Reader Question: Towing With the Atlas?

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Here’s the latest reader question,along with my reply!

Lilah asks: I have a 2018 VW Tiguan SEL that I love (my previous TDI was taken away), but unfortunately only tows 1,500 pounds and I would like to buy a pop-up trailer that is at least 1,600 pounds. Should I trade it in for the new Atlas Cross Sport or is there an older model BMW/Lexus you would recommend that would be comparable?

My reply: The Atlas CrossSport is a fine vehicle and its standard 2,000 pound tow rating (with the 2.0 engine) should be adequate to pull a 1,600 pound trailer but you might consider buying the V6 to get the 5,000 pound tow rating as that will give you more-than-adequate as well as room to grow; i.e., if you decide to buy a larger/heavier pop-up you won’t have to buy a new vehicle to pull it! The V6 is also, in my opinion, preferable for other reasons, including it isn’t turbocharged and is size-appropriate for this vehicle while the 2.0 engine is not.

You might also have a look at the Honda Passport, which comes standard with a V6 and a 3,500 pound tow capacity (5,000 optional).

I would shy away from any used BMW SUV as they are notorious money pits. But the Lexus RX350 is a great choice. It can pull 3,500 pounds and these things are as durable as Corollas. My sister is still driving my mom’s 1999 – which she bought brand new. It has more than 200k on it and still looks and drives like a nearly new car.

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  1. The engines in the VWs being adequate for towing isn’t the issue; the automatic transmissions are! If we’re talking automatics, I wouldn’t tow anything with a VW, because their trannies are weak and will take a dump for the flimsiest excuse…like the sun shining.


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