The Best Guide To Towing With A PHEV Tow Car 2024




Towing With a PHEV tow Car

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Towing with a PHEV Tow Car


I’ve been doing some research into towing with a PHEV tow car. One of the reasons is the amount that this type of car has dropped in value over the past few months. That being said, there are still a lot of questions before deciding if a PHEV makes a good tow car. One of the biggest one’s is the fuel economy from the engine once the battery is exhausted. Around town, you might be able to get close to 50 miles out of a single charge with a PHEV, especially the BMW X5 45e.

The unbelievable MPG figures given are achievable because the engine works in harmony with the battery, of course, in the real world you don’t get anywhere near the quoted MPG.


It seems to me that most PHEV sales are business users, as there are good tax breaks from BIK (benefit in kind) At about 3 years old, these come to market as second-hand vehicles. It’s not easy finding information about towing with a PHEV tow car.

One thing that constantly springs to mind is battery degradation. We’re all used to this with our phones. I recently sold an iPhone and the 1st question most people ask is, “What is the battery condition?” On an iPhone, this is displayed clearer under settings. The thing people are interested in is the “maximum capacity”, all is good if it’s 100%, but this figure ultimately determines the value. This doesn’t seem to be available on cars, but really, it would determine the value, as much as the amount of miles the car has done. The fewer miles the greater the value, the same is true of battery health.

I’ve spent a long time trying to get anywhere near an accurate figure for MPG when towing, once the battery is at 0% (or thereabouts) Maybe this is telling, maybe it isn’t, but before taking the plunge, you’d need to know this figure.

If I wasn’t using the car as a tow car, the argument is more compelling. Most of my journeys when not towing are less than 50 miles, so with, for instance, the BMW X5 45e, it could just drive around as an all-electric. OK, it would need to be charged up overnight at home and this has a cost. Bare in mind that at the moment PHEV’s generally charge very slowly at home, around 8-12 hours.

What follows is some information on towing with a PHEV tow car and some of the available options. These aren’t based on my experience.

Are you considering a more eco-friendly approach to towing in the UK but worried about performance? You’re not alone. Many drivers are now looking for cleaner, greener options without sacrificing the power they need for effective towing.

Whether it’s caravans or trailers, having a vehicle that can handle the load is crucial.

Surprisingly, PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) tow cars might just be the solution you’re seeking. Did you know that some of these hybrids offer comparable towing capacities to traditional petrol or diesel vehicles? This blog will guide you through choosing a PHEV tow car, share real-life experiences and provide essential tips to make your towing journey smooth and sustainable.

Ready to electrify your towing adventures and start towing with a PHEV tow car? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • PHEV tow cars combine electric motors with traditional engines to offer powerful towing capabilities while reducing emissions.
  • Top UK models like the BMW X5 45e and Audi Q7 55 TFSIe provide luxury, high performance, and adherence to environmental standards.
  • Owners should ensure their vehicle’s towing capacity matches their needs and plan routes with charging points in mind to maximise efficiency.
  • Technological advancements are improving PHEV battery life and towing power, indicating a rise in eco-friendly towing options on the market.
  • Driving techniques such as gentle acceleration and using advanced driver aids contribute to safer and more efficient towing experiences with PHEVs.
  • There seems a lack of data about towing with a PHEV tow car. especially when it comes to real-world fuel consumption figures once the battery is depleted and let’s be honest, with a range of, say 50 miles, when towing that would be probably 25? How often do you take the caravan less than 25 miles, I’d suggest never.

Towing With A PHEV Tow Car, What Is It and Who Should Buy One?

A PHEV tow car, also known as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, combines the benefits of an internal combustion engine with an electric motor. These cars are ideal for those who frequently tow trailers or caravans and want the added benefit of reduced emissions and improved fuel economy.

Definition of PHEV tow car

PHEV stands for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, a type of car that combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor and a rechargeable battery. Towing with a PHEV means you’re towing with a PHEV tow car i.e. pulling a trailer, caravan, or any heavy load using one of these eco-friendly vehicles.

