How to choose a suitable towcar

Choosing the right car to go with your caravan is a crucial part of setting up for your first holiday away in your new tourer. There are many things to consider, from width to fuel and even drivetrain, but perhaps the most important aspect is the weight.

What to look for in a car that will tow a caravan?

Each towcar will have positives and drawbacks, which will vary depending on your requirements.

But, the first thing to check is the towing capacity of the car, as the weight of your caravan cannot legally exceed this.

Other key things to look at closely before buying are the amount of storage space, the fuel efficiency (as a higher mpg figure will make towing more affordable) and the drivetrain (4WD vehicles are generally better for towing as they offer more grip and stability).

Volkswagen Jetta (TDI 1.6 105PS)

Jetta With Caravan

Key facts:

Price: £19,075
Tow limit: 1,400kg
Fuel efficiency: 67.3mpg (combined)
Luggage capacity: 510 litres

When it comes to picking a make and model of towcar, there are many popular options out there, but few have won as many awards as the Volkswagen Jetta.

This German-built saloon car has won the Caravan Club's prestigious Towcar of the Year accolade in 2011 and 2012.

Costing just a shade over £19,000 on-the-road, it's reasonably affordable, and VW claims that it can deliver stunning fuel efficiency of 67.3 mpg (combined).

However, with a maximum towing limit of 1,400kg, this is not a suitable choice for towing large twin-axle caravans.

Pros: Affordable starting price and high mpg

Cons: Limited storage space and low towing limit

Nissan Qashqai (4WD 2.0 dCi 150ps)

Nissan Qashqai

Key facts:

Price: £25,895
Tow limit: 1,350kg
Fuel efficiency: 62.8mpg (combined)
Luggage capacity: 860 litres (with one row of seats folded down)

If you're looking for a larger option, then the Nissan Qashqai could be a fine choice - after all, it is the winner of the 2015 What Car? car of the year in the small SUV category and was awarded a 5* Euro NCAP rating in 2014.

A much larger towcar, the Qashqai is marketed as a sports utility vehicle, meaning that it offers a higher ride position and much more storage space than the Jetta.

The £25,895 on-the-road price puts it into a higher cost bracket, but for your money four-wheel drive is included to help you escape muddy fields with ease.

Despite its size and stature, the Qashqai only has a maximum towing limit of 1,350kg, although the combined fuel efficiency of up to 41.5mpg is better than you might expect for a car of this size.

Pros: 4x4 drivetrain offers excellent grip

Cons: Limited towing capacity

Land Rover Discovery 4 (TDV6 3.0 Auto)

Land Rover Discovery With Caravan

Key facts:

Price: £38,825 and upwards
Tow limit: 3,500kg
Fuel efficiency: 33.2mpg (combined)
Luggage capacity: 2,558 litres (with two rows of seats folded down)

However, when it comes to pure towing prestige, there's no beating the Land Rover Discovery 4, a refined choice that regularly tops surveys of the most desirable towcar in the UK.

Key benefits include the plentiful storage space, a huge 3,500kg towing limit and the Land Rover 4x4 system has an impeccable reputation for stability and off-road performance.

Prices start at more than £38,000, and the 33.2mpg fuel efficiency makes this a more costly car to run, so this isn't within the budget of every caravanner.

But for those who can afford it, the Land Rover Discovery is more than capable of towing almost any caravan on the market.

Pros: High tow limit and plentiful storage

Cons: Costs more to buy and run

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