Feature article

The top 5 vehicles for towing in NZ

Looking to haul something big and want to know the best vehicles for the job? Check out our top 5 vehicles for towing.

Summer might be drawing to a close, but road-trip season isn’t behind us just yet and there’s still time to get your boat out on the water for some fishing, or take the caravan for a long weekend on the coast. If you’re into either of those things - and why on earth wouldn’t you be? - you’re going to need a car capable of some intensive towing. Let’s look at your best options.

What will you be towing?

The likelihood is that you’ll be looking to tow some rather heavy and hefty items – we’re talking boats, caravans, jet skis, horse trailers, amongst other things. As such, you’re going to need a fairly substantial vehicle. There’s a very good reason why you never really see a towbar attached to the back of a Suzuki Swift.

Here’s your top towers:

Nissan Navara

The Nissan Navara was the first ute to really be aimed at a lifestyle buyer, rather than for commercial use. Because of this, it has a good amount of interior space, plus decent comfort and convenience features. It also has four star safety ratings in both the Australasian New Car Safety Ratings (ANCSR) and Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR), so can be relied upon to get both you and your goods safely to the desired destination. Sweet as!

Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux is regarded as a seriously strong ‘n’ sturdy ute – making it absolutely ideal for hauling large items. It also has a none-too-shabby four star safety rating from ANCSR. What the Hilux fails to provide in terms of interior creature comforts, on the older models, it more than makes up for with its practicality, robustness and super efficiency. It’ll get your caravan down to the coast without breaking sweat.

Holden Colorado

The Holden Colorado is a super robust workhorse that was tailor-made for towing! What this big beast lacks in interior refinement and subtlety, it more than makes up for in its sheer brutish power and ability to haul. If you’re looking to tow your boat to the perfect fishing spot, the Colorado won’t let you down. Regardless of which year/body-type you go for, it’ll come with at least a solid four or five star ANCAP safety rating.

Toyota Land Cruiser 70

The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 deservedly has a reputation as one of the toughest trucks on the road. It offers no-frills and no mod-cons but is a no-nonsense powerhouse of a vehicle that’d probably quite happily tow a small house along for you, if given the chance. It’s the perfect rough ‘n’ ready truck for whatever conditions NZ can throw at it. The most up-to-date versions of the Land Cruiser 70 have a highly impressive five star ANCAP safety rating.

Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger is recognised as one of the best heavy load tow vehicles on the market. It’s big, strong and sturdy and provides vast amounts of interior and load space. This means you can not only long-haul your load on the back, but will also have plenty of room inside for other supplies – all while travelling in a degree of space and comfort. The 2007-11 models come with a three star ANCAP rating, and versions from 2011 onwards come with a full five stars of safety and security – making the newer versions of the Ranger both the strong and sensitive type. What’s not to love?

What if…

... you don’t own one of our top 5 and aren’t ever likely to? Does this mean your dreams of taking the caravan on a family holiday road-trip are over? No way! You can still haul reasonably large items via a towbar on the back of a standard, medium sized family car. We’ve just referenced the above examples as being some of the best – they’re not the only options. Just don’t try hauling a livestock trailer on the back of a Morris Minor!