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Looking for a family car, that will also tow a reasonable sized trailer. Anyone got any suggestions?

(25 Posts)
Yorkieaddict Mon 09-Sep-13 14:26:22

I have finally persuaded DH that I really need some transport to make the most of my horse. We are now trying to decide what sort of vehicle to get. We can only afford to run one car, so whatever we get will predominantly be the family car, and be used for towing probably 10 ish times a year.

It needs to be reasonably economical, not massively expensive for parts, preferably 4wd, and able to tow about 2400 kg, as my horse is a big bugger, and I would like the option of taking 2 if possible. I have been looking on line, but am struggling to find anything that fits the bill. Does anyone have a vehicle that they use for similar and would recommend, or know of anything that might work? Thanks.

BikeRunSki Mon 09-Sep-13 14:28:11

Don' t know the towing capacity, but have a look at the Skoda Octavia Scout.

Butkin Mon 09-Sep-13 14:59:15

We towed behind a Freelander and then a Hyundai Sante Fe. The Hyundai was far superior with excellent pulling capacity. It was also 4 wheel drive when required but mostly 2 wheel drive so economical in normal conditions.

Lovesswimming Mon 09-Sep-13 18:25:03

I agree Hyundai Santa Fe (how new are you getting? The newer ones have a reasonable mpg) and the Kia sorento. Older ones can have tow capacity of 3t, new ones I've looked at are 2 1/2 tonnes.
I drive a pathfinder (Nissan) it's a big girl but I love it! On country lanes and going steady (70mph) on the motorway getting about 35mpg, but if I speed up to more than 80mph and have the air con on full blast it goes right down! (Though i feel like im sat on a big sofa and tend to cruise along at 70 these days smile) A lot of people like the X-Trail, though I'm not sure if the tow capacity is 2t (worth a check)
I had a Rav 4 which had a tow capacity of 2t but to be honest it struggled with 1 horse and a light weight trailer. If I'd had it longer I probably would have worn it out very quickly and I could feel it going down hill and round corners so the tow capacity is not always what it says, not for safety anyway.
Good luck!

Mirage Mon 09-Sep-13 18:42:44

KIA Sorento,we have an 07 model and it easily tows 2 x ponies,4 people,associated tack,hay water ect out of muddy fields.I can't fault it and they seem very popular,we see loads at shows and Pony Club.Make sure it is an older rather than newer model and don't bother with the Sportage,they have no pulling power at all.

Lovesswimming Mon 09-Sep-13 18:50:27

The Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia sorento ate basically the same car, both would do you well, nice cars

frostyfingers Tue 10-Sep-13 08:02:51

I can't remember the details, but make sure the car is up to the weight of the horse and trailer combined.....

We use a Landcruiser which is a massive thing, but brilliant at towing. Probably too big as a family car though. We used to have a Subaru Forester but I think they've lost some of their towing oomph and become "lifestyle" type 4WD rather than actually any good at towing!

Yorkieaddict Tue 10-Sep-13 09:40:08

Thanks for all the suggestions, really helpful. I've found a handy website that tells you what weight each vehicle can tow. It looks like the Kia Sorrento is favourite at the moment, it seems to tick all our boxes.

BlueChampagne Tue 10-Sep-13 13:18:18

Just don't forget to ask about "towing capability" rather than "pulling power" ...

elastamum Tue 10-Sep-13 13:41:51

I have a Volvo XC90 which is brilliant for towing and also a great family car - 7 seats if you need them and takes 3 big dogs in the boot grin

newfavouritething Tue 10-Sep-13 17:50:59

We've just got a SsangYong rexton - have only towed a trailer of sheep so far, so nowhere near capacity which I think is about 3.2t if I remember rightly (braked trailer, obviously). Really cheap to buy compared with other 4x4, and so far quite liking it - a lot less fuel going in than with the shogun we swopped.

Yorkieaddict Wed 11-Sep-13 09:49:53

Thanks newfavouritething, I hadn't heard of those, I'll have a look.

