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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just taken my 173dci to France with 1300kg caravan on the back, got a measly 19.7mpg, there was a strong head wind (40/50 mph) so expected something better coming back but only got 21.7mpg. When not towing I average 38.4mpg, with my 1500kg trailer it drops to 34mpg, so I was surprised how poor the consumption was with the caravan. I know that the windage on the caravan is a factor but even so! I suppose the lesson is that a small engine is always going to be thirsty when towing, just not enough torque.
Personnally I would rather have 173bhp from the Pathfinder 2.5 than 173bhp from the X-Trail 2.0. Performance when not towing is good and it is stable when towing, but oh for more torque.
Be interested to hear of others experience when towing.
 

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Hi. Driving solo my 54 reg 2.2 dci usually averages 39mpg but since I started using Shell diesel (not the expensive stuff) I have been getting nearly 42 to the gallon. When towing my pageant vendee (1400 kg) I usually get between 26-29mpg. Are them tyres you have fitted off roaders as I am sure I have read somewhere that they affect the economy of the car.
 

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Hi kelba1946.
BP Ultimate will be better for your car than regular fuel. Umbongo has mentioned the importance of good diesel a few times and I only use Shell V Power or BP Ultimate (I know mine is petrol but always used their diesel on 2 previous cars) and it does make a difference. Mine picks up far better with V Power and is also smoother. I think it's worth paying the extra for.
 

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Hi Kelba. Sorry when I saw Extreme I had visions of big nobbly off roaders. I am only using standard shell diesel which around me is only 2p a litre dearer than supermarket. Shell are advertising that there normal diesel is improved.
 

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I average 25 to 30 towing my 1348 kg max caravan with my 08 - 173 XT. What about your speed, I try to limit myself to about 56mph max when towing, but above 50 where possible.
I would guess that an extra 5mph would make a lot of difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Chrisuk, when towing in France there is no reduced speed limit for caravans except on some designated downhill sections, so I normally tow at 60mph plus. In aerodynamic terms drag doesn't really make a huge difference until 70mph plus, even in France I rarely get to that, so I suspect that speed is not a huge factor. Certainly I'm not towing at higher speed than when I had a Cherokee which would always give me 28mpg+ with the same caravan.
The Cherokee was boosted to 170bhp but being a 2.5 litre had much better torque. The X-trail is much more economical when solo than the Cherokee was at 34mpg, over the whole cycle the X-Trail is still more economical than the Cherokee. I just feel that it should do better when towing.
 

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I think the difference in speed from 56 to 60+ will make a difference.
Its about 5 years since I towed in france, but I understand from the CC that there are new regulations regarding speed limits when towing in France if the gross weight as plated is greater than 3500 kg.
What gear do you tow in at cruising speed? I tend to keep my revs up to about 2500 by using a lower gear than might be possible. I find the higher gear needs a bigger right foot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Chris, you are right re. speed limits in France for outfits over 3500kg gross, there are also specific limits for outfits where the caravan weight exceeds the weight of the tow vehicle. In neither case do these apply to my outfit. Re. the gear I use, I always drive in the highest gear the engine is comfortable with.
From my experience towing the same caravan with a Cherokee the drop in mpg was nowhere as severe as when towing with the X-Trail as similar speeds, the Cherokee was also heavier than the X-Trail. The Cherokee was much taller than the X-Trail so possibly the overall aero package was better with the Cherokee shielding the caravan.
Given that overall the fuel consumption is good, now getting 43mpg with BP Ultimate, the towing fuel consumption is not really a problem (3K miles towing out of a total annual mileage of 35K). Just interested in the reasons for dropping to under 20mpg.
Regards: Kelba1946
 
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