The best electric car for towing has been revealed by Britain’s leading consumer champion and new car buying platform, What Car?, with its research also showing that more than half of the EVs currently on sale can be towed with.
As part of the What Car? Tow Car Awards 2023, held in partnership with The Camping and Caravanning Club, and supported by Adria, What Car? ranked the electric cars with the highest towing capacities.
The findings follow a What Car? survey of 1052 motorists where 40.4% thought electric cars can’t be used for towing.
The same research found 75.6% of respondents would not consider an electric car if they had to use it for towing, with 28.7% of those not considering one stating that they have concerns about maximum towing capacity.
Of the 85 electric cars on the market today, 50 can be used to tow with according to the manufacturers, representing 58.8% of the market.
Nine models are rated up to 1800kg, including the Audi Q8 e-tron and Genesis GV70, while the Kia EV6 – which was named as the winner in the Electric Car category – comes with a maximum towing capacity of 1600kg.
Its category win wasn’t merely based on the official towing capacity, but also on how it performed when a range of cars across a number of weight and powertrain categories were assessed by the experts at What Car? and the Camping and Caravanning Club – both on the road and at a private test track.
|Make and Model||Maximum braked towing capacity (kg)|
|Audi Q8 e-tron||1800|
|Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron||1800|
|Kia EV6 GT||1800|
|Mercedes-Benz EQA||1800 (300 & 350 variants)|
|Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV||1800|
|Volvo C40 Recharge||1800 (Twin variant)|
|Volvo XC40 Recharge||1800 (Twin variant)|
Each car was subjected to a series of tests while towing, including an emergency lane change and a hill start on a 1-in-6 slope, plus the judges considered practicality, costs and what the cars were like when driven without a caravan.
Following this, the Volvo V60 T6 Recharge hybrid was named the Overall Tow Car of the Year for 2023, because it combines muscular performance and superb stability with practicality, luxury and a big battery that boosts the pure-electric range.
New for the 2023 awards is a Best Budget Car category, which goes to the best used model for towing in light of the rising cost of living.
The Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi 184 AWD auto (2016-2021) was named as the winner here, thanks to a strong reliability record, its fuel-efficient engine and the seven-year/100,000-mile warranty that will remain in place for many used examples.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “More and more electric cars can now be used for towing, yet our survey highlights a significant proportion of motorists remain unaware of this.
“As What Car?’s research shows, a number of electric cars currently come with maximum towing capacities equivalent to those found in petrol and diesel models, and this will only grow.
“That said, while an electric tow car will already suit some people brilliantly, petrol, hybrid and even diesel models remain better choices for others. No matter what your priorities, we’re confident you’ll find your ideal tow car among our winners.”
Rob Ganley, editor-in-chief of the Club’s monthly magazine, Camping & Caravanning, said: “This is the 17th consecutive year we’ve partnered with What Car? on the awards, and the results remain essential reading for our caravanning members especially when they’re considering their next tow car.
“It’s vital we continue to understand how EVs perform when it comes to towing, which also has to be set against a backdrop of affordability, increasing running costs and buying second-hand models.
“Our testing programme gives expert insight on a wide range of subjects so that consumers can make informed decisions when buying their next tow car.”