If you’ve never towed a caravan or trailer before you probably don’t realise how much you’re asking of your car. When hitched up you may be looking to tow something weighing the same as the car itself, and all the while you’re expecting it to remain comfortable to drive and perform as well as other non-towing cars on the road. So it’s important to consider your choice of vehicle carefully when looking for a tow car – thankfully we’ve come up with some great options for you.
It may not be the biggest car brand name but Ssangyong offers a very capable tow car in the Korando. With a towing ability of up to 2 tonnes and an impressive off-road drive quality this is quickly becoming a competitive contender against rivals such as the VW Tiguan. While this vehicle looks relatively mainstream, camera-driven safety features have been added so that its Nav technology and reserving camera are at the top end of the range. It’s also surprisingly spacious with a good amount of storage throughout and 551-litres of boot space, or 1,248 litres flat with the double back seat down. When all seats are in place, the Korando can comfortably transport 3 full-size adults in the rear and the cabin itself is of high quality with gloss black trimming, infinity mood lighting and an 8- or 9-inch infotainment screen display.
The Touareg was recently awarded the ‘Towcar of the Year’ award by the Caravan and Motorhome Club. The 3.0-litre V6 TDI 286 PS R-Line Tech model was tested and won in the ‘Caravan Weight over 1,700kg’ category, which is the heaviest towing category up for an award. The judging panel praised this Volkswagen’s smooth and powerful diesel engine, as well as applauding its stability when towing. The third-generation SUV is now safer, smarter looking, more efficient and on the whole, better-equipped. It boasts a large boot space of 810-litres and includes Volkswagen’s handy ‘Trailer Assist’ technology that facilitates simple slow-speed manoeuvring.
Receiving both ‘Overall Winner’, as well as ‘Winner of the 1400-1500kg’ category at the ‘Towcar of the Year’ awards 2020, the Volvo XC40 is another excellent tow car option. Another sporty SUV, Volvo took its time in developing this contender for the industry’s fastest-growing market segment. Feeling they needed to offer something distinctively different from its German rivals, the XC40 was born. As with any Volvo, drivers benefit from very good safety vehicle ratings and this model is no different. As standard, it offers an autonomous braking system which can specifically detect people and animals. There is also an ‘Oncoming Lane Mitigation’ set-up which stops you from pulling out in front of an oncoming vehicle. The XC40’s blend of passenger space, practical boot size, safety rating and quality of interior makes it a great choice of car.
Without a caravan or trailer, the SEAT Ateca is a very satisfying car to drive indeed, but it’s also very surprising when attached to a trailer or caravan. It’s very quick, with excellent brakes and it handles emergency manoeuvres with ease. With an impressive towing weight of 1900kg, it feels confident in overtaking and you don’t lose speed when pulling uphill. SEAT’s first crossover SUV is also one of the sportiest Sport Utility Vehicles of its size and it’s certainly giving the Volkswagen Tiguan a run for its money. Not to mention it is considerably more affordable if you’re happy to forgo the plush interior offered by VW. Depending on what model you opt for you’ll get 485 or 510-litres of boot space. Not a bad feat for SEAT’s first effort in this segment.
Land Rover Discovery
Up until recently, the Land Rover Discovery won a ‘Tow Car of the Year’ award year after year. But while other contenders have now upped the stakes, the Discovery is still a great heavyweight tow car option. With a pulling limit of up to three tonnes, this model not only does the job, but it also looks the part too. The Discovery can seat up to 7 adults in an incredibly luxuriously comfortable cabin, as well as boasting an impressive boot size for all passenger luggage. Land Rover also offers drivers their clever Advanced Tow Assist technology which makes reversing manoeuvres when towing trailers and caravans simple, even if you’re a novice tower.