The 39th Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards saw long-standing favourites recognised for their pulling abilities. With the new – more relaxed – rules on towing introduced by the UK government, it’s only fitting that we highlight our top 5 best cars for towing caravans.
If caravan holidays and motorhome getaways are your go-to staycation choices, these are the cars that will do the heavy lifting with precision.
Best for towing caravan weight 1100 – 1200kg
The Seat Leon Estate FR 1.5TSI 150PS won this year’s overall trophy at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards. It also triumphed in the Caravan Weight 1100 – 1200kg category.
The estate version has a spritely 1.5-litre TSi petrol engine which works well with the 7-speed auto gearbox. The Leon is not only a great all-round family car, it’s calm and composed too. During hilly terrain and on winding parts of the test route, the Leon proved agile whilst its engine coped well with the inclines. There’s plenty of space in the cabin and and the decent-sized boot with a 380litre capacity can easily accommodate all your touring equipment.
Best family towcar
With an impressive 2100kg towing capacity and a 1530-litre max load capacity, the Ford Kuga is convenient, practical, and stylish. The all-wheel drive mild-hybrid Kuga has ample power for a mid-sized SUV. With 174bhp and 177lb/ft of low-down grunt, the 6-speed powershift automatic gearbox allows for a smooth drive in both urban and motorway surroundings.
The Kuga is a testament to Ford’s legendary reputation for building great-handling cars. ST-Line is Ford’s sporty trim level with bigger alloys, a body styling kit and special touches such as tinted windows. The ‘X’ is one further step up on the luxury ladder with even bigger wheels, a panoramic roof, electrically adjustable and heated seats, a powered tailgate, and keyless entry.
Best for towing caravan weight over 1700kg
The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is a sports car that comfortably seats five people in ultimate comfort and luxury. And if you also need to tow a caravan you might be surprised to see it can do that too!
The 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 engine combines with an electric motor to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 5 seconds, yet returns an incredible fuel consumption figure of up to 88.3mpg. Adaptive Cruise Control regulates the speed of the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid independently in-line with the vehicle in front. Radar sensors continuously scan the road ahead, so when you begin to gain on the vehicle in-front, the system reduces your cruising speed by restricting the accelerator and gently applying the brakes.
The E-Hybrid will then maintain your chosen distance from the vehicle in front until the road clears and the vehicle then accelerates back to its original cruising speed.
Porsche Traction Management delivers active all-wheel technology with an electronically variable multi-plate clutch, automatic brake differential and anti-slip regulation. It’s built to take on whatever challenges the open road can throw at it, while always maintaining maximum comfort and versatility for the driver and passengers.
Best for towing caravan weight 1300 – 1400kg
The Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ (Xtronic) is a strong contender in the family SUV class. You’ll be seriously pampered if you go for range-topping Tekna+ trim, thanks to quilted leather seats which feature a massaging function for those sitting in the front. It also has 20in alloy wheels, memory recall settings for the electrically operated front seats and a 10-speaker BOSE stereo.
You won’t be thrown back in your seat when you accelerate hard, especially at low revs, and performance is respectable enough with 0-62mph in 9.5sec. You’ll smoothly reach motorway speeds without bother and the Qashqai allows for enough oomph to safely drive when towing to stay ahead of slower cars if needed.
Exterior styling on the Tekna+ includes 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and rear roof spoiler. The safety features are vast too. There’s front and rear parking sensors, a rear view camera and the safety shield plus pack. This includes: Intelligent Park Assist, Intelligent Driver Alertness, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, all very handy for when towing.
Best for towing caravan weight 1500-1700kg
The Volvo XC40 is one of the most environmentally friendly compact SUVs on the market right now. With good powertrain, it’s likely the Recharge Pure Electric will remain a niche choice at first, however, its pulling power elevates this model into a class that is traditionally dominated by petrol models.
Even on very wet roads, this four-wheel-drive faced no problems. Taking on stop and start at roundabouts with supreme confidence, and safely pulling away on tight turns. This car combines driver control with calm, minimalist features. Its zen design matches an electric powertrain perfectly. You will enjoy a good turn of speed before settling down into a rhythm!