Author Topic: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.  (Read 1158 times)

FireEngineer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Hello, I'd like some car advice.

My wife and I recently bought a house. With our new location, I have a 50 mile daily/roundtrip commute [it pains me to admit this here]. She has a much shorter 5 mile commute. We are happy with the house, location and price. [This isn't a commute question]. Our new house has a heatpump/AC and a Woodstove in the basement. The previous owner used to heat exclusively with wood.

I would like to spec out my next car, so I can keep an eye out for a decent used option, but I don't know what fits the bill.

I get about 26-27 mpg in my sedan now that I'm doing more highway driving. I'm not sure about my wife's milage in her sedan.

I would like it to have good fuel economy for my daily driving, but I'd also like to be able to pickup a load of wood [either as logs or split] and bring it home. The idea I currently have in my head is some kind of sedan and I can add a 1000/2000 lb utility trailer for errands. At one point in time I considered buying a third car, a used pickup [ford ranger]. But I've talked myself out of that. I've also borrowed pickups for one off projects from my dad [40 miles away] and rented trucks for large hauls, but when I start to collect wood, I think a trailer would be worth it. I'd also like to be able to borrow a tractor/mower from my inlaws, bring in dirt. But I don't think I can justify a truck.

Anyway, I think I'm done rambling:
Good mileage [at least 27ish, 30+ would rock]
1000/2000 lb towing capacity
Decent in the snow [I'm open to seasonally  changing out snow tires and all weathers or working from home when the roads are crap]
Easy to maintain [I want to start doing more of my own work, now that I have room, my wife is related to the owner of the local garage, who really does take good care of us, but they are most experienced with domestics, they don't want anything to do with VWs, not sure about Japanese or Korean cars]

I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

Thanks!

RecoveringCarClown

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Location: Northwest
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 11:10:44 PM »
Dump the sedans, least useful vehicle.  Small truck for her, used Prius for you gives you the best utility and mileage.  If this were the future I might recommend Cruze diesel hatch for you, but they are too new.

Ecky

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 09:04:18 AM »
Agreed, sedans are not a very useful shape. Hatches and wagons can do much of the work people use pickups for, whereas the small and enclosed trunks of sedans offer far less utility.

Also agreed that a small diesel would work well, but plenty of cars can tow. A Toyota Corolla is rated for 1500# and 40mpg on the highway. My bet is that the Civic is similar. Both have hatchback options now.

bmiles62

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 73
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2018, 03:30:19 PM »
Used Prius with a hitch. My camper is between 6 and 700 lbs loaded. Drove it all the way across the country and back.

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1593
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2018, 09:44:36 AM »
Good mileage and 2,000 lb towing capacity don't go together.
I think you need to re-think buying a 3rd vehicle.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 542
  • Location: WNC
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2018, 10:24:33 AM »
Also agreed that a small diesel would work well, but plenty of cars can tow. A Toyota Corolla is rated for 1500# and 40mpg on the highway. My bet is that the Civic is similar. Both have hatchback options now.

That's pretty awesome, I had no idea that the Corolla could tow 1500 lbs! That being said, I'd be leery of towing with a CVT, which is what the Corolla and the Civic have for automatics.  I think you can still get those cars in manual transmissions though.   

WSUCoug1994

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
  • Location: Bay Area, California
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2018, 08:46:17 PM »
Subaru Outback - 27/32 and 2700lbs of towing plus you have the convenience of a hatchback that is great in the snow.

Ecky

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2018, 07:38:10 AM »
Subaru Outback - 27/32 and 2700lbs of towing plus you have the convenience of a hatchback that is great in the snow.

But only if you put snow tires on it.

JAYSLOL

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1164
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2018, 11:31:59 PM »
Toyota Corolla has by far the best combination of Toyota reliability, smallish car economy and 1500lb towing capacity.  And yeah, definitely go for the manual if you can find it.  Just please don't overdo it and try and haul 2000+lbs with it, also learn how to load a trailer properly, weight distribution and load management are extremely important even for light loads with a vehicle well suited for towing.  For years I've towed a 14' boat and gear on a trailer (~700-800lbs total) with an old Toyota Tercel (yup, even smaller than a Corolla) but I make sure it's tied down extremely well, the load is centered well with the correct amount of tongue weight and I drive it gently.  I also do a lot of towing of larger loads with my work truck and have learned to be very careful. 

dashuk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2018, 03:32:53 AM »
Our 2009 1.33l manual Toyota Yaris does 40-50 mpg(US) on any trip with a decent proportion of highway/steady state miles, still does 35 with a massive roofbox and bikes on top. In six years/50,000mi I've spent maybe a total of eight hours doing the annual/10k mi service plus replacing the rear silencer, and paid someone to change the tyres. No reason it would be any worse than any other 2wd in snow with good tyres. Probably better, because light is good.

