Land Rover Discovery towing a horse box

The best used cars for towing

Choosing the right car to tow your caravan or trailer can be tricky. It’s not necessarily a case of ‘biggest and best’ and there are many sizes and types of car that could be suitable for you. Here’s our pick of the top 10:

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By Cazoo editorial team

Whether you need to haul a tiny trailer, a huge caravan, a boat or a horsebox, picking the best car to tow it with isn’t just a matter of comfort. It’s also a matter of safety. 

Choosing the correct car will allow you to get the best of both worlds – comfort with safety. You need a car that’s big enough and powerful enough to handle whatever you’re towing, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a huge SUV. 

Every car has something called a maximum towing capacity, which is the total weight that it can legally pull. You can find this in the car’s handbook or brochure. If you aren’t very experienced at towing it’s better to keep the towed weight within 85% of your car’s maximum towing capacity, just to be on the safe side.

Here’s our guide to the 10 best used cars for towing, with choices that suit a range of budgets and needs.    

1. Skoda Superb

Towing a trailer can make journeys feel long and stressful, so it’s good to start by making sure your car is comfortable and relaxing. Few cars fit that description better than the Skoda Superb. It gives you a really smooth ride, even over the bumpiest of roads, and the seats feel like comfy armchairs. It’s quiet, there’s a huge amount of interior space and you get lots of high-tech features to keep you comfortable and entertained on your journey. 

The Superb is available as a hatchback or as an estate, both of which have enormous boots. You can choose from a wide range of models, with petrol or diesel engines, manual or automatic gearboxes and front- or four-wheel drive. Each one gives you good pulling power, with an official maximum towing capacity of between 1,800kg and 2,200kg, depending on the model.

Read our Skoda Superb review

2. BMW 5 Series Touring

The estate version of BMW’s large family car is a great alternative to the Skoda Superb. It’s just as comfortable but it’s more enjoyable to drive when you’re not towing and its interior has a more upmarket feel. It costs more to buy but every version is powerful and very well equipped.

The 5 Series Touring has lots of passenger space and a big boot. It also has clever ‘self-levelling’ suspension, which keeps the car balanced when there’s a lot of weight over the back wheels. There are many petrol and diesel engines to choose from, with rear– or four-wheel drive, and most versions have an automatic gearbox as standard. BMW quotes a maximum towing capacity of 1,800kg to 2,000kg.

Read our BMW 5 Series Review

3. Seat Ateca

The Seat Ateca is one of the best mid-size SUVs – big enough to have lots of passenger and boot space, but compact enough to fit into most parking spaces. It feels safe and stable on the motorway and when you’re not towing you can enjoy its responsive steering and nimble feel through corners. 

There’s a wide range of models to choose from – all are well equipped and very reasonably priced. The least powerful options are only really suitable for towing small trailers, but the most powerful engines can easily handle a medium-size caravan. Some engines are available with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Seat quotes a maximum towing capacity of 1,500kg to 2,100kg.

Read our Seat Ateca review

4. Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster is the least expensive family-size SUV there is – it costs less than any other SUV of any size when new. While it doesn’t feel quite as luxurious as its more expensive rivals, it’s comfy and quiet enough for long journeys. It’s also extremely sturdy and practical, and high-spec models are well equipped. It's impressive that Dacia manages to make such a good car for so little money.

The Duster is available with petrol or diesel engines, and with front-wheel drive, as well as four-wheel drive models, which are surprisingly capable when heading off-road. You can only buy a Duster with a manual gearbox and Dacia quotes a maximum towing capacity of 1,300kg to 1,500kg, so the Duster is best suited to smaller caravans or trailers.

Read our Dacia Duster review

5. Land Rover Discovery

When it comes to SUV all-rounders, the seven-seat Land Rover Discovery is one of the best. It’s hugely spacious – you’ll get adults in all seven seats and the boot is gigantic. You’ll also find the luxurious interior to be extremely comfortable and it feels fantastic to drive. It’s pretty much unbeatable when driving off-road, thanks to sophisticated electronics that keep the wheels turning no matter how tough the terrain. On the flip side, its size means it’s not the most cost-effective to buy or run.

