Best new tow cars

Whether it's a caravan trailer or horsebox, see the best new tow cars for all budgets

BuyaCar team
Jan 23, 2017

Choosing the right towcar to suit you can be confusing. There’s a huge amount to take into consideration, not least the weight of your caravan, as well as the categories on your driving licence.

In short: it’s legally possible to tow a caravan of up to 100% of the car’s maximum towing weight, and safe for drivers who are experienced at towing. For everyone else, both of the main caravanning clubs recommend that the total mass of your caravan is no more than 85% of the car’s kerbweight - the weight of your car plus a bit extra to account for the driver, fuel and luggage.

You also need to be aware of the different weight limit if youre towing something that has no brakes, compared with a trailer or caravan that's fitted with brakes. Finally, the towball weight or noseweight is also restricted. This is the force of the caravan pushing down on your car's towbar. it can be measured with a special gauge. 

New tow cars for under £20,000
New tow cars for £20,000 to £25,000
New tow cars for £25,000 to £30,000
New tow cars for £30,000 to £40,000
New tow cars for £40,000 or more

If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997, you’re also subject to certain restrictions (unless you’ve passed the relevant additional tests). The DVLA has a good guide to the laws surrounding this.

Once you’ve calculated the weight of vehicle you’ll need, a huge selection of towcars awaits. Here, we’ve selected 10 top cars that will pull your caravan in style.

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Best new tow cars for £20,000 or less

Kia Cee’d Sportswagon

It may not be the most attractive or glamorous car in our list, but the Kia Cee’d Sportswagon makes a frugal, stable towcar that also happens to offer great practicality - including a decent-size 1,642-litre boot when the rear seats are folded down. Its competitive price tag is just another great reason why the Cee’d Sportswagon really should be on your towcar shortlist. Read more in the Kia Cee'd buying guide

Our pick Kia Cee'd Sportswagon ‘2’ 1.6 CRDi 134bhp (6-speed manual)
Kerbweight 1389kg  Towball limit 75kg
Max towing weight (unbraked/braked) 650/1500kg

Typical new price £17,250 (with £3,000 saving on finance) 
See the latest Kia Cee'd deals


Citroen C4 Cactus

Its funky looks, with plastic airbumps on the doors, may divide opinion but, for a small model, the Cactus makes a solid towcar. Opt for the 1.6-litre diesel engine and you’ll get a car that’s powerful enough to pull a trailer tent or lightweight caravan. It’s very economical when driven solo, too, with a claimed combined figure of 80.7mpg; the five-mode Grip Control system should also help on muddy surfaces. Read more in the Citroen C4 Cactus buying guide

Our pick Citroen C4 Cactus Rip Curl BlueHDi 100
Kerbweight 1068kg  Towball limit 55kg
Max towing weight (unbraked/braked) 570/825kg

Typical new price £15,900 (with £4,000 saving)
See the latest Citroen C4 Cactus deals 



Best new tow cars for £20,000 to £25,000

Skoda Superb Hatchback

The Superb Hatchback’s interior belies the car’s price tag: it oozes quality, and the dashboard touchscreen is really easy to use. The driving position is superb, offering great visibility all round - crucial when you’re towing. The driver will also appreciate the powerful engine, while rear-seat passengers will be grateful for the phenomenal amounts of legroom.

Our pick Skoda Superb Hatchback SE 2.0 TDI 150PS
Kerbweight 1410kg Towball limit 90kg
Max towing weight (unbraked/braked) 750/2000kg

Typical new price (£20,250 with £3,000 saving)
See the latest Skoda Superb deals


Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

The interior of Vauxhall’s latest Astra Sports Tourer (Vauxhall's name for an estate car) is more practical than that of its predecessor, and feels better-made too. With a caravan on the back you’ll find the 160 horsepower 1.6TDCi version nippy and stable (don't get confused with less-powerful 1.6-litre models). Its kerbweight figure is relatively low – the model is lighter than the previous version –  but the Astra Sports Tourer still makes a great all-round towcar. Running costs should also prove satisfyingly cheap. Read more in the Vauxhall Astra buying guide

Our pick Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo 160PS SRi Nav 
Kerbweight 1435kg  Towball limit 75kg
Max towing weight (unbraked/braked) 800/1500kg

Typical price £20,500 (with £3,500 saving)
See the latest Vauxhall Astra deals



Best new tow cars for £25,000 to £30,000

Volkswagen Passat Estate

Four-wheel drive makes the Alltrack version of VW’s Passat Estate the most obvious towcar choice, but it’s backed up by other caravanning-friendly features too, including a high maximum towing weight, a practical interior and a choice of two powerful engines (150 horsepower (hp) with a manual gearbox, or 190hp with an automatic). A reasonable amount of standard kit is a further bonus. Read more in the Volkswagen Passat buying guide.

