Best tow cars for less than £600 per month
Looking for a new tow car? These are the top five you can buy with a monthly budget of £600...
With a budget of £600 for a car to tow your caravan, trailer or horsebox, there's a broad choice of large SUVs, high-end estate cars, and more. For this kind of money you can expect strong performance, stable towing, and a practical interior.
These are What Car?'s pick of the best tow cars you can buy for £600, based on our own reviews and on testing for the annual Tow Car Awards. Since 2007, What Car? has been a partner in the tests, lending our road-testing expertise to the knowledgeable caravanners from Practical Caravan magazine and The Camping and Caravanning Club.
All the deals listed here are based on our Target Price, which reveals the most you should pay for a new car whether you are a cash buyer or shopping on finance. Each Personal Contract Purchase package is based on paying 15% of the value of the car up front, combined with the manufacturer's finance discount allowance if there is one. All are three-year agreements, with a 30,000-mileage limit.
Audi A6 Allroad
Looking for an alternative to a large SUV? You could do a lot worse than consider the Audi A6 Allroad. Think of it as a halfway house between an off-roader and an estate car, with four-wheel drive, variable ride-height air suspension, and lots of luggage space.
It makes an impressive tow car, too. The 3.0-litre diesel engine has 268bhp and 428lb ft of torque, plenty for towing any caravan up to speed. And Audi's quattro four-wheel drive system helps make the most of that muscle in all weathers.
Back in 2014, the range-topping 316bhp BiTDI version was tested at the Tow Car Awards, but we think the An A6 Allroad 3.0-litre diesel 272 quattro S tronic is better value. It's yours for £565 per month. Audi sweetens the deal with a huge £7500 deposit contribution. The APR is low at just 2.9%.
Last year we tested the BMW X3 xDrive 20d at the Tow Car Awards. It performed brilliantly, thanks to the powerful but economical engine, the able chassis, and the all-weather capability of BMW's xDrive four-wheel drive system. In fact, it narrowly missed out on winning an award.
We rate the X3 as an everyday drive as well as a tow car. It handles as sharply as you'd expect of a BMW, even if M Sport versions ride rather firmly. There's lots of space inside for passengers and their luggage, and thanks to low emissions the xDrive 20d makes a lot of sense for company car drivers.
You can put an X3 xDrive 20d M Sport on your drive for £598 per month over three years. That includes a deposit contribution of £1000, and the interest rate is 4.9% APR.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
You can buy better value seven-seat SUVs than the Land Rover Discovery Sport. In fact, the likes of the Kia Sorento and Peugeot 5008 make it look downright expensive. But your money buys off-road ability that few rivals can match, and a very practical interior.
For heavy-duty towing, the 2.0 SD4 240 is the engine to go for. With 369lb ft of mid-range pull, it easily copes with a large trailer or a big twin-axle caravan. The Discovery Sport is a very stable tow car at motorway speeds, and the electronic parking brake, automatic gearbox, and four-wheel drive make for easy hill starts.
For £561 per month you can run a 2.0 SD4 HSE Auto. There's a £2500 deposit contribution, the APR is 5.9%, and the deal runs over three years.
As a daily drive, the Mercedes-Benz GLC isn't our favourite mid-sized SUV. But it really comes into its own as a tow car.
When tested at the Tow Car Awards in 2017, it proved itself quick and able. The Mercedes was secure at speed, and handled itself well in emergency manoeuvres.
Ride comfort is a weakness on standard suspension, but the optional air suspension with adjustable damping is much better. It's an option we certainly recommend, as it improves the car in regular driving and while towing.
Choose the GLC 250 d 4Matic Sport Premium Plus, and you'll pay £505 per month. That includes a £1802 deposit from Mercedes-Benz. The APR is 5.4%. Stepping up to the more powerful GLC 350 d in the same spec would make the monthly bill £588.
It's not an easy task, but the XC60 is right up with the best SUVs at this price. The Volvo's safety standards are second to none, with a five-star rating from the experts at Euro NCAP and a host of sophisticated driver aids. The interior is superbly made and elegantly designed and the supportive seats and well sorted driving position deliver high-mileage comfort.
Although the XC60 isn't the sharpest handling car in this class, it is very composed while towing a caravan. For everyday driving, the D4 is brisk enough. But for towing a caravan or trailer the punchier D5 is worth the extra.
The sporty looking D5 R-Design Geartronic costs £535 per month. Volvo chips in £1000 towards your deposit, and the APR is 4.9%.
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