Best 4x4s to tow a horse trailer

Get saddled up with one of these SUVs or estate cars and towing a horse trailer needn't be a chore anymore thanks to good grip and power

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Aug 11, 2022

Do you need a car that's capable of towing a horse trailer? The best options for the job would be big and powerful SUVs with four-wheel drive. Horses are heavy, so you're going to need a car that's designed to deal with the extra weight.

We're also aware that most horse-related activities are taking place in the countryside, so it's likely you'll need to drag that horse trailer off-road as well. If that's the case, these rough and rugged 4x4s will be more than up to the task.

We've picked out a selection of four-wheel drive cars here because they are well equipped to offer everything you'll need to successfully transport your horses. Capability on muddy country roads, coupled with better traction under acceleration means you should be comfortably stress-free throughout your journey.

These practical SUVs - along with an honorary estate - will also ensure your car is perfectly usable for day-to-day life when the horses aren't in tow, meaning you're getting everything you need in a single utility vehicle. They're affordable too if you opt for a PCP finance deal, with prices here starting from well under £300 per month.

Best vehicle to tow a horse trailer

1. Toyota Land Cruiser

Our pick Toyota Land Cruiser 2.8 D-4D Icon
Used deals Limited stock
 Kerbweight 2,125kg to 2,400kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,000kg

The Toyota Land Cruiser was built to tackle jungles, mountains and the least hospitable corners of the world, so it should be capable of making it through the most slippery lanes without incident and home via Costa.

It’s not the most comfortable, quiet or luxurious of SUVs, but the Land Cruiser is a formidable off-road weapon that is more than up to the task of pulling a horse trailer - on or off tarmac. Pre-2018 cars feel the most agricultural, but they can pull a maximum of 3,000kg, which is more than adequate for most equine enthusiasts.

The Land Cruiser is not a cheap car, BuyaCar have got deals for four-year-old models from around £500 per month, but a car of this age will get you the remainder of Toyota’s excellent 100,000-mile, five-year warranty (though some cars will be eligible for the company's industry-leading 10-year warranty).


2. Land Rover Discovery

Our pick Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 HSE
Used deals from £33,750
Monthly finance from £430*
 Kerbweight 2,311kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,500kg

A Land Rover Discovery and a horse trailer go together like a Barbour jacket and green wellies. If you had a rosette for every Discovery parked in the eventing car park, you’d need a bigger trophy room.

These things have it all. A posh badge, sharp styling, a luxurious interior and enough space for up to seven horse fans. There’s also a huge boot, so you’ll have sufficient room for your saddles, riding boots and hay bales.

The Discovery is in high demand so they hold their value on the used car market, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bag a great deal on the BuyaCar website. Plus, strong resale values mean the Discovery costs less per month on PCP finance than you might think.


3. Audi Q7

Our pick Audi Q7 3.0 TDI S line
Used 2016-present deals from £30,470
Monthly finance from £461*
 Kerbweight 2,135kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,500kg

If there’s one car to rival the Land Rover Discovery, it’s the Audi Q7. This seven-seat SUV is the perfect oversized 4x4 for towing a horse trailer, with a huge towing capacity and an equally large interior.

Even with all seven seats in use, there’s a sizeable 295 litres of boot space in the back, while the interior is finished to the high level of quality you’d expect from an Audi. Throw into the mix a range of efficient yet punchy engines and you can see why the Q7 is so popular in equestrian circles.

You'll be getting hold of one of the more upmarket models on this list - it will certainly look the part in the dressage car park - from around £400 per month. And that's in high-end S line trim, so you'll be smothered in tech as well.


4. Mitsubishi Shogun

Our pick Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 SG3 LWB
Used deals from £18,000
Monthly finance from £545*
 Kerbweight 2,300kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,500kg

Mitsubishi is a name familiar in the equestrian world, as the company sponsored the famous Badminton Horse Trials since 1992. You don’t sponsor such a prestigious event without good reason, and it just so happens the Mitsubishi Shogun is very well suited to towing a horse trailer.