Will take a towbar and is rated for 1200lbs. Don't suppose you'd want to be towing that all day, but doesn't sound like you would be, just shifting a bit of firewood around your locality. 99% of the time is just carrying your ass around, so optimise for that. You'll save so much on running costs you can afford to rent a truck for the once a year or so you need to move something too heavy for a 1000lb trailer (and that can't just be split across a couple of trips).

Third vehicle just to get your firewood in? Surely that's facepunch territory round here?

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1048
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2018, 06:45:04 AM »
+1 to the Prius with a tow hitch recommendation.  I tow a utility trailer with mine regularly and took 2000+ lbs of brick to the dump with it, as well as loads of topsoil and mulch, etc.

It's not rated to tow but the electric motor has tremendous torque and it gets around just fine.  Use common sense and be very conservative with speed and following distance, of course.  I have more than 250k on this car currently with no issues.

beee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Edmonton, Canada
    • HoneyMoney.io
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 12:12:57 PM »
I've been happy with my toyota matrix. It's basically a hatchback corolla. As a tall guy I'm happy that it has a plenty head room for me.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 12:43:56 PM »
I occassionally haul a 4x8 trailer with my 2011 Corolla with no problem. Interestingly, the Corolla 1.8L has the same peak horsepower as my old 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger pickup did (140 hp). Braking, not HP or torque, is a bigger concern if you are going to be hauling over 1000 pounds. Whether this system works for you might depend on whether you live in the mountains or flat lands. Obviously, you triple your following/braking distance, check your tire pressure first, and drive like grandma - as you would do pulling an RV with a pick-up truck.

Note that there is massive debate about whether you can haul stuff behind small cars whose owner's manuals advise against it. Interestingly, the European models of these same vehicles are often rated for 1500#+ while the US models say never haul anything, ... but take a look at our truck lineup.

I think I paid $200 for the hitch and $20 for the wiring harness from uhaul. That was 5 years ago, so I've saved thousands vs. getting a truck.

Next questions: Is this the most time and money efficient method to provide supplemental heat to the house? How much is the price for delivered wood?

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 542
  • Location: WNC
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2018, 06:28:19 AM »

Note that there is massive debate about whether you can haul stuff behind small cars whose owner's manuals advise against it. Interestingly, the European models of these same vehicles are often rated for 1500#+ while the US models say never haul anything, ... but take a look at our truck lineup.


Just FYI, the Euros do it differently than the US.  Our trailers are setup to be easier to drive (and more stable at highways speeds) compared with the Euro trailer setups, but the European setup allows for higher tow weights.  Read the link, its an actual decent article from Jalopnik:

https://oppositelock.kinja.com/tow-me-down-1609112611


ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2018, 01:56:14 PM »

Note that there is massive debate about whether you can haul stuff behind small cars whose owner's manuals advise against it. Interestingly, the European models of these same vehicles are often rated for 1500#+ while the US models say never haul anything, ... but take a look at our truck lineup.


Just FYI, the Euros do it differently than the US.  Our trailers are setup to be easier to drive (and more stable at highways speeds) compared with the Euro trailer setups, but the European setup allows for higher tow weights.  Read the link, its an actual decent article from Jalopnik:

https://oppositeloc5k.kinja.com/tow-me-down-1609112611

That's a great resource. Thanks for posting it. This also explains the difference in semi truck configuration.

It does seem like they are doing some major rounding when they say a car can tow 1500# in places where 7% tongue weight (105#) is normal and zero pounds where 12% tongue weight (180#) is normal. Seems like a rule of leaving at least one car seat unoccupied when towing at 12% TW would more than make up for the 75# difference. Or just clean out the trunk when towing. Or just drive under 65mph...

SweatingInAZ

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Looking For Fuel Efficient [Sedan?] With an occasional trailer option.
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2018, 02:53:32 PM »
I've hauled up to ~1000 lbs combined trailer and cargo behind a 2006 Matrix, a 2005 Focus ZX3, and a 2013 Leaf with no ill effects (manual transmissions, electric with fixed gearing). Lots of dry wood, compost, mulch, lumber, appliances, furniture, ...

Much more than 1000lb and I get uncomfortable. That may sound like a lot, but that doesn't get you much brick or dirt.

figure 300lb for a basic trailer leaving 700lb for cargo. A cubic yard of dirt is in the neighborhood of 2000lb, so that 700lb only gets you a pile of dirt 3'x3'x1'. That's only a couple wheelbarrow loads.

I love having my trailer, but if I'm moving a significant amount of dirt, bricks, gravel, or wet wood, I get someone with a bigger vehicle to do it (bulk trash pickup, gravel delivery, etc)