The most reliable cars for towing

Looking for a tow car that won’t let you down? Here are the most reliable cars for towing, according to warranty claims data

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Oct 21, 2020

You can research a lot about a potential towing vehicle from the comfort of your home. The maximum towing capacity, the towball weight, engine pulling power, luggage capacity and stability at high speeds, to name just a few considerations.

Reliability remains the great unknown, though. Or does it? Thanks to data provided by Warrantywise, we can reveal the most reliable cars for towing. Not only do these make sound tow cars, they should also provide years of trouble-free motoring.

As the data is based on actual warranty claims, you can be reassured that these cars will provide less trouble than some of their rivals. That means that not only should they offer the muscle to handle lugging a large load, but they should also be tough enough to do so without developing gremlins and causing problems.

Take a look at the eight most reliable tow cars below, then click on the button below to use the BuyaCar website to find your next car and ensure you don’t pay more than you have to. In the meantime, if you're still working out what you can afford, click on the button above to get started with finance.

Most reliable cars for towing

1. Jeep Renegade

Used deals from £9,050
Monthly finance from £158

The Jeep Renegade achieved the maximum score in the Warrantywise study, with the fewest number of warranty claims and the lowest cost to fix a problem, should the worst happen. That makes it a great used tow car choice, and theoretically the best car on this list, but make sure it suits your lifestyle before diving in - there are plenty of other exciting offers to come.

Launched in 2015, the Renegade features the kind of chunky styling you’d expect from a Jeep. Not that the Renegade is all-American. On the contrary, the Renegade shares the platform it's built on with the Fiat 500X and is built at the same factory in Italy.

The 2.0-litre 'Multijet' diesel engine offers the best pulling power, with a maximum towing weight of 1,500kg. Four-wheel-drive is standard on the 2.0-litre diesel, but we’d opt for the 170hp version rather than the lesser-powered 140hp unit for its extra punch, especially if you’re towing something large. Make no mistake, this is one of the most capable small SUVs you can buy.

JEEP RENEGADE BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Kia Cee’d

Used deals from £5,995
Monthly finance from £120

Of all the cars in the top eight most reliable cars for towing, the Kia Cee’d is the oldest in terms of average age. This means you can be sure that a Cee’d will provide years of problem-free service even after the market-leading seven-year warranty has expired.

You’re going to want the 115hp 1.6-litre 'CRDi' diesel engine for towing duties, as it offers a maximum towing capacity of 1,500kg. You can expect some seriously low running costs, including free road tax on models registered on or before 31 March 2017.

Although the claimed fuel economy figures are likely to prove hard to achieve on real roads, you can expect to see between 50mpg and 55mpg - although that will undoubtedly drop when you have something large and heavy hooked up to the tow bar.

We’d recommend the ‘3’ trim, as it comes with a seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav system, a reversing camera, dual-zone air-conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels.

2012-2018 KIA CEE'D BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Dacia Duster

Used deals from £5,991
Monthly finance from £110

The Warrantywise data includes the previous-generation Dacia Duster, which was Britain’s cheapest SUV when it was new and is even cheaper now as a used car. The Duster offers a terrific blend of space, equipment and price. In fact, we think this is the best budget tow car you can buy.

According to the warranty data, the Duster is one of the cheapest tow cars to fix should the worst happen. Although the front-wheel drive Duster is the least expensive version to buy and run, we’d recommend getting a 4x4 version for towing duties. The 1.5-litre 'dCi' diesel engine provides plenty of pulling power and excellent fuel economy.

Stability control was an option on earlier models, so you may want to make sure the Duster you go for has this fitted before towing anything. Don’t be tempted by the most basic Access model, although it’s available as a 4x4, you’re limited to the underpowered 1.6-litre petrol engine, which offers a towing capacity of just 1,200kg.

Furthermore, Access trim offers barely any standard equipment, with things such as a radio and electric windows not being available. Thankfully, as the Duster was so cheap, you shouldn't have to stretch to get a far better equipped second-hand model.

2012-2018 DACIA DUSTER BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volkswagen Polo

Used deals from £9,690
Monthly finance from £153

The Volkswagen Polo might seem like an unlikely tow car, but the little supermini is capable of punching above its weight. It also performed well in the Warrantywise study, with the results based on the largest number of policyholders. Of the 2,500 policyholders, just 1.1% made a claim.

