Had a windfall or a huge payrise? Here’s our selection of the best towcars, if money is no object.

While you can get a perfectly decent towcar for less than £30,000, it’s probably true to say that towcars over £30,000 are generally likely to be bigger and more powerful – and so more likely to provide a comfortable ride. Here is our pick of the very best.

Buyer’s Guide – best towcars over £30,000

Landrover Discovery 5 2018

STAR RATING 5 OUT OF 5

  • Price £64,495 (used price now around £49,000)
  • Engine 2993cc
  • Kerbweight 2298kg
  • Power 254bhp
  • Torque 600Nm

For the fifth generation Discovery Landrover has opted for all aluminium construction to bring the kerbweight down and hence reduce emissions (although it is still not the lowest in its class).

That new kerbweight for the 3.0-ltire model is still 2298kg, so you would have to find a seriously large caravan before this towcar will admit defeat.

With that 600Nm of torque coming in at 1750rpm, we found the Discovery could accelerate from 30-60mph in 10.5 seconds, and it could overtake with ease. It even managed a 1-in-3 gradient with ease – not that you would be likely to want to go up one of those too often with a caravan.
The reduced weight makes the vehicle a much nimbler everyday drive, even its significant width can prove a challenge on some narrow but busy urban streets.

Interior space is fine for both of the rear two rows. Luggage space with all seats in use is only modest, but fold the third row down and it is enormous.

We also liked the Tow Assist option, which effectively lets you control which way the caravan is turning as you reverse, and removes the need to steer the car in the opposite direction to get things started.

PROs
Powerful drive
Adaptable interior

CONs
Width of car in urban areas

Read more in our Landrover Discovery 5 review

VW Touareg 2019

STAR RATING 4.5 OUT OF 5

  • Price £58,195 (used price now around £39,000)
  • Engine 2967cc
  • Kerbweight 2070kg
  • Power 282bhp
  • Torque 600Nm

The third generation of VW’s more upmarket SUV is wider and longer with a more aggressive look than before. All versions, including the top-of the range 3.0-litre diesel version we tried, come with VW’s 4Motion four-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Nor is that the only thing that should get a caravanner excited about this car. With an 85% match figure of 1760kg, it should be a good match for all bar the very biggest tourers, especially as that 3.0-litre engine comes with 282bhp of power and 600Nm of torque.

On our test drive we found it coasted easily at 60mph, with no signs of instability even in the face of an autumn storm. It could also overtake easily uphill.

Further caravan-friendly features include Trailer Assist being included with the towbar and electrics.

The Touareg is designed to compete with luxury models such as the Land Rover Discovery, Audi Q7 and BMX X5. In terms of interior finish, it is not quite up there with them, with hard plastic lower down the dash and on the doors. It only comes as a five-seater, too, which could be a deal-breaker for some.

But at least that means you have a boot with a huge 810-litre capacity.

PROs
Trailer Assist included with towbar
Huge boot

CONs
Interior finish

Read more in our VW Touareg review

BMW X5 2019

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £61,020 (used price now around £53,000)
  • Engine 2993cc
  • Kerbweight 2185kg
  • Power 261bhp
  • Torque 620Nm

The X5 is known for being at the sportier end of the SUV market, and while its fourth generation is bigger than before, this trend continues.

With an engine that size, and such impressive torque, we found the E30 d M Sport version we tested made for effortless towing, even with a Swift Elegance on the back. Engine noise was higher than expected, but it was perfectly possible to maintain a conversation inside the car at top speeds.

The only slight sway we felt was when we caught the bow wave of a passing high vehicle.

We also enjoyed the car as a standalone vehicle, particularly as adaptive air suspension comes as standard, so you can adjust the ride to exactly what you like.

The boot is not as big as some competitor models, while a third row of seats is a £1390 cost option. Optional extras are clearly something BMW goes for in a big way – our test model had £15,000 of them.

PROs
Great power
Adaptive air suspension

CONs
Engine noise

Read more in our BMW X5 review

Volvo V60 2019

STAR RATING 4.5 OUT OF 5

  • Price £40,435 (used price now around £28,000)
  • Engine 1969cc
  • Kerbweight 1854kg
  • Power 187bhp
  • Torque 400Nm

The V60 is really a crossover between an estate and an SUV, with a higher ride than most estates – and with four-wheel drive – but, with a kerbweight of 1854, perhaps not quite as heavy as some larger SUVs.

Still, matched up to a caravan the V60, which only comes with an automatic gearbox, coped well in all driving conditions, although the gearbox could be a little slow at changing down sometimes. This made driving with the car on its own in urban areas a little fidgety, although this might have been down to our test model having the optional 19-inch alloy wheels, rather than the standard 18-inch. The car grumbles a bit more than expected too when you are accelerating hard.

In terms of stability, crosswinds were no problem at all, even on corners, where the extra height didn’t cause any excessive leaning.

The boot is a little smaller than other cars in this category, but there is ample room for tall drivers and tall passengers in the rear seat.

PROs
Great stability and cornering
Good room

CONs
Grumbles a bit when accelerating

Read our Volvo V60 review

Hyundai Santa Fe 2019

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £43,295 (used price now around £37,000)
  • Engine 2199cc
  • Kerbweight 1895kg
  • Power 197bhp
  • Torque 440 Nm

Hyundai’s new flagship seven-seat SUV is pricier than the old car, with only one engine, a 2.2-litre diesel, and choice of either manual or automatic, and either two- or four-wheel drive.

But we still think it is one of those cars that is immediately suited to towing. It feels perfectly comfortable at top speeds on motorways, with no obvious swaying from crosswind. Then drive off the motorway onto windier, bumpier roads and it still handles them well thanks to well-judged suspension.

The automatic gearbox sometimes hesitates when overtaking or pulling away. But it copes perfectly with manoeuvring on site. Although large rear pillars compromise the view over your shoulder, a rear view camera should make things easier. Go for the Premium SE spec and you get 360-degree vision too.

The nearside middle seat tilts to give access to the third row. There’s not a huge amount of leg room at the back, although the middle row can be pushed forward to increase this. Boot space is adequate, and even better if you fold the back seats almost flat.

PROs
Excellent handling
Manoeuvrability on site

CONs
Auto gearbox can be hesitant

Read our Hyundai Santa Fe review

Jaguar F-Pace 2017

STAR RATING 4.5 OUT OF 5

  • Price £52,300 (used price now around £30,000)
  • Engine 2993cc
  • Kerbweight 1884kg
  • Power 296 bhp
  • Torque 700Nm

Jaguar’s first ever SUV is certainly not the Landrover in a Jaguar badge that we had initially been expecting.

The 3.0-ltire version we tested (a more economical and just as adequate 2.0-litre version is also available) managed to get from 30-60mph in 7.3 seconds – even while towing.

At top speeds on the motorway you know you are towing merely because you can see the caravan in your rear view mirror. The Jaguar just tracks straight and true, without any wobble.

On our test-track hill starts and sudden lane changes were no problem. Only stopping in the wet was a disappointment – with braking speeds no better than a Ford Edge.

On its own, the car is even more enjoyable to drive with a “sport” setting that rivals a Porsche Macan.

Inside, the standard of finish lags a bit behind competitors, and a large transmission tunnel means the rear set is possibly better for two people only. But you still get 350 litres of boot space.

PROs
Acceleration
Stability when towing

CONs
Stopping time in wet
Rear seat

Rear our Jaguar F-Pace review

 


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