What Car? Personal Shopper: best car for towing

Want a new car but don't know where to start? Just send us your criteria and we'll give our new and used car choices, and tell you how much we can save you.....

Volvo XC90 front

Buying new

  • Our recommended choice: Volvo XC90 2.0 T8 Inscription Geartronic
  • List price: £67,905
  • Target Price: £62,863

If you're looking for a hybrid car which can also tow, then the Volvo XC90, in plug-in hybrid T8 form, is a perfect choice. It's our reigning Hybrid Car of the Year, and won the 'best hybrid' category in 2017's Tow Car Awards. It can tow up to 2400kg, so your average caravan or trailer should be no problem, and has plenty of storage space inside for bikes or gear.

Powering the T8 is a 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor, whose combined power output makes this the fastest XC90 to 60mph, as well as the most frugal. In fact, you can travel for around 18 miles on electric power alone.

The whole family can come along for the ride, too, because this XC90 is also the only plug-in hybrid SUV to retain seven seats. In short, it's impressive in every area Jim's looking for.

What about equipment, though? Well, Inscription trim is loaded down with goodies including Nappa leather trim and electrically adjustable seats on top of the already impressive kit list you get with Momentum models, including sat-nav, automatic emergency braking and a powered tailgate.

Find a great Volvo XC90 deal, or read our full review

  • Also consider: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI CR SE L DSG
  • List price: £25,725
  • Target Price: £23,609
Skoda Octavia towing

If you'd rather stick with diesel for its low-end grunt, then how about a comfortable and spacious Skoda Octavia? We already think it's a great tow car – it won our sub-1400kg category at last year's Tow Car Awards – and SE L trim gets you Alcantara suede and leather seats, LED headlights, privacy glass and automatic emergency braking. The 2.0-litre diesel motor powering this Octavia is a strong performer, mixing power and fuel economy to make a truly competent cruiser.

Find a great Skoda Octavia deal, or read our full review

  • Also consider: Mazda 6 2.0 SE-L Nav+
  • List price: £23,595
  • Target Price: £23,187
Mazda 6 front corner

The gutsy 2.0-litre petrol engine in Mazda's executive saloon has enough power to tow up to 1500kg, so, if you don't cover enough miles annually to justify a diesel car, it's a top choice. Even entry-level SE-L Nav+ models come with front and rear parking sensors, an 8.0in infotainment screen and climate and cruise controls, so there's little need to move further up the price list.