The Shogun has a legion of loyal fans in the UK, with buyers attracted by its no-nonsense approach, old-school 4x4 dependability, spacious interior and good value for money. The mighty 3.2-litre diesel engine can tow just about anything you chuck at it, which is why the Shogun is often found at the front of a caravan or horse trailer.

Opt for the SG3 trim level for an equipment list that will make driving to and from the cross-country course a pleasurable experience.

5. Skoda Kodiaq

Our pick Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 190 SE L 4x4
Used deals from £16,750
Monthly finance from £253*
 Kerbweight 1,815kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 2,000kg

When you’re buying a vehicle for towing purposes, it’s important to consider what the car will be doing when it’s not lugging a horse to an event. If it will spend the working week tackling the school run, commuting to work or taking the children to their various activities, you’ll want something as practical but sophisticated as the Kodiaq - it's a fantastic family car.

The Skoda Kodiaq is a clear winner when it comes to outright usability across the board. Although the maximum towing weight is down on some of the full-fat SUVs listed here, the Kodiaq is more than capable of towing a 1,500kg horse trailer. Opt for a model with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel drive for the authentic equestrian experience.

Be warned: towing capacities vary and some models aren’t designed to tow, so double check before picking a specific model from the Kodiaq range. On the plus side, £300 per month is enough to secure a nearly-new Kodiaq with barely any miles on the clock. This gives you plenty of choice, and the perfect model for you should be readily attainable.


6. SsangYong Rexton

Our pick SsangYong Rexton 2.2d ELX automatic
Used deals from £22,995
Monthly finance from £379*
 Kerbweight 2,105kg to 2,233kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,500kg

There’s a good reason why we’ve hunted down the less obvious SsangYong Rexton. Although the badge might not cut it in the gymkhana car park, the Rexton is more than capable of a clear round.

For a start, it comes with a 150,000-mile seven-year warranty, which is as good as it's possible to get, if you buy a reasonably recent model. These cars are also seriously well-equipped, with even the basic versions packing the kind of kit that would cost extra on more upmarket SUVs also included on this list.

Crucially, the Rexton 2.2-litre diesel has a hefty kerbweight and can tow a trailer and horse up to 3,500kg. Opt for the Mercedes-sourced seven-speed automatic transmission for the best mix of pulling power and smoothness.

7. Volvo XC60

Our pick Volvo XC60 D5/B5 D AWD Momentum
Used 2018-present deals from £23,995
Monthly finance from £350*
 Kerbweight 1,881kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 2,400kg

The Volvo XC60 has picked up more towing awards than Tabitha has had clear rounds at the gymkhana, so it’s worth adding the stylish Swede to your shortlist. It’s also one of the safest cars on the planet, helping to keep you out of trouble in the first place, and then protecting the car’s occupants should the worst happen.

Highlights include a luxurious interior and a large tablet-style display for the control of the car’s primary functions through the touchscreen media system. The all-wheel-drive system gives the XC60 a surefooted feeling, while the diesel engines have enough punch to pull a horse trailer.

The Momentum trim packs enough toys to suit most families, but if you fancy a different flavour, the R-Design models offer a sportier experience, while Inscription takes the level of luxury up a notch or two. Whatever you pick, the XC60 will deliver what you're after.


8. Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Our pick Volkswagen Golf Alltrack 2.0 TDI 4MOTION
Used deals Limited stock
 Kerbweight 1,576kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 2,000kg

Question: what’s powerful enough to pull a horse trailer but small enough to fit in your garage? The answer is the surprisingly practical and wonderfully rugged Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.

As the styling suggests, this is a high-riding Volkswagen Golf Estate with an emphasis on light off-roading. The suspension is raised by 20mm - meaning less chance of grounding out on rough tracks, while the standard-fit all-wheel-drive system ensures that the Alltrack can reach the parts other Golfs cannot reach.

With a large boot, an efficient diesel engine and a braked towing capacity of 2,000kg, the Golf Alltrack is our wildcard for those who don’t want an SUV and would appreciate lower running costs. It's cheap too, and might well be enough for many drivers who need a car for a variety of uses - including towing a horse trailer.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

Buyacar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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