They offer the flexibility to drive short distances on pure electric power while providing the added security of traditional fuel for longer journeys.

These hybrid tow cars come equipped with special features like enhanced battery capacity and robust engines to manage heavier loads without sacrificing performance. As towing demands increased energy, the technology within PHEVs ensures optimal power distribution between the engine and electric motor.

This makes them ideal companions for drivers who need to tow regularly but still want to reduce their carbon footprint. With sufficient towing capacity for various tasks, they bridge the gap between efficiency and utility in today’s vehicle market.

Benefits for those who frequently tow

Understanding the mechanics of PHEV tow cars sets the stage for appreciating their advantages, especially for those who often find themselves hitching up a trailer or caravan. One major benefit is the significant torque offered by electric motors, which makes starting from a standstill with heavy loads much smoother and more controlled.

This torque is available instantly, providing towing ease that traditionally fuelled vehicles struggle to match.

Frequent towers will also notice improved fuel efficiency when using PHEVs for their towing needs. The combination of electric and petrol power means fewer stops at fuel stations and reduced running costs over time. BTW all of these statements and claims are caveated by the fact that the battery needs to be involved in driving the car, at least partly. You always need to bear in mind the range and miles you will travel with the caravan.

Another plus is that many PHEV models come with smart technology to manage battery life and ensure optimal performance even while towing heavy weights. With features like regenerative braking, energy otherwise lost can be captured back into the system—extending range and further enhancing efficiency.

For drivers concerned about emissions regulations when towing with a PHEV tow car, PHEVs present an eco-friendlier option without sacrificing capability. They produce significantly lower emissions compared to conventional engines when in electric mode—important both for personal environmental impact and meeting stringent UK towing rules and regulations.

Finally, investing in a hybrid vehicle ensures access to Low Emission Zones across urban centres without penalty fees—an essential consideration as cities become greener.

I will add at this point that Governments are obsessed with zero emissions, this of course doesn’t take into account what is done with the batteries once they are of no use.

Selecting a plug-in hybrid vehicle with sufficient towing capacity guarantees that you can transport your gear or caravan without worrying about legal restrictions or compromising on performance – empowering you with limitless potential on every road trip or job site visit.

Best PHEV Tow Cars in the UK

The UK market offers a range of PHEV tow cars, including the BMW X5 45e, Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE, Volvo XC40 Recharge T5, Kia Sorento 1.6 T-GDi Plug-In Hybrid 4, and Audi Q7 55 TFSIe (Quattro 381PS Black Edition).

These vehicles are known for their towing capabilities and fuel efficiency. There were almost picked at random, however, I have a bit of a soft spot for the X5. Also, as mentioned several times, bear in mind a lot of the text below is really about normal driving. As with any tow car, things change when towing (performance , economy etc)

BMW X5 45e

BMW X5 45e stands out as a strong contender when considering towing with a PHEV tow car, boasting an impressive towing capacity that meets the demands of those who need to haul caravans or trailers.

Towing with a PHEV tow car

Its advanced plugin hybrid technology merges efficiency with power, providing drivers with a smooth and robust towing experience while being mindful of their carbon footprint. With its luxurious interior and cutting-edge features, this hybrid SUV combines comfort with practicality for UK excursions.

Drivers enjoy an electric-only range sufficient for shorter trips, ensuring silent and emission-free driving before seamlessly switching to petrol engine assistance for longer journeys or heavier loads.

Towing equipment can easily be fitted to the X5 45e, making it ready for various towing needs without compromising on performance or safety. Whether navigating through rugged countryside trails or cruising on motorways, this vehicle maintains a steady composure, making electric and hybrid caravan towing more accessible than ever.

Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE

Shifting from the stellar performance of the BMW X5 45e, let’s explore the Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE. This PHEV tow car marries efficiency with practicality, boasting a significant electric range for everyday commutes and a combined petrol-electric setup ideal for longer journeys with heavier loads.

