Best tow cars for less than £500 per month
Looking for a new tow car? These are the top five you can buy with a monthly budget of £500...
If you are looking for a car to tow your caravan, trailer or horsebox, and have a budget of £500 per month, you've come to right place. We can help you narrow down your shortlist from the many estate cars, SUVs, executive saloons and family cars available at this price point.
Our pick of the best tow cars for £500 per month is based on our own in-depth tests, as well as our involvement in the Tow Car Awards. Since 2007, What Car? has been a partner in Britain's biggest and best tow car test programme, working alongside colleagues from Practical Caravan and The Camping and Caravanning Club.
All the deals below are based on the What Car? Target Price. The cash Target Price reveals the most you should pay for a new car if you intend to buy it outright, while the finance Target Price shows a competitive Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deal. So packages can be compared fairly, all are based on paying 15% of the value of the car up front, combined with the manufacturer's finance deposit contribution if there is one. All are three-year PCP agreements, with a 30,000-mileage limit.
BMW 3 Series Touring
It's going to be replaced soon, but the 3 Series Touring remains one of the very best executive estate cars. And being towards the end of its life should help you negotiate a really keen deal.
The 3 Series also makes an excellent tow car. When the 335d Touring was tested at the Tow Car Awards in 2014 it was praised for its "composed and secure performance in the lane-change test" and "brutally quick" performance.
In all honesty, brutal speed isn't the top priority when towing, so we'd suggest the more affordable and economical 320d is a better all-rounder. Go for the xDrive model and you enjoy the benefit of four-wheel drive.
You can put a 320d xDrive SE Touring auto on your drive for £467 per month. The highlight of the deal is a huge £5000 deposit contribution. The agreement runs over three years with a 4.9% APR.
Citroën Grand C4 Spacetourer
MPVs may be less popular than SUVs these days, but there are good reasons to choose a people carrier. Take the Grand C4 Spacetourer. Few SUVs for similar money offer as much space, or pack in as much clever thinking within their interiors. And unlike many MPVs, the seven-seat Citroën is as stylish as it is practical.
Back in 2014, when this model was called the Grand C4 Picasso, it was named 'Best MPV' at the Tow Car Awards. The Blue HDi 150 engine was strong enough to comfortably handle a sensibly matched caravan, and the Tow Car Awards judges were thoroughly impressed with the ingenious interior design.
Five years and a name change later, the Citroën is still one of the best seven-seat MPVs. The BlueHDi 160 Feel Auto will set you back £493 per month over three years on a PCP. Citroën chips in £1750 towards your deposit, and the rate of interest is 4.9% APR.
There aren't many MPVs available with four-wheel drive. However, these niche vehicles can make excellent tow cars.
The Ford Galaxy is a case in point. It's a hugely roomy and comfortable seven-seater, but choose one of the 4x4 versions and it's also a very capable four-season tow car.
We tested the Galaxy TDCi 180PS AWD Powershift at the Tow Car Awards in 2017. We found the engine punchy enough for towing duties, and the Galaxy proved a stable tow car, only moving slightly in windy conditions.
The equivalent model today is the 2.0 EcoBlue 190 Titanium X AWD Powershift. The What Car? Target Price shows it can be financed for £482 per month. That's based on a three-year deal. There's no deposit contribution, but that's offset by interest-free borrowing.
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
The Jaguar XF Sportbrake is an excellent tow car. Stability at speed is its stand-out quality – it really is very secure at 60mph when towing a caravan or trailer.
Inside, the XF may not match an Audi A6 or a Mercedes-Benz E-Class for quality of finish, but there's plenty of room for passengers and a healthy amount of luggage space.
One of the four-wheel-drive models would be our pick for towing, and right now there are some very tempting deals available. Jaguar will contribute £4300 to your deposit and the PCP is interest-free. That means you'll pay £492 per month over three years for a 2.0d 240PS R-Sport AWD Auto.
The Volvo XC60 has a classy interior, excellent safety standards and lots of kit. It may not drive with the verve of a BMW X3 but even so it's one of the best large SUVs.
It also tows very well. The XC60 is stable unless the wind really picks up, and performance is strong.
The D5 diesel was tested at the Tow Car Awards in 2018, but the less powerful D4 should be quick enough for most tastes and brings the XC60 within our £500 monthly budget.
Go for a D4 Momentum and you'll pay £450 per month over three years. Volvo sweetens the deal with a £1000 deposit contribution and the interest rate is competitive at 4.9% APR.
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