pay for gas and I'll tow the trailer for you. you can put stuff in the truck too :-p prolly get 20 mpg even with that if i run the old axle.
1991 Toyota Pickup 22R-E 2.4 I4/5 speed
1990 Toyota Cressida 7M-GE 3.0 I6/5-speed manual
mechanic, carpenter, stagehand, rigger, and know-it-all smartass
"You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"
It has been the trend in the past couple decades for cars to have really lame tow ratings, and for trucks to get more and more.
To address the specified VW: A 2008 VW Rabbit, which weighs 1100 pounds more than a 1st gen and has way more than twice as much power, is rated for 1000 pounds if automatic or 2000 pounds if manual...and I would only expect that from a European vehicle, since in Europe, tow ratings for what we call a small car are important. They tow big stuff with little cars there. In the US, drivers aren't trained as well and lawyers are always looking for the next big liability suit, so it's necessary to de-rate cars.
Trucks would be de-rated too but the marketing is worth the risk. Instead, trucks are being designed specifically with towing in mind (like European cars), rather than as an afterthought.
Where is "over here"? In addition to how the vehicle is built, I bet ratings are higher in Europe than in the US for the same model with the same equipment...and maybe in other places with less of the liability problem.