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.

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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