Best towing cars 2024

Looking for a new car to tow a caravan? Great tow cars come in all shapes and sizes. We've rounded up the best affordable new tow cars

By Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

Whether you’re towing a lightweight caravan, a mighty twin-axle caravan, or something in between, you’re going to need a tow car that’s up to the challenge. Don't think that means you have to get an enormous and expensive car, however. We've rounded up the best affordable new tow cars of all sizes.

There are many things to consider, most notably the kerb weight of the tow car, which should be at least equal to the weight of the caravan when fully loaded. A car also has a maximum towing weight, which will vary according to the engine and gearbox.

Beyond that, you’re looking at factors like pulling power (presented as a 'torque' figure), manual or automatic transmission, fuel economy, visibility, and plenty of space in the boot. While it’s important to do thorough research before buying a car for towing a caravan, we’ve selected eight cars to get you on your way with minimal fuss.

We’ve included a supermini for towing a small caravan, practical estate cars, SUVs, a pick-up and even an electric car. Once you’re ready, take a look at the cars available on the BuyaCar website. You could find that your budget gets you a much better tow car than you expect if you're open to getting a used car, which could free up money to spend on your next caravanning holiday.

1. Volkswagen Polo

Our pick Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 115 SEL
Used deals from £12,750
Monthly finance from £236.60*

Kerbweight 1,190kg Towball limit 50kg
Max towing weight 1,100kg Power/Torque 115hp/200Nm


It might be small, but the Volkswagen Polo is more than capable of punching above its weight. Don’t just take our word for it, the Polo was named best ultralight tow car at the 2018 Tow Car Awards.

It’s capable of towing a lightweight caravan when powered by the punchy and efficient 1.0-litre 'TSI' petrol engine, while the smooth and relaxed 'DSG' automatic gearbox alleviates some of the stress that comes with tow driving.

There’s more boot space than you’ll find in a Ford Fiesta, with enough space in the back seats for two adults. With a strong image, a five-star safety rating and a high-quality cabin, this is the only small car you’ll need for lightweight towing duties.


2. Ford Focus Estate

Our pick Ford Focus Estate 2.0 EcoBlue 150 Active X
Used deals Limited stock

Kerbweight 1,493kg Towball limit 90kg
Max towing weight 1,600kg Power/Torque 150hp/370Nm


The Ford Focus Estate is another award winner, with the practical load-lugger taking class honours at the 2020 Caravan Club Tow Car of the Year Awards. The judges said the Focus Estate is 'revolutionary, brilliant, amazing and lots of fun'. It also won in the Fuel Economy section of the 2019 Tow Car Awards with the 120hp 1.5-litre diesel engine - expect a maximum towing weight of 1,400kg and a towball limit of 80kg.

High praise, indeed, but it’s not hard to see why. The Focus Estate offers more luggage space than SUVs of a similar price, and it’s also likely to be more efficient. Avoid the basic Style trim and you’ll enjoy a strong level of standard equipment, including alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a heated windscreen, an 8-inch touchscreen media system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

There is a range of trim levels and engines to choose from, and it might also be worth considering the Active and Active X versions for towing a caravan. The raised ride height, body cladding and standard sat-nav could come in handy when travelling to those hard-to-reach campsites, while the selectable driving modes will inspire confidence when towing.


3. Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

Our pick Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 TDI 150 4MOTION
Used deals Limited stock

Kerbweight 1,670kg Towball limit 90kg
Max towing weight 2,200kg Power/Torque 150hp/340Nm


The Volkswagen Passat Estate is another multiple award-winning tow car. We’re recommending the rugged Alltrack version, which combines the practicality of an estate car with four-wheel drive and the increased ride height of an SUV. The Alltrack offers an extra 27.5mm of ground clearance compared to the standard estate version, so you can take full advantage of its all-wheel-drive capability on harsher terrain.

It’s an expensive car when new, but 2018 models are available for roughly half the price they would have been when they first rolled out of the showroom. This makes the Passat Alltrack one of the best value towing cars you can buy right now, and that's according to The Caravan Club, not us, where in 2017 it won in its category equipped with a 150hp 2.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel drive. There is a 190hp version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine if you need to tow a heavier caravan.

Highlights include one of the biggest boots in its class, heated seats, dual-zone air-conditioning, an eight-inch colour touchscreen media system with sat-nav and electronic stability control with a trailer stabilisation function. One optional extra to look out for is trailer assist. It makes it easier to reverse when towing a caravan by using a display to show where the trailer is going to move with steering controlled via a joystick.


4. Volvo V60

Our pick Volvo V60 Cross Country D4
Used deals Limited stock

Kerbweight 1,784kg Towball limit 100kg
Max towing weight 2,000kg Power/Torque 190hp/400Nm


The Volvo V60 Cross Country was a class winner in the 2020 Caravan Club Towcar of the Year awards. The judges said it was 'faultless and very good in every way.' It’s for this reason that we’ve selected this rugged estate car as one of the best cars for towing a caravan.

