The best towing cars 2022

  • We reveal the towing champions in different car body styles
  • All can haul over 2,000kg, making light work of big caravans
  • Saloons, estates, people carriers and 4x4s considered

Whether you’re a keen caravanner, a weekend racing driver or a horse enthusiast, having a car that can easily tow your caravan, shuttle or horsebox is essential to help make the most of your spare time.

With caravans growing bigger and heavier, many four- and six-berth versions now weigh in at over two tonnes, meaning that for a tow car, a high braked towing limit is necessary. If that were the only concern buyers would be just as well purchasing a tractor. The ideal towing car must do more than pull a heavy load. It has to be spacious enough to accommodate a family and their luggage and be affordable and comfortable enough to run on a daily basis, not just for the annual trip to Cornwall.

While most cars with a 2,000kg towing capacity will easily be able to manage an average caravan, for bigger twin-axle models only a powerful 4×4 will be up to the challenge.

Here, we’ve looked at a range of cars with not just the requisite pulling power, but which also shine through enough in other areas to make them good all-rounders.

The best cars for towing

SsangYong Rexton
Land Rover Defender
Kia Sorento
Skoda Superb
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
Ford S-Max
BMW 5 Series
Ford Kuga
Volkswagen Touareg
Porsche Cayenne

1. SsangYong Rexton

SsangYong Rexton - best towing cars reviews

The seven-seat Rexton represents excellent value for money. A full 3,500kg braked towing capacity is unusual at this price point and that’s delivered partially thanks to the Rexton’s hefty weight and ladder frame chassis, and partially thanks to the torquey 202hp 2.2-litre diesel engine getting power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Although a higher-spec model with more creature comforts is available, the entry-level Ventura provides as much as anyone really needs with front and rear parking sensors, faux-leather heated seats front and rear, seat cooling in the front and an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. The higher-level Ultimate model with a bigger touchscreen, electric tailgate, a 360-degree camera system and a few more bits of safety equipment is still impressive value.

Emissions are relatively high at 225g/km, and it’ll only manage around 30mpg at best.*

Braked towing limit: 3,500kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 202hp and 441Nm
Boot space: 820-1,977 litres
Leasing price: from £525 per month

2. Land Rover Defender 110

Land Rover Defender - best towing cars reviews

The Defender is as desirable as it is capable. Although the legendary off-roading ability of the original is mostly undimmed, the new model is far more pleasant in everyday use, making it a fine family car, especially the seven-seat 110 models. As such, its 3,500kg towing capacity makes it a great all-rounder, if a little pricey.

The 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo D250 model is the one to go for as it offers plenty of low-down torque. The official 31.7mpg figure isn’t spectacular, but it’s about acceptable, while 250hp is delivered through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It should prove more than adequate towing a caravan or trailer across a muddy field.

The D250 is only available in S trim and higher, meaning buyers get 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and a plusher interior than lower-spec cars. All models come with a wide array of driver assistance systems such as lane keeping assistance, sign recognition and automated emergency braking as standard; the Defender currently holds five NCAP stars.

That sideways-opening rear door could prove a pain when towing a trailer or caravan closely behind, so it’s worth bearing in mind.*

Braked towing limit: 3,500kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 250hp and 570Nm
Boot space: 231-2,380 litres
Leasing price: from £703 per month

3. Kia Sorento 

Kia Sorento - best towing cars reviews

Another outstanding value seven-seater SUV, and, for towing, the 2.2-litre diesel model is the pick of the bunch. With a 2,500kg braked towing capacity, it’s not as capable as more dedicated 4x4s, but that limit should be enough for most.

Raising the price of the diesel model is the fact that it’s only available in Level 3 trim spec, meaning that, although it gets goodies such as heated, electrically adjustable leather seats, a bigger 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a powered tailgate, as well as a spacious 616-litre boot.

Economy-wise, 42.2mpg isn’t bad and, overall, it’s a very refined and comfortable package.*

Braked towing limit: 2,500kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 199hp and 440Nm
Boot space: 616-2,011 litres
Leasing price: from £557 per month

4. Skoda Superb 

Skoda Superb Estate towing

Skoda has long been a favourite with caravanners for its excellent value, space and decent towing ability. The Superb estate has a massive 660-litre boot and with 200hp, the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel 4×4 model is the top choice if buying with towing in mind.

The interior is well made, and quality is on a par with any German rivals with high levels of tech, spec and comfort.*

Braked towing limit: 2,200kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 200hp and 400Nm
Boot space: 660-1,950 litres
Leasing price: from £388 per month

5. Mercedes E-Class Estate

Mercedes E-Class Estate - best towing cars reviews

All E-Classes can tow at least 1,900kg, which will be enough for many; caravanners who may need some extra pulling power though will have to eschew the 2.0-litre petrol models in favour of either the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel or larger petrol, hybrid and diesel units if they want 2,100kg braked towing capacity.

While an E-Class saloon does make for a fine towing car, buyers looking for extra practicality should plump for the estate. Even a relatively low-spec E 220 d is extremely well equipped, full of tech and features a sizeable 640-litre boot.

