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Which Cars Are Best for Towing?

Which Cars Are Best for Towing?

By Swansway Motor Group 14-06-2018


If you're towing a caravan, a horsebox or just a trailer filled with garden waste, you want to know your car's up to the job. Motoring journalist, John Swift, takes a look at some of the best towcars in town.

What's The Best Towcar For Me?

For the past 35 years the Caravan and Motorhome Club has tested cars of all sizes and prices to see which performs the best for towing.

For 2018 its judges put 44 of them through a week of unforgiving analysis to see which topped their respective price brackets and a further two categories split by kerbweight, under and over 1,800 kgs, and also to see which vehicle they think deserves the overall title of 2018 Towcar of the Year.

Using the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire, where the motor industry does so much development and fine tuning of its prototypes, making use of its wide variety of courses, tracks and surfaces; expert road testers, journalists and club members looked at the vehicles’ acceleration, braking, reversing, ergonomics, hill starts, visibility, traction and gearbox suitability and what they call `caravanability’.

This is what they found.

Volkswagen Golf Estate Alltrack 2.0Tdi 4Motion 184PS DSG

Winner in £30,000 to £33,000 price bracket & in the all-wheel drive under 1800kg category

“Another fine performance, you can’t go wrong with one of these. Stuck like glue to the road."

White Volkswagen Golf Alltrack towing a caravan

Explore the VW Golf Estate Range

Volkswagen Amarok Highline 3.0 V6 Tdi 4Motion 224PS

Winner in the Pick-Up category &entered into the '£38,000 - £50,000' price class and 'all-wheel drive under 1800kg' categories

Volkswagen Amarok Highline 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 224PS Automatic

“An impressive utility vehicle with the refinement of a premium 4x4. Superb handling for a pick-up.”

Black Volkswagen Amarok pick-up towing a caravan

Explore the VW Amarok Range


Since Towcar of the Year began, Citroën has taken 16 price class wins from 1984’s Citroën BX to 2017’s win for the C4 Cactus HDi 100 in the Under £20,000 price class.

This time the C4 Picasso Feel PureTech 130 was the one put to the test and judges said of it: “Control of the caravan on the road is impressive for such a relatively light car; great idea to be able to slide the rear seats forward to give more luggage room."

Purple Citroen C4 Picasso feel pure tech towing a caravan



This year Honda gave others a chance by not entering its SUVs and only the Civic 1.5 VTEC Turbo Prestige manual hatchback was tested in the £26,000 - £30,000 class and of which the judges commented: “A practical touring hatch with excellent performance and a very competent tow car.”

Grey Honda Civic on the road towing a caravan

Explore the Honda Civic Range


In the 2014 Towcar of the Year, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake 3.0D Portfolio won the £41,000 - £51,000 class and it was back again this year in the £38,000 - £50,000 bracket for all-wheel drive vehicles under 1800 kgs.

The judges noted: “One of the most-composed and sure-footed of all this year’s contenders."

Pale grey Jaguar XF towing a caravan

The F-Pace SUV was also entered, in 3.0 V6 300PS Auto form, and contesting the ‘over £50,000’ segment. At the end of their test it was obvious the judges had enjoyed themselves at the wheel, saying: “Awesome, utterly awesome.”

Explore the Jaguar XF Range

Land Rover

One of the most natural fits between a vehicle and the requirements of towing, Land Rover is a serial winner here. The Discovery has taken 6 price class and weight category wins and the HSE LUX the overall title in 2016. Freelander 2 won Towcar of the Year 2008, the Range Rover Sport in 2011 and the Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography winning not only the All-Wheel Drive over 1800kg category at Towcar of the Year 2014, but its price class too.

This year two were tested, the latest Discovery Sport (Auto) and the Discovery HSE Luxury in the £38,000 - £50,000 and the over £50,000 categories respectively, both obviously all-wheel drive.

Of the Discovery Sport they said: “An excellent newcomer from the towing masters at Land Rover. Kept control of a lively caravan at higher speeds,” and of the Discovery HSE Luxury “Yet another impressive towcar from Land Rover."

Metallic bronze Land Rover Discovery towing a caravan

Explore the Land Rover Discovery Range


A three time overall winner, Peugeot has an excellent track record among caravanners, but one of its cars tested in 2018, left the testers amazed by what it could do.

Of the two Peugeots driven, the 3008 SUV Allure PureTech 130 went into the £24,000 to £26,000 category. Its little three cylinder 1.2 engine was described as an `amazing revelation’ and the SUV overall for its “impressive stability into head and cross winds."

The second version, the 3008 SUV GT Line BlueHdi 150 with its 2.0 diesel won plaudits for its “surprisingly good traction for a two wheel drive on a damp track.”

Red Peugeot 3008 towing a caravan round a corner

Explore the Peugeot 3008 Range


Twice an overall winner at Towcar of the Year, with the Toledo V5 in 2000 and more recently in 2015 with the Leon ST FR and with multiple category wins, SEAT entered its Ateca 2.0 TDI 190 PS Xcellence 4 Drive DSG in the £33,000 - £38,000 price class and the all-wheel drive under 1800 kgs.

The diesel was singled out for praise, with the comment: “Very good acceleration – especially for its engine size."

Silver SEAT Ateca towing a caravan

Explore the SEAT Ateca Range


Volkswagen needs no introduction here, having the most wins since the Towcar of the Year competition started, over 35 years ago, with a total of 34 awards, six of those for the overall trophy.

As well as the Golf Estate Alltrack and the Amarok mentioned above, the Golf GT 2.0TDI 150PS DSG went into the £26,000 - £30,000 sector and was described as “Something of a driver’s car, the Golf is sporty and eager. A superb all-rounder."

The Passat Estate Alltrack 2.0TDI SCR 4MOTION 150PS contested the £33,000 - £38,000 price class with the judges concluding: “Passat continues to set the standard in its class and compares very favourably with larger, more expensive competitors and SUVs” and they picked up on caravanner-friendly details, noting: “The windows are perfectly placed, even for pass-on pitch reverse."

Black Volkswagen Passat Estate towing a caravan

Finally, the Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 2.0TSI 4MOTION 180PS DSG was praised for its “Intuitive driver ergonomics with clear electric display," and summed up with “Beautifully designed. Phenomenal handling."

Explore the VW Passat Range


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