Tow Car Awards 2023: 1700-1899kg

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 1700-1899kg...

WINNER: 1700-1899kg

Nissan X-Trail E-Power e-4orce 213 Tekna Auto

Kerb weight 1880kg 85% match 1598kg Max towing weight 1800kg* Towball limit 100kg
*1650kg at gross vehicle weight

Sometimes, it pays to be different, with the Nissan X-Trail’s highly unusual hybrid set-up helping to turn it into a very capable tow car.

The X-Trail uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine, but it never powers the wheels directly. Instead, it acts as a generator, and the wheels are driven by electric motors. And in the case of e-4orce models, like the one we tested, there’s a motor for each axle so the X-Trail has four-wheel drive.

Tow Car Awards 2023 - Nissan X-Trail towing front

Hill starts proved easy, as they should be in a 4x4. The electronic parking brake released cleanly and the X-Trail pulled over the hill without fuss.

Alternatively, if you need to overtake dawdling traffic, the X-Trail is ready to exploit any safe opportunity. We timed it from 30-60mph in a punchy 8.4sec.

In the lane-change test, the caravan did begin to slide, but it never dragged the back of the X-Trail with it. With strong grip and accurate steering, it soon pulled the caravan straight again.

The X-Trail was impressively stable all the way up to motorway speeds, too; even in crosswinds, it hardly ever needed steering corrections. And when you’re driving gently without a caravan the engine stays quiet – you could almost be driving a fully electric car.

Nissan X-Trail dashboard

Inside, the X-Trail is roomy for five. The driving position is comfortable, and the air conditioning controls have been kept separate from the touchscreen infotainment system, which makes them much easier to use without distraction.

Second-row passengers have plenty of space, and air vents between the front seats keep everyone at a comfortable temperature. Meanwhile, the 575-litre boot of our five-seat car had room for all but one item from our typical load of camping kit. Just bear in mind that the third row in seven-seat versions is very cramped.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here