There’s a choice of powerful petrol and diesel engines, all of which have an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Land Rover quotes a maximum towing capacity of 3,000kg to 3,500kg.

Read our Land Rover Discovery review

6. Volvo XC40

Frequently featured in roundups of the best family cars, the XC40 is a practical, mid-size SUV that has a high-tech, user-friendly interior and yet it doesn’t cost the earth. It’s comfortable and quiet and feels very upmarket. You’ve got space inside for a family of four and the boot will accommodate a couple of weeks’ worth of holiday gear. It’s easy to drive around town and solid as a rock on the motorway.

There are petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options available, plus manual and automatic gearboxes, and front- or four-wheel drive. There’s even an electric version that can tow up to 1,500kg, though doing so will reduce its battery range. The non-electric versions can pull 1,500kg to 2,100kg, depending on the engine.

Read our Volvo XC40 review

7. Skoda Octavia

The second Skoda on our list has a lower maximum capacity than the first but is still almost as capable a tow car as the larger Superb. Indeed, the Octavia shares many of the Superb’s qualities – it’s quiet, comfortable, spacious and well equipped. Skodas are full of clever, useful features, like a parking receipt clip in the windscreen, a detachable torchlight in the boot and an ice scraper under the fuel filler flap.

The Octavia is available as a hatchback or estate, each with the biggest boot in its class. There’s a broad selection of petrol and diesel engines, most of which are available with an automatic gearbox. Some of the more powerful models have four-wheel drive. Skoda quotes a towing capacity of 1,300kg to 1,600kg for the ‘regular’ Octavia models and says the Octavia Scout, which has a higher ride height and some SUV-style design additions, can tow up to 2,000kg.

Read our Skoda Octavia review

8. Peugeot 5008

The Peugeot 5008 is a family-friendly seven-seater that gives you the practicality of an MPV with SUV looks. If you regularly take day trips with the whole family and have a horsebox or boat in tow, this is a great car to consider. 

Central to the Peugeot 5008’s appeal as a tow car is the fact it’s available with a clever electronic system called Grip Control, which helps the car get going on slippery surfaces. It makes it ideal for towing your horse trailer along muddy tracks or your boat across wet sand.

The 5008 has loads of space for even the tallest passengers, so it’s one of the best family cars around, and it comes with Isofix points for child seats in all three seats in the middle row. It’s versatile too, with seats that fold and slide individually, while the interior has a futuristic, premium feel and the suspension gives a very smooth ride. Peugeot quotes a maximum towing capacity of 1,200kg to 1,800kg.

Read our Peugeot 5008 review

9. Ford S-Max

The Ford S-Max is one of the best seven-seat MPVs you can buy, with space for adults in all seven. It can carry a lot of luggage and considering its boxy shape, it looks great too. On the road, it’s comfortable, quiet and one of the few MPVs that’s actually enjoyable on a winding road. Top-spec Vignale models are worth seeking out because of their luxurious interiors.

There are several petrol and diesel engines to choose from. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available and some models have four-wheel drive. Ford quotes a maximum towing capacity of 2,000kg.

Read our Ford S-MAX review

10. Jeep Wrangler

The rugged Jeep Wrangler SUV is pretty much the only car that can match or even exceed the off-road driving ability of the Land Rover Discovery. This makes it pretty ideal if you regularly tow your trailer or caravan across muddy fields.

It has a tough look inspired by the Wrangler’s heritage as a World War II Jeep, and the interior is spacious for a family of four. The boot is a good size and you can choose from a petrol or diesel engine – both have an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Jeep quotes a maximum towing capacity of 2,500kg.

These are our favourite used tow cars. You’ll find them among the range of high-quality used cars available from Cazoo. Use the search function to find the one you love, buy it online and have it delivered to your door or choose to collect it from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.

We’re constantly updating and adding to our stock. If you can’t find the right one today, check back soon to see what’s available or set up a stock alert to be the first to know when we have cars that match your needs.

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