With their chunky size, hefty weight and punchy engines, it’s no surprise SUVs make great towing cars. Whether it’s a small tourer or a huge horse box you need to transport, there are plenty of capable options in the SUV sector. We’ve gathered the best SUVs on the market for towing, across a variety of price ranges.
- Land Rover Discovery
- Skoda Kodiaq
- Kia Sportage
- Dacia Duster
- Volvo XC90
- Nissan X-Trail
- Audi Q7
- Mercedes GLE
- Volvo XC60
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
1. Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery is arguably the most accomplished towing car in the SUV class. Weighing in at 2,223kg, the top-of-the-range 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine features four-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and produces a towing-friendly 443lb ft of torque.
The powerful engine and high weight makes for an unrivalled 3,500kg towing capacity. Plus, the car features a whole host of towing assists, including an electronically deployable tow bar, hitch and load assist and a semi-autonomous Advanced Tow Assist for reversing. Its 1,131-litre boot also makes it one of the most practical SUVs out there.
2. Skoda Kodiaq
The Skoda Kodiaq is a highly accomplished, great value SUV. In 2.0-litre turbodiesel form with a DSG automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, it has an impressive towing capacity of 2,500kg – helped by the 295lb ft torque from the engine.
Weighing 1,540kg, the car’s heft and powertrain makes it a comfortable car for towing and the vast 720-litre boot adds plenty of practicality for families. The car also comes with an electrically retractable tow bar and Trailer Assist to make reversing easy.
3. Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage is a good-value alternative to some more expensive and larger family SUVs. With Kia’s industry-leading seven-year warranty, a large 503-litre boot and room for five, it’s a well-rounded family car. It’s also a capable tow car too, especially with the 2.0-litre diesel engine.
It produces 282lb ft of torque, with a maximum weight of 1,546kg. The strong engine gives it a maximum towing capacity of 2,200kg with the manual gearbox and little less with the automatic. A fixed tow bar is a small £225 added extra but worth it for the added usability.
4. Dacia Duster
Costing from £9,495, the Dacia Duster is among the cheapest SUVs on the market but, while it may not be as large as some other cars on this list, it remains a great value tow vehicle. If you pick the more powerful 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine, the car generates 192lb ft of torque for a towing capacity of 1,500kg.
It weighs a comparatively light 1,325kg so isn’t ideally suited to the heaviest of towing duties but makes up for it with stable handling and ride quality. A tow bar comes as part of the Touring Pack, which is an additional £555. It can’t match rivals’ advanced tow and safety assist systems but, costing less than many superminis, it’s a great value option.
5. Volvo XC90
The Volvo XC90 is one of the most practical and desirable SUVs on the market and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the best all-rounders in its class, with a stylish exterior, luxurious interior, an impressive 775-litre boot and a decent driving experience too.
The seven-seat SUV weighs a hefty 2,171kg and features a powerful 2.0-litre turbodiesel producing 225hp and 347lb ft of torque. This means it can tow a very impressive 2,700kg – ideal for bigger tourers and trailers. A retractable tow bar comes with Volvo Trailer Stability Assist as a £995 option.
6. Nissan X-Trail
The Nissan X-Trail is another mid-range SUV with impressive towing capabilities. A removable tow bar is £550 but upgrading from a seven-pin version to 13-pin one with a power supply is an extra £40. The car weighs 2,160kg with a useful maximum towing capacity of 2,000kg.
Its decent capacity is thanks to the 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine which is economical, decently powerful with 236lb ft of torque. Plus, the X-Trail is a well-built family car, with the option of seven seats and a 550-litre boot with five seats up – making it handy even when not towing.
7. Audi Q7
The Audi Q7 is a huge car, with a vast amount of space inside and out. Unsurprisingly, this bulky SUV makes a capable towing machine, with a maximum capacity of 2,800kg. The tow bar is part of a £1,300 pack, which also comes with a trailer assist system.
The punchiest engine is the 3.0-litre turbodiesel, producing 268hp and 442lb ft of torque. It’s a strong engine for motorway driving and, even while towing, it won’t feel sluggish or underpowered. The Audi is more expensive but, considering its space and high quality interior, it’s more than worth the price.
8. Mercedes GLE
The Mercedes GLE is a close rival to the larger SUVs on this list such as the Discovery and Q7. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine is more than powerful enough, producing 457lb ft of torque. This means towing a trailer is easy work for the GLE, with a limit of 3,500kg.
The boot is vast too, but the car isn’t as practical as some of its competitors which offer a seven-seat option. The cabin is plush and comfortable, however, and there’s a good range of safety features and systems along with plenty of upmarket materials.
9. Volvo XC60
If you want a more compact SUV than the XC90, but you like the Swedish image and smart interior design, the Volvo XC60 fits the bill perfectly. Despite its smaller size, the XC60 is a capable tow car, with 1,800kg being the maximum limit for trailers.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine is the best option to accompany towing, producing 310lb ft of torque in total. Inside, the cabin is comfortable and well built, seating four people with ease and five at a push. Safety is also a strong point for the XC60 – a crucial element for any family car.
10. Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee brings a touch of American flavour to the UK SUV market. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine comes with plenty of power and the 420lb ft of torque means it can tow a maximum of 3,500kg – an impressive figure even among this company.
The beefy, rugged-looking SUV isn’t as practical as other cars on this list, with no seven seat option, but there’s a huge 782-litre boot and the Grand Cherokee has strong off-road capabilities.