Our pick Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0TDi 4Motion
Kerbweight 1485kg  Towball limit 90kg
Max towing weight (unbraked/braked) 750/2200kg

Typical price £25,300 (with £6,400 saving)
See the latest Volkswagen Passat Alltrack deals


Ford S-Max

Ford’s popular S-Max manages to successfully combine practicality with the sense of driving a car - rather than a small minibus. Factor in its seven seats, chunky kerbweight and frugality, and it’s easy to see why it makes such a great towcar for families on a caravanning holiday. Keep the third row of seats folded down and you’ll free up plenty of room for everyone’s baggage, too. Read more in the Ford S-Max buying guide.

Our pick Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 150 Titanium 6-speed manual
Kerbweight 1824kg  Towball limit 90kg
Max towing weight (unbraked/braked) 750/2000kg

Typical price £25,750 (with £3,500 saving)
See the latest Ford S-Max deals



Best new tow cars for £30,000 to £40,000

Seat Alhambra

Seat’s Alhambra feels powerful enough with the 150hp engine, but upgrade to the 184hp version and you’ll get much more pulling power that will help to haul even the heaviest family caravans. The top-of-the-range FR-Line spec adds plenty of kit including 18-inch alloy wheels, an electrically operated rear sliding door and Alcantara upholstery, which you don’t find on the cheaper SE car.

Our pick Seat Alhambra FR-Line 2.0 TDI 184
Kerbweight 1841kg  Towball limit 100kg
Max towing weight (unbraked/braked) 750/2400kg

Typical price £30,000 (with £5,500 saving)
See the latest Seat Alhambra deals


Jaguar XF

Tow to your campsite in style with the Jaguar XF which – despite not offering four-wheel-drive grip or the chunky stance of an SUV – makes a superb towcar, thanks to its stability at speed and usefully high kerbweight. The boot isn’t the biggest in this line-up, but should prove ample for smaller families, while the driver should feel confident when towing up the steepest hills thanks to the power from the 180hp engine. Read more in the Jaguar XF buying guide.

Our pick Jaguar XF Portfolio 2.0d (180) manual
Kerbweight 1585kg  Towball limit 100kg
Max towing weight (braked) 1800kg

Typical price £32,250 (with £5,000 saving on finance)
See the latest Jaguar XF deals



Best new tow cars for more than £40,000

Land Rover Discovery

Few cars get closer to towing perfection than the Land Rover Discovery: it’s big and heavy, but with the relevant B+E driving licence, you’ll be able to pull the weightiest of caravans. It offers tremendous stability and masses of load space, too. You’ll need to make reasonably frequent visits to a fuel station, but that’s more than made up for its sheer towing ability. A new – lighter – version is due later this year. Read more in the Land Rover Discovery buying guide.

Our pick Land Rover Discovery 
3.0 SDV6 Graphite
Kerbweight 2622kg Towball limit 150kg
Max towing weight (braked) 3500kg

Typical price £44,250 (with £3,250 saving)
See the latest Land Rover Discovery deals



The X5 is big on luxurious practicality: there’s loads of room inside to comfortably transport large families and their caravanning kit, while the driver will love the X5’s sharp and agile feel in corners. The diesel engines as quiet as those offered by the likes of Audi or Mercedes, but in xDrive30d SE guise give you a useful amount of pulling power. The extraordinarily high maximum towing limit also increases your choice of caravans to include most of those available in the UK. Read more in the BMW X5 buying guide.

Our pick BMW X5 xDrive30d SE
Kerbweight 2145kg  Towball limit 140kg
Max towing weight (braked) 3500kg

Typical price £52,510
See the latest BMW X5 deals



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