Even in its standard form, the Volvo V60 is an impressive load-lugger, with a good size boot, a stylish and sophisticated cabin, and a focus on making the driver as comfortable as possible. The seats are comfortable but supportive, while the cushion-soft suspension helps to iron out the worst of Britain’s pockmarked roads. Just avoid the biggest alloy wheels if you're keen on a smooth ride.

The Cross Country model takes the best bits of the V60 and adds an extra 60mm of ground clearance to make it even more comfortable, not to mention better at tackling rough roads and tracks. We’d recommend the optional towing pack, which comprises a retractable tow bar, rear bumper protection, mud flaps and a boot mat.


5. Skoda Kodiaq

Our pick Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4x4 SE L
Used deals from £15,499
Monthly finance from £243.35*

Kerbweight 1,815-1,919kg Towball limit 100kg
Max towing weight 2,000kg Power/Torque 190hp/400Nm


If you’re after a large family car with space for seven and the potential to tow a big caravan, the Skoda Kodiaq is hard to beat. The 190hp version of the tried and tested 2.0-litre 'TDI' diesel engine develops a mighty 400Nm of torque to make light work of towing a caravan.

It’s an impressive package, with the 'DSG' automatic transmission helping to take the stress out of driving, along with four-wheel drive for all-weather reassurance. It’s also economical enough, with the potential to return around 40mpg when you’re not towing a caravan.

The SE L specification provides the best balance of price and equipment, with the likes of 19-inch alloy wheels, a 9.2-inch media system with sat-nav, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, an electric tailgate and seven seats coming as standard. We’d recommend the optional trailer assist, which turns the door mirror adjuster into a joystick to help you position the vehicle when reversing.


6. Volvo XC60

Our pick Volvo XC60 B5 (D) R-Design
Used deals Limited stock

Kerbweight 1,899kg Towball limit 100kg
Max towing weight 2,400kg Power/Torque 235hp/480Nm


The Volvo XC60 was named Towcar of the Year at the 2019 Caravan and Motorhome Club awards. The car was praised for its braking and stability when towing both at high speeds and on twisty roads. It was also commended for its comfortable ride, which is a hallmark of modern Volvos.

We like it because it comes with the very latest safety equipment, including driver assistance systems to prevent a collision, along with devices to protect you should the worst happen. We’d recommend the air suspension for the best ride comfort. It’s standard on R-Design Pro and Inscription Pro models, but a £1,500 option on the others.

The 235hp 2.0-litre diesel engine, badged B5 (D), should return around 40mpg, but it’s the torque that’s most impressive. Maximum torque of 480Nm will make light work of towing your caravan and should help to improve fuel economy, too, as the engine shouldn't be overstressed by the weight of a load.


7. SsangYong Musso

Our pick SsangYong Musso automatic
Used deals Limited stock

Kerbweight 2,155kg Towball limit 140kg
Max towing weight 3,500kg Power/Torque 181hp/420Nm


Many buyers might not have heard of SsangYong, let alone given the brand a second thought. The Korean carmaker specialises in 4x4s and SUVs - its Korando has won towing awards in the past.

Sharing many of its components with the Rexton, the Musso was updated in 2021 with an even larger grille and improved technology. SsangYong claims it's the only pick-up capable of towing a 3.5-tonne trailer as well as a one-tonne payload in the back at the same time, but be aware that manual versions can only tow 3,200kg. It's the automatic version that won the 2022 Caravan and Motorhome Club award for the pick-up category - specifically in Rhino trim.

At over five metres long (the Volkswagen Polo is four metres long), it feels its size on the open road where you can expect less than 30mpg in real-world driving conditions. Inside, you can opt for niceties like heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, all-round parking sensors, and a reversing camera. New buyers will also benefit from a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.


8. Jaguar I-Pace

Our pick Jaguar I-Pace
Used deals from £17,990
Monthly finance from £292.13*

Kerbweight 2,133kg Towball limit 45kg
Max towing weight 750kg Power/Torque 400hp/696Nm


As electric cars grow in popularity, more of us are going to rely on them to tow a caravan. For now, they offer limited scope in terms of the size of caravan they can pull, but it speaks volumes that the Caravan Club has introduced an alternative fuel category.

It’s no surprise that the Jaguar I-Pace took class honours in the 2020 awards. This is a highly impressive electric car that offers up to 292 miles of range, classy styling and a high-tech interior.

The Caravan Club judges said you’d achieve 115 miles or so of electric range with a caravan hooked up, but you’ll be able to cover significantly more without it. Make sure you ask for a detachable tow bar when you’re ordering your I-Pace. Enjoy the feeling of wafting silently into the campsite when you arrive.

Yes, this may be a pricey option compared with the alternatives here, but it should prove much cheaper to fuel when charging at home and still save you money when you head far afield with a caravan in tow and use public chargers. If you don't want to spend as much, 2022's Caravan and Motorhome Club winner in the electric car category was the Skoda Enyaq - in particular, equipped with the larger 82kWh battery and 204hp motor. It can tow a 1,000kg caravan with a maximum towball limit of 75kg.


*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.