Mid Sized SUVs With 6 Cylinders

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by rcpopup, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. rcpopup

    rcpopup Member

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    Ideas on how to research for a replacement vehicle to my present one.
    Presently I have a 2008 Chevy Equinox LTZ AWD 3.4L v6 tow rated at 3500 lbs. with a Hayden #397 transmission cooler that I installed for insurance.
    Fleetwood Pop Up 2615 lbs empty but now about 3100 lbs or less. Electric Brakes.
    I have quite a bit of research but ended up with a scrambled egg mess both in my head and in my notes. [Guitar] (No excuse for being 76 yrs young) Mainly because this size SUVs now are coming out with 4 cylinders, turbocharged coupled with a CVT constant velocity transmission, tow rated at 3500lbs. Not for me!!!
    My target is:
    Mid-sized SUV, V6 engine, regular automatic transmission, tow rated 3,000-3500 lbs.
    3 yrs old or more (cheaper) Toyota, Honda, Acura, Ford, Chevrolet with a good reputation.
    Would be grateful for any and all information or direction, if it's not much to ask.[LOL][CC]
     
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  2. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a Toyota 4 runner and it has been an awesome and very reliable vehicle. It has a tow rating of 5000 but honestly I wouldn't tow above 3500 with it. I have an 03 and the only major repair I had to do was repair the catalytic converter. Otherwise it's normal wear and tear stuff. I have close to 150k miles and it's still going strong. They classify the 4 runner as a mid weight suv. I have a v6 and as far as I'm aware it's still sold with a v6.
     
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  4. Arruba

    Arruba Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I think Ford uses a non CVT automatic in the Explorer and up. I know in 2020 they still
    Offered the 3.5 liter V6 in the Explorer. In the older they had a couple V6 offerings. I don’t know then they started their Ecoboost lines. I think they all used a turbo to get the Horsepower ratings. I had an older Explorer with the 4.0 and 5sp auto. It IMO pulled my old Viking very well.

    Good luck with your search.
     
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  5. gec66

    gec66 Active Member

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    The Toyota 4 Runner is the most reliable in that class by a long shot and I say that as a Honda fan. The Honda Pilot can be OK if you disable the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) prior to the engine developing oil consumption issues and the same would be true of the Acura MDX. The Chevrolet Traverse is known for both transmission and engine timing chain issues. The Ford Explorer 2012+ appears to have a decent record with the bulk of it's issues minor irritations for the most part.
     
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  6. Katskamper

    Katskamper Well-Known Member

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    im driving & pulling a Skamper with my 1996 toyota T100 v6 truck.
    with lotta miles on it.
     
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  7. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    A 2008-2012 3.7L Jeep liberty meets your "specifications", but I would not tow 3500 Lbs with one unless I had the full tow package (extra cooling fan). And even then, I would not be a proponent of the idea. Our 3.7L Jeep Liberty tows our Scout which is 1,800 Lbs all-up (with ebrakes) - and this seems about right.
     
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  8. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    4Runner gets my vote. If you dont mind it being a decade old, you can get a V8.
     
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  9. Kyle R Thorson

    Kyle R Thorson Active Member

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    I have an 07 4runner with 4.0L V6 and have plenty of power up the big hills in AZ pulling our Coleman/Fleetwood Utah. It is on the heavy side for pop-ups from what I have seen. 189K and runs great.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
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  10. SunValleyMinnesota

    SunValleyMinnesota New Member

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    I have a 96 Coleman Sun Valley. We have pulled it to the Black Hills and to Yellowstone from Minnesota with our 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3.6. It's a great motor. I've been surprised how well it has worked. It's not super powerful but it does just fine in the mountains and on the highway - i even averaged about 16 miles per gallon if you can believe it. Rock on Mini Van!
     
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  11. hoverfish

    hoverfish Member

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    I'm not sure what your price range looks like, but I enjoy my Toyota Highlander. 2014-2016 have a 6 speed automatic and with the tow package (bigger alternator, transmission cooler) are rated to 5,000 pounds. It's a 3.5 V6 and I get pretty good gas mileage with it.
     
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  12. Ol'coasty

    Ol'coasty New Member

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    We towed our 2017 Aliner scout with our 2018 Wrangler 3.6 8spd from TX to Waterton and back 4500 total miles avg 17.5mpg for whole trip with no problems. Jeep has approx 36k on it no issues.
     
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  13. poppy65

    poppy65 Member

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    I wouldnt go smaller than a 4.0 6cyl.




     
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  14. rcpopup

    rcpopup Member

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    I was thinking $18,000 to $20,000 and it seems like that will only buy a 2016 with 90K miles.
     
  15. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Used Toyotas are $$, which is why I got started with Jeeps (before the Aliner). Nowadays its "what fits in my garage" more than $.
     
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  16. mtnbkr88

    mtnbkr88 New Member

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    We just bought our second 2012 V6 RAV4 with 46K miles for 15K plus taxes and fees to pull our Aliner. Our first 2006 V6 RAV4 has about 200K miles and the Wifey was getting nervous about the excess miles. The third generation RAV4s from 2006 thru 2012 had an optional V6 with tow package available. They are super fast (269hp) and extremely reliable. It's the best car I've ever owned.
     
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  17. vinham

    vinham New Member

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    I'm pulling a a starcraft 21 ft = 2200 lbs or so with a Mazda CX9. 270hp rated 3500lbs. Works well up to Sierra mountains, but strains to keep 55mph in some spots. I'm looking at a 4 runner or maybe even an old Lexus 460 (better prices than the 4 runner, with more reliability. Scotty prefers Lexus over most anything out there). My Mazda has a potential problem with that damn water pump/timing chain combo. Will change out for peace of mind.
     
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  18. Lei Zhao

    Lei Zhao Member

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    I would like to go with Explorer or Grand Cherokee.
     
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  19. stierheim

    stierheim Member

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    You can easily use a 3.5L. The 20011-2019 Explorers use a 3.5L (non-turbo) which is rated at 290 HP. With the tow package, they're rated for 5,000 Lbs.

    My Fleetwood Niagara is around 4,200 lbs loaded and it pulls it well. I also pull my wife's Subaru Forester on a tow dolly between upstate NY and FL twice a year. That setup weighs in a a little over 5,000 lbs loaded and it runs 65 mph just fine through the WV hills on I-79 and I-77.
     
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  20. davekro

    davekro Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    We bought a 3-year-old 2017 Kia Sorento to tow our 10' Box Starcraft Stardust. I is a lot lighter than your trailer at 1565 dry, and I'M guessing around 2100 camp packed. We hardly feel it back there. In the Kia Sorento, if you get both the V6 and AWD it is rated for 5,000 lb capacity with 350 lb tongue weight. You might find other brands that bump tow capacity from 3500 to 5000 lbs with 'their V6/ AWD combo'. Worth checking out. I did not want a vehicle that I got anywhere near its "capacity".
     
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