Best Used Cars for Towing Caravans
Holiday season is here in the UK, summer has finally arrived and it has brought warmer weather for us to enjoy.
If you’re like any of the other millions of motorists, you might be thinking of a summer getaway in the coming months with a caravan, so look no further than our list of the best used cars for towing that won’t break the bank.
It’s important to choose a car that suits your needs, as well as being safe, practical and comfortable for long trips across the country. There are plenty of choices out there, but choosing the right one for the right price is easy with our hand picked vehicles specially chosen for the caravaning motorist in mind.
- Kerbweight: 2,622kg • Maximum Towing Capacity: 3,500kg • Towball Limit: 150kg
If you want the ultimate towing vehicle, the Land Rover Discovery should be at the top of your shortlist. The previous generation ‘Disco’ still remains the king of the best all round SUV for towing, hauling and pretty much anything in between. Equipped with sophisticated electronic air suspension, a large boot and a luxurious interior, in the Land Rover Discovery you’ll be safe and comfortable on or off the road. The heavy kerb weight allows for stability at high speeds and a high towing capacity, so whether you’re pulling a caravan or speedboat, the Land Rover has plenty of pulling power.
Prices start from around £18,000, however you’ll want to look towards buying one in the range of £22,000-£25,000, as you’ll be looking at higher mileage and older examples at the lower end of the price. If you’re thinking of buying one of these, it’s important to note that the running costs of a Discovery are not cheap, something which deters most people from purchasing one.
All models are equipped with an automatic gearbox and four wheel drive, and come in petrol and diesel variations, however we would recommend going for the 3.0L diesel TDV6, as the torque and power the diesel engine produces make it perfect for towing.
Kia Sorento (2015-2019)
- Kerbweight: 1,953kg • Maximum Towing Capacity: 2,500kg • Towball Limit: 100kg
Love the Discovery but don’t want to stretch the already inflated budget that comes with running it? The Kia Sorento is a great alternative, with stats which almost match the Disco at a fraction of the price. The first Sorento was very popular with caravanners, and this model only upgrades what was lacking before. The 2.2L diesel is the obvious choice for this car, as it has immense power and torque to pull most caravans and trailers with ease. The Sorento is heavy enough to be stable at higher speeds and boasts an impressive towing capacity, but is just beaten by the Land Rover’s incredible stats.
Prices start from £12,000, and £15,000 will easily buy you a decent spec’d one. We would recommend buying as newest as your budget will stretch, as you’ll be able to make the most of the 7 year warranty all Kias come with.
The Kia does provide amazing value for money considering the used prices of these against the Land Rovers. Coupled with Kia’s 7 year warranty, means the reliability is something it can hold above the Disco. With a roomy interior, 7 seats and all wheel drive, the Sorento is definitely a good contender for SUVs.
- Kerbweight: 1,500kg • Maximum Towing Capacity: 1,500kg • Towball Limit: 100kg
Next up to offer we have the Honda CR-V, a no nonsense, sensible and reliable option for the motoring caravanner. Quite simply, if you need a car to show up, do the job and not leave your wallet drained, the CR-V is the choice for you. Backed by Honda’s dependable reputation, finding used examples of these will be easy enough, as when they were launched they were flying off the shelves. Although not as popular as its rivals from Volkswagen or Hyundai, this can be seen as a positive, as you’ll stand out with something different.
Prices start from £5,000, however you’ll find very clean examples towards the £8,000-£10,000 range, which is what we would recommend. Don’t be put off by slightly higher mileage vehicles, but as with any car, finding one with good service history and a clean title is crucial when buying a used car.
The CR-V comes with two diesel engines, a 1.6 and a 2.2. If you’re towing large caravans or trailers we would go for the 2.2, as the 1.6 is more suited for smaller caravans trading torque for better fuel economy. As the kerb weight is slightly lower than its rivals, the CR-V can be a little unstable at higher speeds and in windy conditions.
- Kerbweight: 1,500kg • Maximum Towing Capacity: 2,000kg • Towball Limit: 90kg
Need a car for towing but don’t want a big SUV? The Skoda Superb is simply superb. This mid size car offers incredible towing capabilities, interior space to shame its luxury German rivals and all around excellent visibility. The Skoda tows very well for its size and is a comfortable cruiser with lots of tech to keep you safe and entertained for long distance journeys. The Superb is excellent for stability at higher speeds, meaning you’ll be cruising effortlessly for hours.
