Best cars Best medium 4x4 and estate tow cars

If you need a practical everyday car that can also be pressed into service towing a caravan or boat, a medium-sized 4x4 or estate car is ideal. Here are our top choices.

Note: published towing capacities refer to what the car is physically capable of pulling, not necessarily what is safe. Many towing specialists recommend that what you tow does not exceed 85% of your car’s weight. Also note that depending on when you passed your driving test, there may be weight limits on what you can tow.

Ford Mondeo estate star

Ford Mondeo Estate is a worthy Best Buy

Ford Mondeo Estate

Overall test score: 84%

Max unbraked/braked towing weight: 750kg / 2,200kg

With the biggest boot we've ever tested (950 litres with the seats folded down, measured up to the window line), the Ford Mondeo Estate is a practicality hero.

As well as being hugely spacious and good to drive, it’s also a great tow car. The maximum towing weights refer to the 2.2 TDCi version with Durashift automatic transmission – other engines have slightly lower capacities, but even petrol versions are impressive as tow cars.

The Mondeo is comfortable, easily soaking up bumps, containing bodyroll and holding the road well, even when fully loaded.

tow car specialist

Best Buy A4 Allroad makes a superb tow car

Audi A4 Allroad

Overall test score: 83%

Max unbraked/braked towing weight: 750kg / 2,100kg

Most people think of the Audi A4 Avant as a well-finished, fine-handling car with a quality feel – but it also makes an ideal tow car, especially in Allroad 4x4 form.

Its diesel engines are superb: efficient yet very powerful. The 2.0 TDI has a maximum tow capacity of 1,900kg, whereas the mighty 3.0 TDI raises that to 2,100kg.

The A4 Allroad also offers mild off-road ability, but if you need more, Audi’s Q3 and Q5 SUVs are also worth considering as tow cars.

Best Buy Skoda Superb Estate is virtually faultless

Skoda Superb Estate

Overall test score: 80%

Max unbraked/braked towing weight: 750kg / 2,000kg

The Superb Estate is Skoda's priciest model, but it's also one of the best estates around, offering class-leading space, quality and value.

This is a huge car with a whopping 475-litre boot that can be extended to 810 litres if you fold the rear seats flat. There's also loads of passenger space, with plenty of leg and headroom, and comfortable seats.

It’s great to drive, and owners love it, too. And it’s available with 4x4, which boosts traction when you’re towing.

Honda CR-V

Best Buy Honda CR-V has plenty of pulling power 

Honda CR-V

Overall test score: 76%

Max unbraked/braked towing weight: 600kg / 1,500kg

The fourth-generation CR-V feels more car-like than ever and is lower and longer than before – but it’s still a solid tow car – as long as you’re not pulling anything too massive (it has a 1,500kg braked weight limit).

This is the first CR-V to be offered as a two-wheel drive, but not with diesel power. And if you’re towing, diesel and 4x4 are definitely the way to go. Honda’s Trailer Stability Assist system is a great boon, too.

If you're after a roomy family motor, there's plenty of room for four - and the boot is huge. This is also a rare chance to buy British - the CR-V is built in Swindon.

Ultra-functional Skoda Yeti is Worth a Look

Skoda Yeti

Overall test score: 69%

Max unbraked/braked towing weight: 750kg / 2,000kg

Skoda’s Yeti 'crossover' offers low costs and versatile appeal. It benefits from Volkswagen's excellent range of engines and gearboxes, and the interior finish approaches that of far more expensive cars.

It’s also great to drive, with particularly good ride comfort and brakes. Make sure you get stability control fitted, though – it’s not standard on all versions.

According to Skoda’s official figures, the 2.0 TDI 140PS 4x4 and 2.0 TDI 170PS 4x4 can tow up to 2,000kg, while even the two-wheel drive Yeti 2.0 TDI 110PS can tow 1,500kg.

Few cars are as reliable or as satisfying to own as a Yeti, according to the latest Which? Car Survey.

More on this...

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Find out which are the best estate cars

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Other sections in this guide

  1. Overview
  2. Best full-size 4x4 tow cars
  3. Best medium 4x4 and estate tow cars
  4. Best smaller tow cars