Best cars to tow a horse trailer

Get saddled up with one of these SUVs or estate cars and towing a horse trailer needn't be a chore anymore thanks to good grip and power

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Mar 18, 2020

If you’re looking for a car to tow a horse trailer, you’re going to require something with serious pulling power. In other words, the vehicle must have the muscle to safely tow the trailer and your horse. Otherwise you're going to have to work the car very hard to cope with the additional weight, putting more strain on the engine and transmission. Choose wisely, though, and that needn't be a problem.

We’ve rounded up eight cars that will happily transport you and your horse wherever you need to go, be it a cross-country event, gymkhana or just a light hack, with prices to suit all pockets. Remember, when you’re searching for a vehicle to tow a horse box, the towing capacity is your primary consideration, so make sure you've confirmed this before driving off, to be sure the car is suitable.

Four-wheel drive is almost essential for a car that you plan to tow a horse box with, as you're likely to encounter slippery, muddy roads and the added traction could help keep you moving where a two-wheel drive car wouldn't. Meanwhile, high ground clearance could be useful for accessing those hard to reach riding locations - whether that's down a neglected farm track or in the wilderness.

So, whether you’re after an SUV or a high-riding estate car, BuyaCar can get you saddled up with the right car for less cash - especially if you opt for PCP finance, with these models starting from well under £300 per month. So keep reading and take your pick.

Best cars to tow a horse trailer

1. Toyota Land Cruiser

Our pick Toyota Land Cruiser 2.8-litre diesel Icon
Used deals Limited stock
Kerbweight 2,125kg to 2,400kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,000kg

The Toyota Land Cruiser was built to tackle jungles, mountains and the least hospitable corners of the world, so it should be capable of making it through the most slippery lanes without incident and home via Costa.

It’s not the most comfortable, quiet or luxurious of SUVs, but the Land Cruiser is a formidable off-road weapon that is more than up to the task of pulling a horse trailer - on or off tarmac. Pre-2018 cars feel the most agricultural, but it can pull a maximum of 3,000kg, which is more than adequate for most equine enthusiasts.

The Land Criuser is not a cheap car, BuyaCar have got deals for four-year old models from around £500 per month, but a car of this age will get you the remainder of Toyota’s excellent five-year/100,000-mile warranty.

TOYOTA LAND CRUISER BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Land Rover Discovery

Our pick Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 HSE
Used deals from £20,120
Monthly finance from £298
Kerbweight 2,311kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,500kg

A Land Rover Discovery and a horse trailer go together like a Barbour jacket and green wellies. If you had a rosette for every Discovery parked in the eventing car park, you’d need a bigger trophy room.

These things have it all. A posh badge, sharp styling, a luxurious interior and enough space for up to seven horse fans. There’s also a huge boot, so you’ll have sufficient room for your saddles, riding boots and hay bales.

The Discovery is in high demand, so these things hold their value on the used car market. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bag a great deal on the BuyaCar website. Plus, strong resale values mean the Discovery costs less per month on PCP finance than you might think.

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Audi Q7

Our pick Audi Q7 3.0 TDI SE
Used 2016-present deals from £26,500
Monthly finance from £356
Kerbweight 2,135kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,500kg

If there’s one car to rival the Land Rover Discovery, it’s the Audi Q7. This seven-seat SUV is the perfect oversized 4x4 for towing a horse trailer, with a huge towing capacity and an equally large interior.

Even with all seven seats in use, there’s a sizeable 295 litres of boot space in the back, while the interior is finished to the level of quality you’d expect from an Audi. Throw into the mix a range of efficient yet punchy engines and you can see why the Q7 is so popular in equestrian circles.

You'll be getting hold of one of the more upmarket models on this list - it will certainly look the part in the dressage car park - from around £400 per month. And that's in high-end S line trim, so you'll be smothered in tech as well.

AUDI Q7 BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Mitsubishi Shogun

Our pick Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 SG3 LWB
Used deals Limited stock
Kerbweight 2,300kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,500kg

Mitsubishi is a name familiar in the equestrian world, as the company sponsored the famous Badminton Horse Trials since 1992. You don’t sponsor such a prestigious event without good reason. Which is where the Mitsubishi Shogun comes in.

