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Old 10-02-2012, 03:20 AM   #76
FinlandThumper
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I do not know exactly which models are available in the USA, but the BMW X series with the 3.0d engines are very capable haulers and get upper 20's with a trailer if you don't stomp on them too hard. I have an X3 with that engine, and I have heard at least you could get the X5 with it in America.

I just pulled about 800 pounds of cargo in a decent sized trailer and got around 27 coming home, 75mph the whole way.

Plus side is that when you take the trailer off, the thing is hella fun to drive and gets around 30 on the highway. You also get all wheel drive and decent ground clearance.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:52 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
I do not know exactly which models are available in the USA, but the BMW X series with the 3.0d engines are very capable haulers and get upper 20's with a trailer if you don't stomp on them too hard. I have an X3 with that engine, and I have heard at least you could get the X5 with it in America.

I just pulled about 800 pounds of cargo in a decent sized trailer and got around 27 coming home, 75mph the whole way.

Plus side is that when you take the trailer off, the thing is hella fun to drive and gets around 30 on the highway. You also get all wheel drive and decent ground clearance.

The problem with most european cars is that they have to use premium. My Audi and my brother's Mercedes both need super to run and even so, they are both gutless. My Audi only has the 2.8 V6, but only returns 22 mpg. Not really very good. Factor in the cost of premium over regular and may as well say it gets 19mpg, averaging the cost factor. My brother's E series with the straight 3.0L six doesn't do any better. And it's relatively gutless as well.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:30 PM   #78
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Try (finding) one of those early 80's Toyota "Space Vans". Some came few with sticks, 30 mpg, and you can fit two bikes in there, low floor height, no trailer needed. Of course they are rare, and most would be run out and (depending on locale) rusted, but they were pretty indestructible. If you found a decent one it would be very affordable. Less van = more bike.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:59 PM   #79
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As stated many times here, we use our '11 Golf TDI as our tow vehicle. Trip from Atlanta to San Diego via Des Moines and Denver (in a snow storm) netted us 38mpg with a loaded trailer. I had to look back several times to make sure it was there due to the car handling it so well. Good upside of the Golf TDI is the standard trim. Full GTI interior and suspension standard. Only remaining options available is the sunroof, cold weather package, GPS, HID, and premium sound. The car handles well enough for the wife to competitively Auto-x it in stock trim. (MPG drops to about 30 for those days.)
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:30 AM   #80
FinlandThumper
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Originally Posted by vtwin View Post
The problem with most european cars is that they have to use premium. My Audi and my brother's Mercedes both need super to run and even so, they are both gutless. My Audi only has the 2.8 V6, but only returns 22 mpg. Not really very good. Factor in the cost of premium over regular and may as well say it gets 19mpg, averaging the cost factor. My brother's E series with the straight 3.0L six doesn't do any better. And it's relatively gutless as well.
This is very true...but in this case I meant the diesels! My X3 has the 6 cyclinder twin turbo diesel, not gas.

But you're right...one main reason I wouldn't buy most Euro gas cars in the USA though would be what you mention. This is a bit of a hijack, but what blows my mind when I went home to Wisco last time was this issue. My mom needed a new car (she ended up with a Subaru Forester) but looked at BMW cars.

She had liked my 316i with its awesome drive and 35-36mpg highway mileage. I show up the stealer and he's basically like "we don't do those here, only 328i and up". Can't believe BMW and others can't make money off their small engined models that use standard gas and get upwards of 40mpg these days. I suppose they would import them if they'd make money, but it still kills me when I think the product range available elsewhere.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:23 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
She had liked my 316i with its awesome drive and 35-36mpg highway mileage. I show up the stealer and he's basically like "we don't do those here, only 328i and up". Can't believe BMW and others can't make money off their small engined models that use standard gas and get upwards of 40mpg these days. I suppose they would import them if they'd make money, but it still kills me when I think the product range available elsewhere.
It's not a matter of making money, it's that they bill themselves as a luxury-only brand here and don't want to dilute their marketing message. Mercedes does the same thing. No A-series here, no cloth seats, no manual windows, etc.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:13 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by troidus View Post
It's not a matter of making money, it's that they bill themselves as a luxury-only brand here and don't want to dilute their marketing message. Mercedes does the same thing. No A-series here, no cloth seats, no manual windows, etc.


Yes, isn't it funny that all over the world they use Mecedes as taxis? Maybe they could do a Acura/Honda reversal. Bring in their lower models as another line and sell them rebadged at another dealership? Probably never happen.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:51 PM   #83
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Yes, isn't it funny that all over the world they use Mecedes as taxis? Maybe they could do a Acura/Honda reversal. Bring in their lower models as another line and sell them rebadged at another dealership? Probably never happen.
The only non-commercial brand name they have available is Smart. I don't think that would work for a stripped C-class, but they could perhaps sell the A as a stretch Smart. I don't know what BMW would do.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #84
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An 80s CRX with the hatch cut out so you can stuff a bike in there. Otherwise your options are small TDI with a trailer. Nothing else will get a realistic 30mpg pulling bikes. A lot of people don't know how to calculate gas mileage. The numbers I hear people toss around daily, about their cars MPG, make me laugh, then cry. There's always ONE person who claims to get twice the MPG out of a certain vehicle, than anyone else has ever gotten!
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #85
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The key is a very light trailer with high pressure skinny tires being towed by a car that gets great gas mileage. I've driven this set up from Central Oregon to Death Valley and back averaging 42 mpg on the trip. Most of the trip was cruising at 60 to 65 mph.

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Old 10-05-2012, 06:54 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by aceluck View Post
30 mpg towing two bikes, with 2 more on the roof, 65 mph cruising speed. TDI FTW!
Those trailer tires look tiny!
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:09 PM   #87
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Not diesel - I get about 22 pulling a trailer with the bikes. This isn't my trailer, I pull the harbor freight one now.

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:15 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
The key is a very light trailer with high pressure skinny tires being towed by a car that gets great gas mileage. I've driven this set up from Central Oregon to Death Valley and back averaging 42 mpg on the trip. Most of the trip was cruising at 60 to 65 mph.
So I guess we have our answer!
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:36 PM   #89
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Current SUV diesels are too big to get the really good mileage.

If you hold off, you can get the Mercedes GLK in a smaller diesel:

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...c_first_drive/
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:40 PM   #90
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FWIW ... I was in having my Sprinter serviced on Wednesday and the dealer mentioned to me that in 2014 they are bringing the 4 cylinder 7 speed Sprinter option to the US ... 30mpg.
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