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Old 08-17-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
leogag1
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2009 VUE 3.6L
Thumbs Up Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

I had the chance to test drive my VUE 2009 (XR, V6) with my RV trailer, which weights 3300 lb + some stock inside. I tried it in 14% hills, stopped in the middle of the hills and start, pedal to the floor.

My comment: WOW! This drivetrain is fantastic! It passed the test with ease.

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Old 08-18-2009, 06:07 AM   #2
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2009 VUE 3.6L
Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

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Old 08-18-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

Leo (sorry I can't put the accent on the e).
I couldn't agree more. I have towed our trailer (about 2500 lbs) with our Vue and it handles it like a breeze. Indeed we did the Gaspe with it last year and as you probably know, there are some good hills on that route.

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Old 08-18-2009, 08:22 PM   #4
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2009 VUE 3.6L
Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

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Leo (sorry I can't put the accent on the e).
I couldn't agree more. I have towed our trailer (about 2500 lbs) with our Vue and it handles it like a breeze. Indeed we did the Gaspe with it last year and as you probably know, there are some good hills on that route.
I know the place very well, I was raised in Matane region (the "entry door of Gaspesie") !

I was worried a bit because with my former 2005 VUE V6 (Honda drivetrain), it was not as easy... Yes, it handled the load, but it was clear that it was close to the ultimate limit of the capacity of the machine. I don't understand how the Ridgeline can be rated 5000 lb... And when I read Honda forums, many Ridgeline drivers wonder why too!

But this time, it seems that this drivetrain is built for towing! If it can pull a 4500 lb trailer with the Outlook (which is much heavier than the VUE), then it is no surprise that it can tow 3500 lb with ease in the VUE.

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Old 08-21-2009, 09:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

you guys are joking, right?

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Old 08-22-2009, 11:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

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you guys are joking, right?
Joking about what?

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Old 08-22-2009, 01:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

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Joking about what?
I've towed with a 2008 Vue and I thought it was very marginal pulling 2000# ... My comment was, "wow, this is weak"

Pulling 3500 # (despite the rating), up hill, from a standing start, can't be good for this small FWD vehicle (AWD only kicks in when the wheels slip) ... the light-duty transmission would have me concerned as well.

For towing 3500# in hilly country, a proper tow vehicle would be a better choice.

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Old 08-23-2009, 12:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooler King View Post
I've towed with a 2008 Vue and I thought it was very marginal pulling 2000# ... My comment was, "wow, this is weak"

Pulling 3500 # (despite the rating), up hill, from a standing start, can't be good for this small FWD vehicle (AWD only kicks in when the wheels slip) ... the light-duty transmission would have me concerned as well.

For towing 3500# in hilly country, a proper tow vehicle would be a better choice.
Well my experience with towing with my XR AWD is totally different. It is a far better tow vehicle than either of my previous tow vehicles with the same trailer.
By the way, you are wrong with respect to the AWD function. The AWD feature kicks in when the computer detects the potential for slippage which can be well before any actual wheel slippage takes place. I believe the Vue's AWD transmission is called a proactive AWD rather than a reactive AWD which may have been the case for earlier versions of AWD vehicles.

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Old 08-23-2009, 08:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooler King View Post
I've towed with a 2008 Vue and I thought it was very marginal pulling 2000# ... My comment was, "wow, this is weak"

Pulling 3500 # (despite the rating), up hill, from a standing start, can't be good for this small FWD vehicle (AWD only kicks in when the wheels slip) ... the light-duty transmission would have me concerned as well.

For towing 3500# in hilly country, a proper tow vehicle would be a better choice.
I just can't agree with you, and here's why:

(Please, don't take it personal. I cannot argue about your experience and we are here to share our experience. Your experience would probably be interesting to hear too! Road conditions, setup, equipment, etc.)

First, the 6-speed transmission of the VUE and the Outlook (HydraMatic 6T70) is considered as a meduim-duty one, not a light-duty, because it can handle up to 280 lb-ft of engine torque. (A 1999 Ford F-150 equipped with a 4.6L V8 is delivering only 265 lb-ft of torque at 4400 RPM... and it is rated 6800 lb towing capacity!)

But then...
You know, in 1971, my father bought a Volvo 242GL, which had a 2.4L inline four under the hood that developed something like 50 HP. With this car, he towed a 2000 lb, 15 ft trailer. We spent many fun week-ends doing camping all around the province with that setup and never, never we felt that a "better towing vehicle" was required. And trust me, we went to many hilly places and yes, we were driving slow, sometimes very slow, but we were not in a rush! Today, if a car, fully loaded with luggages and a trailer, cannot do 0-60 MPH in less than 8 seconds, it's a crap! This is absurd. If we follow this logic, the Freightliners, Peterbilts and Macks of this world should not be on the road, because with their 53 ft trailer, they do 0-60 MPH in something around 2 minutes! (I don't tell that this is what you personnaly think, but it is this kind of argument I always hear from those who think that you need a V8 for towing...)

Of course, one can buy a Dodge RAM 3500, 4x4 Mega-Cab, to tow a 2000 lb trailer. And yes, with this setup, just add wings and the trailer will eventually fly! This is what I call "buying the peace of mind... and paying it a prime price!" But this is like using a bazooka to kill a bug.

Many people have the impression that their machine is not able to tow heavy loads because starts are slower, engine is running noisier, etc. But anyone who ever towed something weighting more than 1000 lb, more than once, knows that driving while towing is not the same as driving alone. No matter the weight of the trailer, the vehicle will not react the same as when it is not loaded. What counts is how the vehicle reacts, how the mechanical components reacts, how driveable and safe the vehicle remains, etc. On normal pavement, can I accelerate and keep the pace with normal traffic speed? In up hills, can I start in the middle of the hill and make the run up to the top?

Of course, one has to consider the kind of driving he will do. If I was to tow daily, or if I was to tow in 15% declination hills all the time, at very high altitude, then you are absolutely right, I would not even try to do it with the VUE, nor the Outlook. But for "normal" road conditions and adapted driving (slower accelerations, slower speed, longer stops), the VUE is well adapted for towing up to 3500 lb (and probably more...) occasionnaly.

If you want to try a SUV that is rated 3500 lb but can't do it without suffering a lot, just try a Ford Escape... The small 3.0L will remind you that it was built for a Contour/Mystique/Mondeo, not for towing!

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Old 08-23-2009, 09:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

Kooler King used to own a SUV's with body on frame construction with larger engine before buying his 2008 VUE XR. A traditional RWD layout would give it an advantage in towing capability.

GM would not have rated the VUE for 3500 pound of towing capacity if it wouldn't have been adequate for the job. The GM 3.6L engine has a flat torque curve making it well suited for towing applications.

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Old 08-23-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: Towing 3500 lb like a breeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyP View Post
Kooler King used to own a SUV's with body on frame construction with larger engine before buying his 2008 VUE XR. A traditional RWD layout would give it an advantage in towing capability.

GM would not have rated the VUE for 3500 pound of towing capacity if it wouldn't have been adequate for the job. The GM 3.6L engine has a flat torque curve making it well suited for towing applications.
Oh! I see. Well, this is normal, then.

Me, I buy vehicles that are always a little bit more powerful than the preceeding, not the opposite. Of course, if I had a Ford Explorer before having the VUE, I would probably have had the same kind of reaction.

For the benefit of all "haulers", GM rates the towing capacity of the Opel Antara at 2000 kg (4400 lb) with a smaller V6 (3.2L) and a smaller 5-speed transmission! So, I am not afraid that the 3.6L coupled with the 6T70 transmission can tolerate 3500 lb and above with ease!

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