Prices start from around £7,500, but you’ll find good examples of the Skoda between £10,000-£12,000. This makes the Skoda excellent value for money, as being a fairly recent car, you shouldn’t have many faults with reliability.
The Superb is offered with 2 or 4 wheel drive, manual or automatic and petrol and diesel variations. Our choice would be the 2 wheel drive, 2.0L diesel, as the front wheel drive is more than enough to pull most caravans and the diesel engine offers excellent power and fuel economy. You’ll also have the choice of estate or hatchback versions, both offer vast boot space.
- Kerbweight: 1,613kg • Maximum Towing Capacity: 1,600kg • Towball Limit: 90kg
Next on the list we have the Vauxhall Insignia, a nice alternative to the Skoda Superb mentioned above. In terms of bang for buck, the Insignia tops the list for amazing value for your money. Insignias tend to depreciate heavily, which makes it awful for new shoppers but great for the secondary market. The higher kerb weight means it’s great for towing smaller towing caravans or trailers.
Prices start from £4,000-£5,000, but £8,000 will get you a very good example, making this one of the cheapest vehicles on this list. Newer cars go for significantly more for older ones so it’s best to go for a middle range to counter some of the depreciation.
Although it’s not as roomy as the Superb and doesn’t drive as well as its rivals, we would choose the 2.0L diesel makes it a good all rounder for motorists on a budget. Offered in an estate or saloon variant, means practicality is not an issue when it comes to boot space. Overall, the Insignia proves to be a great all rounder for towing and practicality.
- Kerbweight: 1,750kg • Maximum Towing Capacity:2,000kg • Towball Limit: 90kg
Fresh onto the secondary market is Mazda’s offering of the mid size SUV, the CX-5. If you’re looking for a stylish and enjoyable vehicle to tow your caravan, this is the one for you. It’s firm ride and sharp handling means it is stable at higher speeds and provides a steady tow for your cross country commute. In terms of owner satisfaction it performed well with owners giving it a good review for contentment and reliability.
Prices start from around £5,000, however you can generally find suitable examples for £10,000-£12,000 with plenty of service history and good vehicle mileage. Owners report little to no faults with reliability so head towards the older end if you’re wanting to save little money.
Mazda offers the CX-5 with 4 wheel drive, which is the option we would recommend, coupled with the 2.2L diesel engine. This combination will provide plenty of pulling power and torque to pull most caravans and trailers.
- Kerbweight: 1,810kg • Maximum Towing Capacity:2,000kg • Towball Limit: 90kg
Up next we have BMW’s offering for one of the best cars for a motoring commuter in years, the 5 Series Touring. The self proclaimed ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ certainly lives up to its name, with reviewers and owners both agreeing that the 5 Series is as wonderful to drive as it is to look at. It’s engaging and driver focused, has an interior that oozes luxury, and provides exceptional stability for towing thanks to its xDrive system and sophisticated air suspension. Being one of the newer cars on the list means it performs well on the reliability scale, which helps with peace of mind.
Prices start from around £20,000, which means if your budget can stretch, you’ll have one of the best all rounder cars for the road. As the 5 Series is just emerging onto the secondary market, we felt that it was too good to miss out on the list.
BMW offers a host of different engines and drivetrains for the 5 Series, but we would go for the 520d with xDrive. The 2.0L diesel engine provides excellent torque and fuel efficiency, coupled with the 4 wheel drive system, means you’ll have all the traction and power to tow just about anything.
Volvo XC90 (2009-2014)
- Kerbweight: 2,100kg • Maximum Towing Capacity:2,250kg • Towball Limit: 90kg
Last on the list we have the first generation XC90 by Volvo. The current XC90 is praised across the community, but the original is where it all started. It was the first SUV to combine sensible running costs, practicality and a road focused driving experience. The Swedish SUV offers a good quality interior with looks that have aged very well.
Prices start from around £4,500 onwards but you’ll be looking at older, higher mileage examples at that range. For a budget of around £7,000-£9,000, you’ll easily be able to find a nice example with lower miles and good service history.
The XC90 offers a nice alternative to other SUVs that are more expensive to buy and run, as the 2.4L diesel offers great fuel economy while also giving you over 2 tonnes of towing capacity. It’s not as stable at high speeds versus a Land Rover Discovery but is still a good choice for someone looking for a capable, cheap cross country vehicle.
That concludes our list for the best used cars for towing. Want to skip the hassle of used car buying? Check out our used car stock for the best vehicles in the UK. Read more articles on our blog if you’re looking for more motoring related content.