With its spacious interior and robust towing capacity, it stands out as a top choice for those needing to lug trailers or caravans across the UK.

The Passat Estate GTE doesn’t just promise power; it also delivers on versatility. Equipped with advanced technology like regenerative braking and various driving modes, drivers can optimise their towing experience while benefiting from lower emissions.

Its plug-in hybrid system is smooth and responsive, ensuring that you’re ready for any road trip without compromising on performance or environmental responsibility. Whether you’re heading out on holiday or hauling goods for work, this Volkswagen makes electric towing both simple and satisfying.

Volvo XC40 Recharge T5

Another choice when considering towing with a PHEV tow car is the Volvo XC40 Recharge T5. It’s a standout choice for those interested in electric and hybrid towing options. Its plug-in hybrid towing capacity combines the efficiency of an electric motor with the power of a traditional engine, offering a robust solution for your caravan or trailer needs in the UK.

This well-designed SUV provides ample torque for pulling heavy loads, ensuring you can travel with confidence whether you’re heading to the countryside or embarking on a longer journey.

Equipped with advanced technology, the XC40 Recharge T5 allows drivers to maximise their towing potential while adhering to all towing safety regulations. The PHEV tow bar installation on this model seamlessly integrates into its overall design, maintaining aesthetic appeal without compromising function.

If you’re seeking both luxury and practicality in your next hybrid tow car purchase, look no further than this innovative vehicle by Volvo.

Kia Sorento 1.6 T-GDi Plug-In Hybrid 4

Moving from the Volvo XC40, let’s explore the Kia Sorento 1.6 T-GDi Plug-In Hybrid 4, a solid option for those seeking both power and eco-friendliness in their towing adventures. This hybrid SUV doesn’t skimp on capability, boasting an impressive towing capacity that makes it ideal for pulling caravans or trailers across the UK’s diverse terrains.

With its sophisticated plug-in hybrid system, drivers enjoy reduced emissions without sacrificing performance when they hit the road.

Kia has equipped this model with advanced towing technology to ensure safety and efficiency during every journey. Drivers can confidently navigate while hauling heavy loads thanks to features like Trailer Stability Assist and a smart all-wheel-drive system that dynamically adjusts to driving conditions.

For families looking to combine practicality with environmentally-conscious travel, this Kia Sorento version stands out as a reliable choice in the PHEV tow car segment.

Audi Q7 55 TFSIe (Quattro 381PS Black Edition)

Last on the list of choices when considering towing with a PHEV tow car we shift gears from the Kia Sorento’s offering, the Audi Q7 55 TFSIe Quattro 381PS Black Edition stands as a testament to luxurious electric towing. The model merges style with efficiency, boasting a robust plug-in hybrid system that doesn’t skimp on power or towing capabilities.

Owners of this elegant beast can pull heavy loads without breaking a sweat thanks to its impressive towing capacity and quattro all-wheel drive assures stability even under challenging conditions.

This high-end PHEV tow car not only brings you the prestige that comes with the Audi badge but also packs advanced features for an effortless towing experience. With its spacious interior and top-notch technology, drivers enjoy comfort while harnessing eco-friendly performance during long hauls.

Robust yet refined, it represents hybrid SUV towing considerations at their peak – making it ideal for those who seek premium quality and sustainable motoring in one package.

Towing with a PHEV tow car: Experience and Considerations

Towing with a PHEV tow car can be a smooth and efficient experience, but it’s important to consider factors such as the vehicle’s towing capacity, battery range, and charging needs. Stay tuned for personal experiences and tips on how to tow safely and effectively with a PHEV tow car.

