February 27, 2021
Whether you’re a business owner or manager running a fleet, or a private motorist, there are likely to be occasions when you need to tow some equipment or even another vehicle. So if you’re going to do this regularly, towing capacity is definitely something to think about before committing to a purchase.
Using an underpowered van to tow a weighty trailer could put excessive pressure on your van’s gearbox, engine and clutch, potentially leading to some hefty repair bills.
So clearly it makes sense to go for a model towards the bigger end of the size scale, although most vans are able to tow to some extent. However, not all are made equal when it comes to towing. You need to think about two things – towing capacity and the power and torque of the van. Equally, different variants of the same model can have different towing capacities.
You’ll also need to check that your van has a tow bar and wiring harness, and that you have a spare number plate.
A van will be able to pull anything from a regular 750kg trailer to a 3,500kg one with brakes. Bear in mind too that your vehicle will have a gross train or combination weight, which gives the maximum weight that your van, along with any load plus the trailer with its load, can be.
At Vansdirect, we’re often asked about towing capacity, with questions like “What can this van tow?” and “I need a van that can tow 3.5 tonnes” among the queries we’re asked almost daily.
So here’s our list of the best vans in each size range for towing capacity.
Most vans in this size category do a decent job of towing up to 1,250kg. But the Volkswagen Caddy and Fiat Doblo Cargo come out on top, both with a 1.5-tonne towing capacity. In truth, there’s not much to choose between them. However, the Fiat Doblo Cargo just nudges ahead with a one-tonne payload capacity, while the VW Caddy Maxi has a top rating of 752kg.
You could be forgiven for wondering whether there’s anything the Ford Transit can’t do! With a 2.8-tonne capacity, it certainly outweighs the unofficial standard for the medium van segment of 2 tonnes. Even the VW Transporter, at 2.5 tonnes, can’t offer better. Otherwise, you’d need to look at a bigger model to achieve the same towing capacity.
Known for being ‘heavy duty’, the Iveco Daily’s 3.5-tonne capacity is matched only by pick-up models. And the Iveco puts plenty of space between it and its closest rival, which can only manage 3 tonnes. Able to handle payloads of up to 1.5 tonnes, it’s widely known as the big van for the bigger jobs.
The only other pickup we offer that matches the Nissan Navara for towing capacity is the Ford Ranger. But the Nissan, named International Pickup of the Year in 2016 and shortlisted again in 2019, has forged ahead of its rivals in terms of towing capacity.
How we can help
If you’re looking for a new van, check out our range today. Speak to an independent van expert or chat to us online. We have a great range of models with different towing capacities, plus a range of finance packages, and would be delighted to discuss some options for your needs.