Gilbertus Thu 12-Sep-13 12:43:43

You can't tow with an XC90!! The towing capacity is about 2100kg iirc. If you are towing more than a very lightweight single trailer and a shetland you are towing illegally.

Gilbertus Thu 12-Sep-13 12:49:01

I have a jeep grand cherokee which tows 3.5 tonnes. Its incredibly comfortable and easy to drive and you don't notice the trailer is there (with two horses). Drinks diesel though hmm.

i have never seen anyone round here tow with an XC90. Personally I wouldn't risk a low towing capacity ever since I saw a 505 with two horses in it pulled by an XC60 jacknife down a hill sad

Yorkieaddict Fri 13-Sep-13 13:02:25

I've found a handy website called and according to that you could tow two horses in a trailer with an XC90. Unfortunately they seem to be a little pricey to buy.

Eve Fri 13-Sep-13 13:08:44

you need a tow capacity of at least 3 ton.

For example, an Ifor williams MGW is 2340kgs, thats without horses, add in at least 1/2 tonne for each hors/pony , then tack, hay , water ... and you are easily over 3 tons.

Lovesswimming Fri 13-Sep-13 13:54:15

A lot of Ifors are about 1t, my Cheval is 750kg (for up to 2 16.2hh horses) batesons are about 1t as well so it is ok. What I would say is that I have found a huge stability and safety difference towing with a pathfinder that tows up to 3t than my last car which was max 2t. I never had more than 1700kg towing (usually 12000) your tack hay and water are only counted if you have them in the trailer, if you carry them in tne car you dont count their weight - but the stopping control (did do an emergency stop once, not nice!) the control down hill etc was very different and if I hadn't changed my car I would have needed lots of repairs quite early in the car's life (I think that level of towing does the clutch in) so I would personally say you can but know the difference and preferably chose the better car. The Kia sorento and Santa Fe may have tow capacity of 2.5t (new model, older models 3t) but they come highly recommended for control when towing. Sometimes I forget I'm towing. I was after a new car and wanted 3t and 7 seats (but didn't want a discovery) so that's why I chose what I did. If I wanted a 2-3 year old car or older I would have chosen between the Kia or the Santa Fe.

PoshPenny Sat 14-Sep-13 21:08:17

@ Eve, I think MGW stands for Maximum Gross
weight, not the same thing as unladen weight.

cungryhow Tue 17-Sep-13 16:09:39

my 06 plate Kia Sorento has been brilliant, tows ifor williams 505 with my connemara and a friend, usually tb types no problem at all and we live in a hilly area. Not a great looker but very practical.

pipsy76 Thu 19-Sep-13 11:08:58

Why can't you tow with an xc90? I've just paid £340 to have a toolbar fitted specifically to tow horses confused

pipsy76 Thu 19-Sep-13 11:09:13


Lovesswimming Thu 19-Sep-13 19:01:59

Pipsy see Yorkieadicts post. You can tow with an xc90 as long as you don't go over its tow capacity of about 2250? (Check, don't take my work for it smile ) so trailer and horses must be below this. If you tie right to the limit often you will wear the car out faster than normal driving (parts-clutch etc) do a few google searches and you'll get reviews etc
£340 though, ouchie!! I went to northwest tow bars rather than the dealer, I think it was nearer to £200 (next time, unless you did something like that and it was that price!)
Enjoy your trips out grin

GobbySadcase Thu 19-Sep-13 19:02:58

VW Sharan will do all of that.

pipsy76 Sat 21-Sep-13 16:55:15

Thanks loveswimming. I don't actually have a horse anymore as Troy went to loan home todayconfused

But lovely home for him and going to look at another potential horse tomorrow, not with dealer thoughwink

Lovesswimming Sat 21-Sep-13 18:49:14

Oh dear, sorry to hear that Pipsy I'm having a winter with just 2 (instead of 4) and then will start looking for my friend in the spring.

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