The 194hp 2.0-litre diesel engine can realistically deliver around 45mpg and it’s a strong and flexible unit with plenty of low-down pulling power and a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard.*

Braked towing limit: 2,100kg (E 220d and above)
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 194hp and 400Nm
Boot space: 640-1,820 litres
Leasing price: from  per month

6. Ford S-Max 

Ford S-Max - best towing cars

In light of the SUV onslaught, the family MPV might seem like a dying breed, but the Ford S-Max is a fine, practical car. It’s a seven-seater, meaning the whole family and a couple of friends can come along on any trips and a 2,000kg braked towing capacity is more than sufficient for most loads.

Self-levelling suspension is an option on the S-Max, and it might be worth the extra investment if you regularly tow a caravan or trailer. For towing too, most will want the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel engine, though the more powerful hybrid option is also a good shout for shorter journeys. The S-Max may be a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still a decent car for those looking to avoid an SUV, even if the boot is quite small with all the seats in place.*

Braked towing limit: 2,000kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 150hp and 370Nm
Boot space: 285-2,200 litres
Leasing price: from £552 per month

7. BMW 5 Series 

BMW 5 Series - best towing cars reviews

The executive saloon’s 2,000kg towing capacity might come as a surprise, but really, it’s an excellent choice as a motorway mile-muncher during the week and a heavy load-lugger at the weekend. With a massive range of petrol, diesel and hybrid options, power is sufficient across the whole line-up for towing, though, for many, a diesel estate will still be a perfect all-round option.

Even in the saloon, the boot capacity is a sizeable 530 litres, though the estate’s 570-litre boot is a bit smaller than some of its rivals’ such as the Mercedes E-Class. We reckon SE trim is worth the extra money as it gives the 5 Series an elevated level of tech and creature comforts.*

Braked towing limit: 2,000kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 184hp and 290Nm
Boot space: 530 litres
Leasing price: from £620 per month

8. Ford Kuga 

Ford Kuga - best towing cars reviews

The majority of models in the Ford Kuga range can tow more than 1,800kg, which, though useful for most, won’t be enough for some. The Kuga is a popular, practical and well-built family SUV meaning that it covers most of the bases for a car you’d take on holiday. If all-wheel drive and increased towing capacity are, in fact, what you need for towing caravans across muddy fields, then the pick of the Kuga line-up is the 2.0-litre diesel EcoBlue 190, which has a 2,100kg braked towing capacity.

Spec is good too with 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, part-leather seats, automatic wipers and a substantial 612-litre boot.*

Braked towing limit: 2,100kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 190hp and 400Nm
Boot space: 412-1,534 litres
Leasing price: from  per month

9. VW Touareg 

2018 Volkswagen Touareg

The Touareg is another consummate professional when it comes to towing. It can manage a full 3,500kg and is luxurious, comes with tons of technology including a 12.0-inch driver instrument cluster and huge 15.0-inch infotainment screen. The 800-litre boot is massive as well.

Apart from the excellent towing capacity, an optional trailer assistant takes a little bit of the workload off the driver, especially when manoeuvring. The towing kit is electrically retractable too, while the air suspension is useful when pulling a caravan and when traversing rough ground.

Petrol, diesel and hybrid versions are all as capable as each other.*

Braked towing limit: 3,500kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 231hp and 500Nm
Boot space: 810-1,800 litres
Leasing price: from £639 per month

10. Porsche Cayenne 

Porsche Cayenne towing

Towing a 911 GT3 racing car behind your Porsche Cayenne on the way to the track might seem like a lottery-win fantasy, but the folks over at the Caravan Club rate the Cayenne very highly as a tow car.

Its abundant power means that its towing capacity is high at 3,500kg. There are petrol and plug-in hybrid models to suit buyers’ preferences, though no diesels anymore. The 3.0-litre plug-in hybrid (E-Hybrid Tiptronic S) is the most sensible choice with a 91mpg fuel economy figure and 462hp.

Buyers get plenty of standard equipment, including 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, cruise control, two-zone climate control, eight-way electric part-leather seats and an electric tailgate. Putting a big tick across the whole options list will, however, raise the price significantly.*

Braked towing limit: 3,500kg
Unbraked towing limit: 750kg
Power and torque: 462hp and 450Nm
Boot space: 645-1,710 litres

Top tips for towing

How fast? 60mph for M-way, 50mph for A-roads

If trailer unbraked – maximum weight allowed is 750kg

If trailer braked – maximum weight allowed is 3,500kg

You also need to bear in mind the Gross Train Weight of any potential vehicle you are considering for towing use. This figure is the maximum allowable weight of the vehicle, trailer and load. Read more information about vehicle and trailer weights here.

Generally speaking, a car that has a 2,000kg towing capacity will in most cases be able to tow a caravan unless you have your heart set on the larger twin-axle caravans – in which case only large 4x4s or pick-ups will be up for the task.

Lastly, don’t forget you may also need to take an additional test to be legally able to tow a caravan depending on when your license was issued – for more information click here.

What to read next:

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* These deals are indicative examples of some packages available as of 3 November 2021, but are subject to change without prior notice. Everyone’s financial circumstances are different and the availability of credit is subject to status. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically.

Bauer Consumer Media Limited is an appointed representative of ZenAuto Limited for the broking of regulated consumer hire agreements. ZenAuto Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ZenAuto Limited’s registered office is Number One, Great Exhibition Way, Kirkstall Forge, Leeds LS5 3BF. ZenAuto Limited’s company registration number is 10967345. ZenAuto is the trading name of ZenAuto Limited.