What New SUV Should I Buy?


Hi John,

At 71 years of age I have just retired to allow my wife and I to travel while we are still healthy. Was going to upgrade from my reliable 2001 AU11 Falcon to a Territory until I heard your broadcast on Radio 2UE today.

Two questions please:

  1. If I were to buy a lightweight caravan what towing vehicle would you recommend?
  2. If we were just to motor (no van) what would be your recommendation ?

Many thanks,



Hello Ray,

Thank you for listening on Radio 2UE 954. I really enjoy hearing from people like you who enjoy the segment with Tim Webster at 3pm on Sundays.

A little more information on the current Ford Territory.

For a lightweight van up to 1500kg there are plenty of options. 

Mazda CX-5 has an 1800kg tow capacity, Kia Sportage has 1600kg, Subaru Forester has 1800kg and the new Nissan X-Trail has 1500kg.

In most cases I'd be going with the diesel for the following reasons:

  • Increased cruising range (diesels are 30 per cent or so more efficient than petrols)
  • Peak torque at 2000rpm or thereabouts means about four times the torque at those revs, compared with a petrol engine at 2000rpm - far superior pulling power at low revs.

Diesel does, however, cost more up front (usually $2000-$3000 more). More on Petrol Vs Diesel.

Unfortunately the X-Trail is petrol only. Frankly I'd be considering the same vehicles for your option 2 (no trailer) above.

You could also consider a Subaru Outback and a Hyundai Santa Fe.

More on the SUVs here:

I also have some links for you to the full specifications for each of those vehicles here (they're all presented the same way at www.redbook.com.au - which is easier to get your head around because if you go to car company websites they're all in different formats.)

Ray when you get further down the track and you know what vehicle you want, send me another message via the contact form. I'll get David or Ben from the brokerage to call you - they can put the vehicle out to tender and arrive at the lowest possible price. More information on that in the FAQ section.

Hope this helps.


John Cadogan