Tow Car Awards 2023: 1400-1549kg

If you’re looking for a great tow car that will also be enjoyable to drive solo, you need one of our 2023 Tow Car Awards winners. Here we look at the best buy from 1400-1549kg...

WINNER: 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca 2.0 TDI 150PS Xperience Lux DSG

Kerb weight 1514kg 85% match 1287kg Max towing weight 1900kg Towball limit 88kg

It’s been around for a good few years now, but the Seat Ateca continues to be one of the best family SUVs on sale, whether you need to tow or not.

When pulling a caravan or trailer, the Ateca’s chief strength is stability. At motorway speeds or in emergency manoeuvres, it takes firm charge of the caravan and doesn’t let go. Even if caught by a gust of wind there are only slight movements that rarely require any steering corrections.

Tow Car Awards 2023 - Seat Ateca towing rear

Meanwhile, leave the caravan behind and the Ateca is more fun than a tall vehicle like this has any right to be. It corners with balance and poise, although the ride is quite firm.

Diesel power may be increasingly out of favour, but it still has its place for regular towing. With plenty of mid-range muscle, the Ateca’s 2.0-litre diesel engine easily handles a caravan weighing almost 1300kg. If anything, the 30-60mph time of 12.3sec underplays the strength of the engine; you shouldn’t be stuck behind dawdling traffic for long.

The Ateca stops as well as it goes, too, with its 30-0mph braking distance of 10.3 metres equal to the best in this weight class. And the DSG automatic gearbox makes for easy hill starts, so long as the driver is careful to feed in the power gently.

Seat Ateca dashboard

Put your foot down too hard and the front wheels will spin briefly. Four-wheel drive Atecas are available to help tame this, although they are pricier to buy and run than the front-wheel-drive models.

This is a practical car, with adults having enough space in the back to travel in comfort. The boot is big enough for family holidays, while the installation of the towbar and electrics is among the neatest around.

Finally, solo fuel economy of 51.4-53.3mpg is very good for a car of this size.

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