Float our boat

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CARSGUIDE - CHRIS RI­LEY KICKS THE TYRES FOR A READER

THE QUES­TION

Help us choose a new car. We have a 2.5-tonne boat, three kids and need lots of space for ski gear. Our Mazda CX-9 AWD has been good but I worry be­cause its tow­ing ca­pac­ity is 2.0 tonnes. We tow the boat twice a month in sum­mer, only 20km to the ramp and back. I am looking at the new CX-9, Jeep Grand Chero­kee, Ford Ever­est and Volvo XC90. The new Mazda BT-50 XTR looks great, too. Craig Saville, email The new CX-9, like its pre­de­ces­sor, tows only 2000kg. You don’t men­tion a bud­get or if you pre­fer petrol or diesel. The ve­hi­cles men­tioned range from $50,000 to al­most $90,000

CHOICES Jeep Grand Chero­kee Over­land, from $72,000

Driv­e­line is a 3.0-litre, six­cylin­der turbo diesel (184kW/ 570Nm) tun­ing an eight-speed auto. It looks great, seats five and is a weapon off-road. The pre­mium for the diesel is $7000 but it brings bet­ter econ­omy and tows 3500kg. The petrol V6, rated at 2812kg, will do the job but will use con­sid­er­ably more fuel, es­pe­cially with a boat on the back. Re­li­a­bil­ity is an is­sue but so is ser­vic­ing ev­ery six months, cost­ing $3239 for three years/60,000km. It gets five safety stars. Thirst is 7.5L/100km and war­ranty is three years/100,000km.

Ever­est, from $54,990

A proper 4WD that’s based on the pop­u­lar Ranger ute which in turn shares run­ning gear with the BT-50. Its 3.2-litre five­cylin­der turbo diesel (143kW/ 470Nm) is mated to a six-speed auto. It seats seven, has a lower tow rat­ing than the ute but at 3000kg is still more than ad­e­quate. The best buy is the mid-range at $60,990. Five-star safety and thirst is 8.5L/100km. War­ranty is three years/100,000km and ser­vic­ing costs $1470 for three years/ 45,000km.

XC90 D5, from $89,950

This one’s not cheap but it’s a classy con­tender and one of our Car of the Year fi­nal­ists. Its 2.0litre four-cylin­der twin-turbo diesel (165kW/470Nm) drives an eight-speed auto. It lacks low-range for se­ri­ous off-road work and the 2400kg tow rat­ing comes up short too. Thirst is 6.2L/100km and safety is fives­tar. War­ranty is three years/ un­lim­ited km and ser­vic­ing costs $1850 for three years/ 45,000km.

WILD­CARD Mazda BT-50 XTR dual cab, from $50,890

This is one of the best — it tows 3500kg thanks to driv­e­train shared with Ever­est and will do ev­ery­thing you want and more, in­clud­ing drag­ging that boat to re­mote lo­ca­tions. Seats five but the rear is not as com­fort­able as in an SUV. It gets five stars for safety and claimed thirst is 8.9L/100km. The two-year/un­lim­ited km war­ranty can ex­tend to three years, de­pend­ing on dis­tance cov­ered. Ser­vic­ing costs $2014 for three years/45,000km.

THE VER­DICT

The Ever­est is the pick. You’re not asked to make any com­pro­mises with this one. It’s big, roomy with seven seats (a bonus), will be eco­nom­i­cal to run and will tow that boat eas­ily.

FORD EVER­EST

JEEP GRAND CHERO­KEE VOLVO XC90 MAZDA BT-50

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