Best tow cars for less than £400 per month
Looking for a new tow car? These are the top five you can buy with a monthly budget of £400...
Towing a horsebox, boat, trailer or caravan puts extra strain on any car compared with regular driving. So, if you are going to tow regularly, it pays to choose your next car wisely.
With a budget of £400, you will have plenty of choice. But how best to spend that monthly budget?
To help, we've considered our own favourites along with the recommendations made by the Tow Car Awards. For well over a decade, What Car? has been a partner in Britain's biggest and best ow car test programme, along with experts from The Camping and Caravanning Club and Practical Caravan. Hundreds of cars have been tested since the Tow Car Awards started in 2007.
To find the best tow cars available with a £400 monthly budget, we've used the What Car? Target Price, which is the most you'll pay if you buy though our New Car Buying service. The finance Target Price shows a competitive Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deal. So the packages can be compared fairly, every finance Target Price is based on a 15% deposit, plus whatever up-front contribution the manufacturer is willing to make. All agreements run over three years, with a cap on mileage set at 30,000.
It may have been around a while now, but the Ford S-Max is still a top family tow car. It was named 'Best MPV' at the Tow Car Awards in 2017, and with updated engines and improved specification at the end of last year it should now be even better.
Stability is the quality we value above all others in a tow car, and the S-Max is reassuringly secure at speed. Leave the caravan behind and this seven-seater is great to drive, with nimble handling and a comfortable ride.
At the time of writing, Ford is offering the S-Max with 0% finance. There's no deposit contribution, but even so this means you'll pay a competitive £387 per month for a 2.0 EcoBlue 190 ST-Line with the Lux pack.
The Nissan Qashqai may no longer be our favourite family SUV, but it remains an attractive proposition. Recent updates to the engines, design and finish have kept the Qashqai competitive with newer rivals like the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq.
It's a solid choice for towing as well as everyday family duties. When tested at the Tow Car Awards, the Qashqai performed well in emergency manoeuvres and remained stable at motorway speeds.
You can buy a 1.7 dCi 150 4WD in Tekna spec for £376 per month. Nissan helps out with the deposit to the tune of £3000 and the interest rate is reasonably low at 4.99% APR.
For most drivers we'd recommend a Seat Ateca from lower down the range, but if you regularly tow a heavy caravan or trailer, it's worth paying the extra for a 2.0-litre diesel.
The Tow Car Awards judges were thoroughly impressed with the Ateca as a tow car, praising its performance, stability, and go-anywhere all-wheel-drive system. It's also a very practical family car, thanks in part to its generous boot capacity.
The 4x4 versions are just over our £400 per month budget, but you can pick up a 2.0 TDI 190 Xcellence DSG for £369 per month. That's based on a £1750 deposit contribution, with a 6.5% APR.
Space. The Skoda Superb offers more of it than any other hatch or saloon. It is absolutely huge inside, with acres of leg room for rear-seat passengers and enough boot space to easily cope with a family's holiday luggage.
It's big on towing ability too. It's been a class winner at the Tow Car Awards for many years. All that space makes it a very practical tow car for caravanners, and the Skoda settled and serene at speed, so towing long distances is stress-free.
Last year's winner of the 1400-1549kg weight class, the Superb 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive, costs £312 per month on a PCP – well within our £400 budget. The deal is sweetened by a £3000 deposit from Skoda, and the APR is 5.5%.
We rate the Volkswagen Tiguan as a classy and capable family SUV. It's a little pricey to buy compared with a Skoda Kodiaq, but it's good to drive, safe, and practical.
The Tiguan is well suited to towing, in particular the diesel models. When the 2.0 TDI 190PS 4Motion was tested at the Tow Car Awards in 2017, it was praised for its strong performance and composure in emergency manoeuvres.
Choose to buy on a PCP, and the relatively high price is currently offset by a healthy £2000 deposit contribution. Combined with a reasonably low 4.9% APR, that brings the monthly payment for a 2.0 TDI 4Motion Match DSG down to £387.