Over the years we’ve towed with quite a few hybrids, but not all have proven able tow cars. However, the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine is right up with the best hybrids we’ve tested. It’s a deserving winner of our first ever ‘Best Hybrid’ award.

The petrol engine musters some 316bhp. The electric motor adds another 86bhp. When the two are working together the T8 really flies, towing from 30-60mph in 7.0 seconds. That’s the second quickest time this year, despite the XC90 being the heaviest car.

A high kerbweight is usually a benefit when it comes to stability, and the Volvo felt very secure in still air. Looking in the mirrors we could see some slight movement when the wind picked up, but nothing requiring any correction from the driver.

The hill-start test wasn’t really much of a test at all for the Volvo, which easily coped with the 1-in-6 gradient.

Our practicality test team was as impressed as the drivers. So many hybrids have poor boot space but the XC90 has lots of room for holiday luggage and towing-friendly features like trailer stability control.

In everyday driving, the XC90 is often happy to glide along on electric power alone – Volvo claims an all-electric range of up to 27 miles. That contributes to the Volvo’s eyebrow-raising 134.5mpg official economy figure. However, the battery soon runs low when towing, and we achieved no better than 16.1mpg while pulling a caravan.

The Volvo XC90 T8 makes most sense for a company car driver looking for a tax-efficient tow car, thanks to the lowly carbon dioxide emissions of just 49g/km.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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