT transmissions typically have a tow rating of zero - do not tow anything.

    Apparently CVT transmissions, when they do fail, are very expensive to repair/rebuild, and often are replaced with a new one. Warranty coverage could be important.

    All servicing of a CVT, including adding transmission fluid, should only be done by someone who understands that the CVT is very different from a regular automatic transmission. Adding the incorrect fluid can seriously degrade a CVT.

  7. #7
    YoYamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjh3ides View Post
    Thanks for the input Yo. I agree you can't beat Jap reliability, but with a 9K differnce in price for a similarly equipped vehicle it's tempting to go the other way. I will check out the Forerunner too...4WD SE w/4.7L V8 MSRP 34,600... That's a lot more truck than the Murano for the same price.
    Thing about that Toyota, it will hold its value more when you roll off the lot.
    Depreciation is a huge hit on some of the other options. My advice is buy one with a about 20,000 miles on it, the vehicle will look and drive like new, you will save about $7-10K and still have full factory warranty for a year or more, then you can wait and get an extended warranty right before you hit 36K miles or three years.

  8. #8
    We looked at a Murano and ended up getting a Ford Edge. It was a nicer all around car and we got one completely loaded with heated leather, sirius, navigation, panoramic sunroof, chrome wheels, etc for the price of a base Murano. Our lease payments are only $389 a month WITH our property tax included after like 2500 down. Nissan couldnt touch that price.

    Yes, its a Ford.. but its under warranty the entire duration of our lease. Were very happy with it.

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjh3ides View Post
    ...I was also told by my father in law that trucks with intuitive AWD are more likely to roll if driver loses control...any truth in this?...
    The primary factor in the risk of roll-over is the driver. Unfamiliarity with the dynamics of higher center of gravity vehicles, heavier vehicles, and heavy tow loads, aggressive turns and lane changes, etc.

    Electronic stability control, when available for that vehicle, certainly reduces overall roll-over risk, but is no substitute for sensible driving.

    Automatic all wheel drive systems, where only two wheels receive significant engine torque until slippage is detected, tend to be on lighter weight, lower center of gravity vehicles. I would expect them to have the same or less risk of roll-over, not more (again, if driven properly).

  10. #10
    YoYamma's Avatar
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    mjh3ides,
    I already knew this, but just for fun I pulled up the CR reports on Toyota 4Runner for the last 10 years, 1999 - 2008, and I can tell you that is by far one of the most reliable vehicles ever to hit American roads, at any price. Going back 10 years the 4Runner has ZERO black marks, virtually a perfect 10 year record...

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