Towing terms to know
To find a vehicle to suit your towing requirements, you first need to understand the jargon used when rating towing capacities.
Kerb weight tells you how much a vehicle weighs when it’s sitting by the kerb, ready to be driven. Kerb weight includes standard equipment, a full tank of fuel, and all necessary liquids — such as oil and coolants — required to jump in and drive it away. It does not include optional extras, such as the weight of a bull bar.
This is the maximum weight of everything your car can carry. This includes everything in your vehicle, such as passengers, tools, or luggage.
Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
The GVM is the most your vehicle can weigh when loaded. It is the kerb weight plus the payload of the vehicle. When towing, the tow ball down weight counts toward the GVM.
Gross Combination Mass (GCM) GCM is the weight limit for the combined weight of your vehicle and trailer.
Now you know the jargon, let’s find your perfect towing vehicle.
If you’re looking for a four-wheel-drive with enough grunt for off-road towing, look no further than the VW Amarok. Ahead of its time, it is the only 4×4 dual-cab ute on the market with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The Amarok has a kerb weight of 2,076kg and a GVM of 3,080kg, meaning the payload rating is just over one tonne. With a braked tow rating of 3,000kg and a GCM of 5,550kg, you’d need to reduce the payload of the vehicle if you need to tow at capacity without surpassing the GCM.
Delivering up to an extra 200kW on demand, the Overboost function ensures you’ll never struggle with overtaking or trying to maintain power going uphill. The low-range crawler ratio is unmatched by competitors and makes navigating rough terrain a dream.
The Amarok consumes about 16.5L of fuel per 100km when towing, compared to 7.8 to 9.7L/100km when not towing. Of course, this figure depends on how you drive and your trailer or caravan weights.
With a powerful turbo-diesel engine, the Amarok was made to be one of the best tow vehicles. The large cubic displacement of the engine means that the engine braking is incredible, to reduce any braking trouble travelling downhill.
A comfortable family vehicle derived from Ford’s tough Ranger ute, the Ford Everest is a great choice. For around $50,000, you can have yourself a rear-wheel-drive five-seater SUV with 3,000kg maximum towing capacity. Perfect for family trips with the fully loaded caravan or for towing a ski boat.
If you’re looking for something a bit heartier, consider the Everest with 4×4 capability. With seating for up to seven people and coil-spring multi-link rear suspension, this vehicle will transport your crew while towing whatever you need to move, and then finish off the day with some off-road action.
The twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine is superior for towing, but the five-cylinder diesel engine still makes for a capable tow vehicle.
While towing, the fuel economy is approximately 16L/100km compared to 6.9-8.5 l/100km combined.
The heaviest of the Everest range has a towing and vehicle mass of 5,900kg for the GCM, 3,100kg GVM, a kerb weight of 2,446kg, and a maximum braked towing capacity of 3,100kg. With those stats, you’ll have plenty of room for your family, luggage and caravan.
Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series
The 3,500kg braked towing capacity is easily pulled along with the 4.5L Twin Turbo diesel V8. Tow tests suggest the Land Cruiser’s performance is made comfortable with the six-speed automatic transmission, so you can sit back and relax while the Land Cruiser does all of the hard work for you.
With a massive GCM of 6,850kg and GVM of 3,350kg, this powerhouse of a machine has the ability to tow some serious weight, and doing so with a full payload. This is something not many vehicles can do without reducing their payload. The GCM allows you to tow massive weights while having your car loaded with whatever else you need for your trip.
When towing, the fuel economy is about 19L/100km compared to 7.9L/100km combined.
This versatile vehicle is perfect for all terrains. Be it city, country, or off-road, this car is made for all conditions.
Remember your unique needs when looking for the best vehicle
When on your hunt for the best tow vehicles, it’s important to remember what features you need in addition to just towing. For example, if you need a tow vehicle for work as well as recreational towing, you might be looking at dual-cab utes that can fit your crew and all your gear for work, as well as accommodate your family plus luggage for holidays. Whereas, if you’re looking for more of a family car, an SUV might suit your needs better.
While the towing capacity of a vehicle is important when you plan on towing, make sure the vehicle ticks all of the other boxes on your list of requirements too! And don’t forget to know your car budget before you begin your search! [link to the car budgeting article]
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Disclaimer: The information above is of a general nature only and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information relates to your particular circumstances. We do not accept responsibility for any loss arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information.
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