You don’t have to spend what the premium brands charge to buy a capable heavyweight tow car. The Hyundai Santa Fe shows that there are impressive big 4x4s out there with more modest price tags.

Yes, £39,000 is hardly cheap, but the SE Premium model is crammed with standard kit, and you can buy entry-level versions of the Santa Fe from £34,150, even with the automatic gearbox fitted to our test car.

At 60mph the Santa Fe is reassuringly stable. At 70mph we could feel the car and caravan moving around a little, especially when the wind picked up. The Al-Ko ATC system detected a slight wobble from the caravan when slowing from high speed, but nothing worrying.

In the lane-change test the Hyundai also performed well, coping as speeds increased and only becoming a little wayward on the fastest run.

With 325lb ft of torque and four-wheel drive, the Santa Fe had no trouble towing up a 1-in-6 slope. It accelerated doggedly, too, taking a respectable 12.5 seconds to go from 30-60mph.

Inside, the Santa Fe has space for seven (five-seat versions are also available). There’s decent space for those in the front and the middle, although headroom is rather tight in the third row.

With the rearmost seats stashed away, we found room for a full load of holiday luggage. Our practicality testers were very impressed with caravan-friendly features such as trailer stability control, self-levelling suspension and towing electrics which power the fridge and battery as well as the road lights.

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

ContinueWe use cookies to give you the best browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising.
By continuing to use our website you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.