Tow Cars – A Selection of 2017 Models

These are tow cars with a GVW around 2000kg and a towing limit above 1500kg, meaning you can tow a reasonably sized family caravan and stay within the 3500kg limit. There are hundreds of potential tow cars but I’ve tried to stick to ones you can fit some luggage in, as well as ones you can tow a good sized caravan with.

Mazda 6 2.2d (175PS)Sport Nav Saloon

GVW 2055kg

Towing limit 1600kg

Max MTPLM 1445kg

The petrol version won “Petrol Tow Car of the Year 2013” and the diesel version double the torque so better suited for towing.

The 2.0 petrol has a GVW of 1945kg and a towing limit of 1500kg so is also suitable if you prefer a petrol car, although you can afford to go for the petrol estate version with a GVW of 1990kg (making the caravan limit 1500kg).

The diesel estate version goes up to 2090kg GVW leaving you with 1410kg for the caravan.

Ford Mondeo

GVW 2330kg

Towing limit 2000kg

Max MTPLM 1170kg

The Mondeo is a great tow car and has won several awards, but for our purposes it is too heavy, with a GVW for the 2.0 D Estate of 2330kg. This leaves just 1170kg for the caravan – great if you want a small tourer but not really family sized.

Just a point about the Mondeo compared to the Mazda 6 – their unladen weights are similar, but the Mondeo has a higher loading weight of 733kg (how much you can legally put in it) compared to 514kg for the Mazda, which makes it’s GVW higher.

The Mondeo doesn’t weigh any more, and you are likely to put the same amount of weight in it, but it’s larger “possible” capacity makes it unsuitable for our purposes – the tricky balancing act!

A4 Avant 2.0 TDI Ultra SE 5dr

GVW 2100kg

Towing limit 1600kg

Max MTPLM 1400kg

Slightly heavy for our purposes but a quality tow car if you want to tow 1400kg

VW Passat Saloon 2.0 TDI SE Business 5dr

GVW 2020kg

Towing limit 2000kg

Max MTPLM 1480kg

A great tow car with a healthy towing limit of 2000kg

The estate version has a GVW of 2100kg and the same towing limit of 2000kg meaning you can tow up to 1400kg.

It was the 2015 Tow Car Awards Overall Winner so you can be assured of it’s suitability to towing, and is a very highly rated car for everyday driving.

Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0 TDI CR SE L 5dr (6 speed manual)

GVW 1924kg

Towing limit 1800kg

Max MTPLM 1576

This car (in DSG auto gearbox form) was a Tow Car Award Winner 2017

This is the 6 speed manual version which has a lower GVW (by 20kg) which might make the difference for your potential caravan match, meaning you can tow slightly higher at 1576 MTPLM (as opposed to 1556kg for the auto).

A great tow car and highly recommended with it’s high towing capacity, one for the shortlist if you’re looking to buy a new tow car.

The Skoda has a lower kerbweight of 1374kg so don’t tow with it unladen but the caravan fully loaded. If you leave your caravan in storage don’t leave it full of equipment (not that you would) so that you have to tow it home with an empty car.

Mazda CX-5

The mid-sized CX-5 is a “really superb tow car” as tested in 4WD Sport Nav guise, but with a GVW of 2143kg leaves 1357kg for the caravan to stay within the 3500kg limit. You can increase the available MTPLM by opting for the 2WD petrol version with a GVW of 2020kg enabling you to tow 1480kg.

Seat Leon Sport Tourer 2.0 TDI 184 FR Technology 5dr

GVW 1970kg

Towing limit 1800kg

Max MTPLM 1530kg

The 1.6 diesel was tested in 2013 and found to be “more composed than most small cars” but comes with the same proviso as the Skoda Octavia Estate in that it’s kerbweight is 1340kg so you will be going above 100% towing ratio of max caravan weight to unladen car weight. With both laden the ratio is 77%, well below the 85% recommendation.

Honda CR-V Estate 2.0i-VTEC S 5dr 2wd

GVW 1960kg

Towing Limit 1700kg

Max MTPLM 1540kg

If you are careful which model you choose the CR-V is an excellent tow car capable of towing a caravan up to 1540kg and keeping within the 3500kg limit. Some models (the diesel 4wd ones) have a GVW of 2170kg leaving you with a limit of just 1330kg for the caravan, so do check your particular model carefully.