You really can’t go wrong with the top three cars in this year’s 1900kg class. They all make superb tow cars.
The BMW X5 takes second spot, but comes perilously close to unseating the Land Rover Discovery as our preferred big 4×4. It’s even better than the Land Rover in the lane-change test, changing direction with no drama, little lean and complete control over the caravan.
At high speeds, there are some slight movements when the wind picks up, but you hardly notice them. If the breeze drops, the X5 can tow straight and true at well over the UK motorway speed limit.
It’s quick as well as stable. Towing from 30-60mph, as you might when joining a motorway, takes just 9.2 seconds, exactly matching the performance of the Discovery.
However, the BMW’s engine is a little more vocal than the Land Rover’s.
As you’d expect, hill starts hold no fear for the X5. It easily coped starting on a steep slope in either direction.
Inside, the X5 is superbly made. Metal adorns many of the surfaces, and the standard of finish is beyond reproach.
Our X5 has space for five, although seven seats are an option. There isn’t as much space in the third row as you would find in a Land Rover Discovery, however.
Instead of a spare wheel, the X5 comes with run-flat tyres. It’s permissible to tow if the run-flats have a puncture, albeit at a much reduced speed.