The Shogun has a legion of loyal fans in the UK, with buyers attracted by its no-nonsense approach, old-school 4x4 dependability, spacious interior and good value for money. The mighty 3.2-litre diesel engine can tow just about anything you chuck at it, which is why the Shogun is often found at the front of a caravan or horse trailer.

Opt for the SG3 trim level for an equipment list that will make driving to and from the cross-country course a pleasurable experience.

5. Skoda Kodiaq

Our pick Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 190 SE L 4x4
Used deals from £16,995
Monthly finance from £257
Kerbweight 1,815kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 2,000kg

When you’re buying a vehicle for towing purposes, it’s important to consider what the car will be doing when it’s not lugging a horse to an event. If it will spend the working week tackling the school run, commuting to work or taking the children to their various activities, you’ll want something as practical but sophisticated as the Kodiaq - it's a fantastic family car.

The Skoda Kodiaq is a clear winner when it comes to outright usability across the board. Although the maximum towing weight is down on some of the full-fat SUVs listed here, the Kodiaq is more than capable of towing a 1,500kg horse trailer. Opt for a model with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel drive for the authentic equestrian experience.

Be warned: towing capacities vary and some models aren’t designed to tow, so double check before picking a specific car. On the plus side, £300 per month is enough to secure a nearly-new Kodiaq with barely any miles on the clock. This gives you plenty of choice, and the perfect model for you should be readily attainable.

SKODA KODIAQ BUYERS' GUIDE

6. SsangYong Rexton

Our pick SsangYong Rexton 2.2 diesel automatic ELX
Used deals Limited stock
Kerbweight 2,105kg to 2,233kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 3,500kg

There’s a good reason why we’ve hunted down the less obvious SsangYong Rexton. Although the badge might not cut it in the gymkhana car park, the Rexton is more than capable of a clear round.

For a start, it comes with a seven-year/150,000-mile warranty, which will provide peace of mind well into the middle of the decade if you buy a reasonably recent moel. These cars are also seriously well-equipped, with even the basic versions packing the kind of kit that would cost extra on more upmarket SUVs.

Crucially, the Rexton 2.2-litre diesel has a hefty kerbweight and can tow a trailer and horse up to 3,500kg. Opt for the Mercedes-sourced seven-speed automatic transmission for the best mix of pulling power and smoothness.

7. Volvo XC60

Our pick Volvo XC60 B4 AWD Momentum
Used 2018-present deals from £20,790
Monthly finance from £376
Kerbweight 1,881kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 2,400kg

The Volvo XC60 has picked up more towing awards than Tabitha has had clear rounds at the gymkhana, so it’s worth adding the stylish Swede to your shortlist. It’s also one of the safest cars on the planet, helping to keep you out of trouble in the first place, and then protecting the car’s occupants should the worst happen.

Highlights include a luxurious interior and a large tablet-style display for the control of the car’s primary functions through the touchscreen media system. The all-wheel drive system gives the XC60 a surefooted feeling, while the diesel engines have enough punch to pull a horse trailer.

The Momentum trim packs enough toys to suit most families, but if you fancy a different flavour, the R-Design models offer a sportier experience, while Inscription takes the level of luxury up a notch or two. Whatever you pick, the XC60 will deliver what you're after.

VOLVO XC60 BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Our pick Volkswagen Golf Alltrack 2.0 TDI
Used deals Limited stock
Kerbweight 1,576kg
Unbraked towing weight 750kg
Braked towing weight 2,000kg

Question: what’s punchy enough to pull a horse trailer but small enough to fit in your garage? The answer is the surprisingly practical and wonderfully rugged Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.

As the styling suggests, this is a high-riding Volkswagen Golf Estate with an emphasis on light off-roading. The suspension is raised by 20mm - meaning less chance of grounding out on rough tracks, while the standard-fit all-wheel drive system ensures that the Alltrack can reach the parts other Golfs cannot reach.

With a large boot, an efficient diesel engine and a braked towing capacity of 2,000kg, the Golf Alltrack is our wildcard for those who don’t want an SUV and would appreciate lower running costs. It's cheap too, and might well be enough for many drivers who need a car for a variety of uses - including towing a horse trailer.

 

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