When planning my trip to Somerset with the big Swift Charisma 550, I automatically reached for the S-Max keys, writes Alyson Warnock.

For the last year it has done all our heavy-towing duties. But then I remembered the new car in our fleet – our Mitsubishi Outlander.

[tl:gallery size=180×180]Like the S-Max, the Outlander has a strong 2.2-litre diesel engine that produces plenty of power and torque. The 1495kg Charisma is an 83% match for the Outlander, and the car towed the van comfortably. It returned 24mpg along a mix of motorways and A-roads, which is not bad at all for a big car.

The Outlander also had to cope with four adults and quite a bit of cider. But with the sixth and seventh seats folded, there was plenty of room in the boot. The middle-row passengers still reported plenty of legroom.

One niggle was the lack of an iPod input. I did all the towing solo and couldn’t play with CDs, so I was stuck with radio advertising.

Price £27,999
Power 154bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque 280lb.ft @ 2000rpm
Kerbweight 1810kg
Towing limit 2000kg
Towball limit 100kg