Tips for towing safely and efficiently

  • Keep your PHEV tow car well – maintained, including checking tire pressure, braking system, and lights regularly.
  • Ensure your PHEV has the appropriate towing capacity for the load you intend to tow.
  • Before setting off, distribute the weight of the load evenly and secure it properly to prevent sway and instability during towing.
  • Plan your route carefully, taking into consideration potential charging stations and any specific requirements for towing with a PHEV. Although, in the real world, you’re probably not going to recharge your PHEV on a journey.
  • You will always get the best out of your PHEV when the battery is fully charged.
  • Practice gentle acceleration and braking to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the vehicle’s systems.
  • Use advanced driving aids such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance if available for a smoother towing experience.
  • Be aware of your PHEV’s electric range limitations when towing, especially in hilly or challenging terrains.
  • Reduce speed when driving uphill to conserve energy and maintain control over the towed load.

As technology continues to progress, it is essential to stay informed about the latest developments in alternative-fuel towing to make informed decisions about using a PHEV tow car.

The Future of Alternative-Fuel Towing

As PHEV technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more innovative features that enhance towing capabilities. With the growing demand for eco-friendly vehicles, the market may also see an increase in the availability of PHEV tow cars in the future.

Latest innovations in PHEV technology

PHEV technology continues to evolve, with manufacturers constantly improving battery capacity and powertrain efficiency. Recent innovations focus on enhancing electric-only range and optimising the transition between electric and hybrid modes.

Additionally, advancements in regenerative braking and energy recapture systems contribute to overall fuel economy improvements in PHEVs.

Innovations also extend to the integration of smart connectivity features that allow remote monitoring and control of charging, climate settings, and vehicle performance through smartphone apps.

Potential for more PHEV tow cars in the market

As technology advances, the potential for more PHEV tow cars in the market continues to expand. Manufacturers are investing in research and development to enhance the towing capabilities of plug-in hybrid vehicles, aiming to meet the increasing demand for eco-friendly towing options.

The growing interest in electric and hybrid vehicles has prompted carmakers to explore innovative ways of improving towing performance while maintaining sustainability. These efforts are paving the way for a wider range of PHEV tow cars that can cater to various towing needs, offering environmentally conscious solutions without compromising on power or efficiency.

The emergence of more PHEV tow cars opens up opportunities for individuals and businesses seeking greener alternatives for their towing requirements. With ongoing advancements in hybrid technology and engineering, the prospect of an extensive selection of plug-in hybrid tow cars is becoming increasingly feasible, bolstering confidence in choosing sustainable options without sacrificing towing capacity or practicality.


In conclusion, towing with a PHEV tow car can offer a practical and eco-friendly towing solution for UK drivers. Their hybrid technology provides the power needed for towing while reducing emissions.

With an increasing range of options, PHEV tow cars are poised to play a significant role in the future of alternative fuel towing. As more advancements continue to emerge in this space, we can expect even more efficient and powerful PHEV tow car models to enter the market.


Are Phev good for towing?

As much as I’d love to say YES, there are just too many caveats, see the Concerns section below

Can you tow a caravan with hybrid electric car?

Strictly speaking yes you can, as long as you get the caravan / car match correct. If you look on websites such as you can find very good matches, so PHEV’s can 100% tow a caravan. With a PHEV you don’t need to have range anxiety, as once the battery has run out, the engine will take over.

Are hybrid cars good for towing?

Hybrid cars are good at towing. You will have to make sure you are aware of the performance of the Hybrid once the battery is depleted. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find this information easily as manufacturers insist on giving MPG figures such as 218

CONCERNS When towing with a PHEV tow car

As much as I want to be towing with a PHEV tow car, a few things concern me.

  • Real world MPG when towing when battery is depleted
  • Some PHEVS are 2.0 petrol engines, how would these tow a 2000kg caravan?
  • Time they take to charge
  • Battery health of used cars
  • Longevity of batteries
  • How well do they hold their value?
  • The best fuel economy figures are based on the battery being 100% charged

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join Our Online Community

Caravanning is a niche interest and not everyone likes it. If you are a beginner, or experienced caravanner, give our community a try. It’s full of helpful and friendly advice to help you get the most out of your home of wheels!

TalkWrench Online Caravan Community