2020’s Best SUVs for Towing a Caravan

Date Posted: June 2, 2020

family with suv on the beach

To be among the best SUVs for towing a caravan safely and comfortably is a tall order. The ‘order’ gets even taller when you throw in drivability, fuel economy and price.

This list brings you some of the best SUVs for towing a caravan and ticking those other boxes that all owners look for.

Toyota Prado

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 8.0L / 100km
Prices From: $54,090
Review: Hugely popular and with years, even generations of refinement, the Landcruiser Prado is a crowd favourite. Active cruise control and three-zone climate control add to passenger comfort. Even with the third row seats in use, there’s a roomy 104 litres of boot space, pop the third row down (a simple process) and 104L turns into 553 litres of space. Interior controls are large and where you’d expect them. Engine-wise, the 2.8 litre turbo-diesel pumps out 130kw, keeping fuel economy and towing capacity up. The Prado has long been one of the best SUVs for towing caravans.

Jeep Cherokee

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 10.0L / 100km
Prices From: $47,500
Review: With improved off-road capability, the 2020 Cherokee is a serious contender for caravan holidays. The petrol V6 comes with bags of power, although a little thirsty. It delivers an impressive 200kw. Combine the towing capacity and off-road features and you’ve got a pretty serious caravan towing vehicle. If you prefer towing one day, unhitching the van and exploring unsealed roads and (moderate) creek beds the next day, the Cherokee won’t disappoint – especially if you’re got the boss’s fuel card.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Towing Capacity: 2000kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 7.4L / 100km
Prices From: $29,490
Review: Infotainment and the new all-wheel-drive system are the 2020’s upgrades – at least the main ones to focus on. The Outlander has a 360-degree overhead camera, updatable TomTom Sat Nav and (pretty) premium eight-speaker sound system The safety features include auto emergency braking and pedestrian detection. With the second and third row seats folded down flat, you get a whopping 1608 litres of storage. Add the ‘good, not great’ towing capability and you’ve got a solid towing SUV for a caravanning couple. Note that the 2000kg towing capacity is based on the premium model.

Kia Sorento

Towing Capacity: 2000kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 7.2L / 100km
Prices From: $43,490
Review: Kia has really been punching sales figures over the past few years. It’s easy to see why. Kia was one of the first auto makers in Australia to back their products for a 7-year warranty which you’ll of course get on the Sorento. The kid-friendly third row seats have large cup holders and easy-to-clean materials. The drivetrain could be better: AWD is only available with the diesel option but the interior comfort like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated second row seats and panoramic sunroof make the Sorento one of the best SUVs for towing caravans with kids on sealed roads.

Hyundai Tucson

Towing Capacity: 1600kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 7.9L / 100km
Prices From: $29,640
Review: The 2020 model year has seen some improvements in safety, possibly as Hyundai’s answer to previous years’ criticisms. The Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Technology was once a $2200 option but now comes standard. The looks from the outside still aren’t as ‘tough’ as SUVs from other manufacturers, Toyota and Jeep for example. To keep costs down, Hyundai has stuck with a conventional handbrake and not gone the push-button start. Mechanical seats and traditional A/C, rather than climate control add to the cost-cutting evidence. All in all, the Tucson is a good benchmark for anyone looking for a budget SUV for towing a caravan.

Subaru Forester

Towing Capacity: 1500kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 7.4L / 100km
Prices From: $34,690
Review: Kind of a wagon-looking SUV, aka: a ‘crossover’, the high-riding Forester has always been a long-established practical SUV. Safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, lane sway warning and even brake light recognition that gives extra warning if the car in front of you is stopping quickly. The engine is an ‘e-Boxer’ which Subaru calls a ‘mild hybrid’. An electric motor provides a slight boost on take-off, only 12.3kw though. There’s no diesel or turbo option for those wondering either, however, due to the Forester’s drivability and versatility, it’s still one of the best SUVs for towing, especially on holidays.

Mercedes GLE

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 7.0L / 100km
Prices From: $105,700
Review: The 2020 GLE has clearly had an overhaul. The 2-litre turbo-diesel pumps out 180kw which explains its solid towing capacity. The GLE’s rival, the BMW X5 has long had strong sales numbers (up to 40% in some years) but the gap may be closing. The 2020 model also chizzels the 0-100kph time down to an impressive 7.2 seconds – pretty good for a 2.0-litre engine hauling a 2.2 ton SUV. Note for caravan towers, Mercedes is offering a $1900 towbar package that ticks all compliance boxes.

BMW X7

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 7.3L / 100km
Prices From: $128,900
Review: The massive X7 has always been a favourite with the luxury SUV crowd. Five-zone climate control across three roomy rows of seats upholstered in high quality materials with power… everything, the X7 is a place you want to be in. Note that the M50i model is powered by a beastly twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 which drinks 11.7L per 100km in petrol. Perhaps one of the best SUVs for towing anything! Some may find the infotainment system a little ‘gimmicky’ but in general, a hit with the kids.

Audi Q5

Towing Capacity: 2000kg (Braked)
Fuel Economy: 6.1L / 100km
Prices From: $65,900
Review: Audi’s five-seat crossover SUV delivers in comfort and build quality. Think family trips on sealed roads through mountain passes with a mid-size caravan. Note that the average caravan weighs around 1300kg without personal gear. The Q5 comes with 18-inch wheels so going ‘hardcore’ off road won’t be totally doable. Power comes from a 4-cylinder turbo-petrol with some Q5 variants offering a hybrid-electric option adding most ‘boost’. Other luxury SUVs from competitors may be a little more exciting to drive (ie: the Porsche Macan), but the Q5 delivers on everything it has set out to promise.

Which of the best SUVs for towing would suit your caravan? Keen to get some keys in your pocket? Try our online car loan calculator to get started.

*note that ‘braked’ means the caravan has its own brakes which increases stopping power and towing capacity.

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