Best tow cars for less than £700 per month
Looking for a new tow car? These are the top five you can buy with a monthly budget of £700...
If you want a new car to tow your caravan, horsebox or trailer and you have deep enough pockets to afford a prestige estate or a big SUV, you've come to the right place. These are What Car?'s pick of the best tow cars you can buy for less than £700 per month.
As well as our own in-depth testing, we've also taken account of how each car has performed at the Tow Car Awards. Every year since 2007, What Car? has teamed up with Practical Caravan and experts from The Camping and Caravanning Club to test the towing ability of dozens of new models.
The deals listed here are all based on our Target Price research, which reveals the most you should pay for a new car. Each finance 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 Personal Contract Purchases over three years, with a 30,000-mileage limit.
The 3.0-litre diesel engine is easily punchy enough to handle a heavy caravan or large horsebox, and the Q7 is stable at speed.
Quality is excellent, and the interior is roomy. What's more, so long as you specifiy your Q7 with the optional air suspension, ride comfort is superb.
A 3.0-litre diesel quattro S line can be on your drive for £609. That's based on a three-year PCP with an APR of 4.9%. And Audi sweetens the deal with a £3000 deposit contribution.
Jaguar's first ever SUV has been around for a few years now, and continues to impress with its mix of great handling, a roomy interior, and comprehensive standard equipment.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a better tow car than the F-Pace, particularly if you choose the 3.0-litre diesel. Overtaking is straightforward, even when towing a heavy caravan or trailer, and the F-Pace handles emergency manoeuvres and panic stops with ease.
As a tow car, it's worthy of five stars, although rivals like the BMW X3 are better finished inside and ride more smoothly over poorly surfaced roads.
Go for the 3.0d V6 S, and you'll pay £654 per month over three years. That's based on a 5.9% APR and a generous £4000 deposit contribution.
Land Rover Discovery
The styling may be controversial (we're still not used to the odd offset number plate on the tailgate) but the Land Rover Discovery is a superb car.
It's hugely spacious inside, especially in the third row where there's noticeably more head and leg room than in most rivals. However, the standard of finish doesn't match that of the Audi Q7.
In everyday driving, the Discovery is extremely quiet, with a cossetting ride quality which makes long journeys a pleasure. Just bear in mind that it's not as sharp to drive as a Volvo XC90, and running costs are high.
That said, it's a truly exceptional tow car, earning five-star rating and a class win at the most recent Tow Car Awards.
If you want a Discovery for less than £700 per month, you'll need to look at the 2.0 SD4 rather than the more powerful 3.0 SDV6, although the 2.0-litre builds speed easily enough and matches the more powerful diesel's 3.5-tonne towing limit. A 2.0 SD4 S is yours for £670 per month over three years, with an APR of 5.9%.
Mercedes E-Class Estate
With a budget of £700 per month, luxury SUVs aren't the only type of car you should be considering; large, upmarket estate cars can make very accomplished tow cars, too.
Judged on load-carrying ability, there's little to touch the E-Class Estate. The 640-litre boot with the seats in place is comfortably more than an Audi A6 Avant or BMW 5 Series Touring offer.
Plus, the E-Class offers more than a big boot and an upmarket badge. It rides well at speed, and it's refined and well equipped. The big Merc makes a very stable and practical tow car.
For £636 per month over three years, you can run an E350d AMG Line Premium. That's based on a 5.4% APR and a manufacturer deposit contribution of £2052.
There are so many capable large SUVs that it can be hard to know which to choose. If you value safety above all else, the XC90 has performed exceptionally well in Euro NCAP testing.
Strength in crash tests and a comprehensive suite of safety features aren't the only reasons to choose the XC90. It's a pleasure to drive and travel in every day, as well as making a swift and stable tow car.
The seven-seat interior is superbly made and elegantly designed, with a clean and uncluttered look that sets it apart from most rivals. Efficient engines help keep running costs sensible for a car of this size and performance.
The XC90 D5 R Design looks good value for £606 per month. That's over three years with a 4.9% APR. Volvo doesn't make a deposit contribution, but a healthy discount helps bring the monthly cost down.
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