It’s what we’d class as an ‘ultralight’ tow car. In other words, you’re not going to use a Polo for towing anything other than a superlight caravan or garden rubbish to the recycling centre. However, that doesn't detract from its appeal as a small tow car.

We’d recommend the stylish BlueGT model. It has the look of the Polo GTI hot hatchback, but power is sourced from a 150hp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. You get a generous level of standard equipment, plus a maximum towing capacity of 1,200kg. Not bad for something so small.

VOLKSWAGEN POLO BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Ford Mondeo

Used deals from £7,349
Monthly finance from £143

If you’re after a brilliant tow car with a petrol engine, look no further than the Ford Mondeo 1.5-litre EcoBoost. Although it lacks the ultimate pulling power of a diesel engine, you’ll enjoy the smoothness and relative quietness of the turbocharged petrol unit.

The Mondeo finished fifth in the Warrantywise study, despite having the highest average mileage of any car in the top eight. This suggests that the Mondeo will provide years of loyal service, even when the mileage is approaching 100,000.

An electrically retractable tow bar with trailer sway control was an £850 option when new, so you may want to track down a Mondeo with this fitted. Alternatively, you can buy a new Ford Mondeo with trailer sway control fitted as standard. Check out some of the prices on the BuyaCar website and you'll see that you could have a used Mondeo delivered to your door for the cost of a new Fiesta.

FORD MONDEO BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Volvo XC60

Used deals from £12,980
Monthly finance from £217

The Volvo XC60 is a multi award-winning tow car, with a number of towing gongs to its name. Although the previous-generation XC60 lacks the sophisticated interior and modern safety kit of the newer model, it remains a formidable towing vehicle.

Automatic versions, badged Geartronic, offer a maximum towing weight of 2,000kg, but this drops to 1,600kg in XC60 models with a manual gearbox. Although the 2.0-litre D4 diesel engine is adequate, we’d recommend the 2.4-litre D5 diesel, not least for its substantial 215hp and 440Nm of torque in the automatic version.

The most impressive thing about the Volvo XC60 is how stable and assured it feels when towing a caravan or trailer. The optional rear-view camera will come in handy when hitching up to a trailer. Thanks to a cavernous boot and a spacious cabin, the XC60 provides enough luggage space for a two-week holiday in the sun.

2008-2017 VOLVO XC60 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Audi A3

Used deals from £8,100
Monthly finance from £141

Just 1.2% of Warrantywise policyholders made a claim on their Audi A3, which is why it makes the list of the most reliable cars for towing. Although it might seem like an unlikely tow car, the combination of punchy diesel engines and quattro four-wheel drive makes the A3 a formidable towing vehicle.

A maximum towing weight of 1,800kg is available on an A3 with a 2.0-litre 'TDI' diesel engine with four-wheel drive, so it’s ideal for towing a lightweight caravan or small trailer. Best of all, you can enjoy a cabin that’s rich in quality and loaded with high-tech gadgets.

While the A3 Sportback is the most popular model, the A3 Saloon is worthy of your attention. It’s more exclusive than the Sportback - the five-door hatchback - arguably nicer looking, and you can hide your valuables in the boot.

AUDI A3 BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Nissan Juke

Used deals from £5,495
Monthly finance from £111

The final car on the list of reliable cars for towing is the Nissan Juke. This is one of Britain’s most popular crossovers, but you might be surprised to find it on a list of tow cars. The Warrantywise data suggests it could be quite expensive if things go wrong, but the Juke scores highly for the fact that just 1.8% of policyholders had to make a claim.

The Nissan Juke 1.5 'dCi' diesel offers a maximum towing weight of 1,250kg, while a standard-fit rear-view camera makes it easy to hitch up. This means that like with the Polo, you won't be towing the heaviest loads, but it still offers good scope for a car of this size.

If you're considering the Juke, chances are that you’ll love the raised driving position and funky styling, which still turns heads a decade after its launch. Opt for a Tekna model and you’ll benefit from a 360-degree camera, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring - three things that could come in handy when you’re towing a caravan or trailer.

NISSAN JUKE BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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