This is a difficult one: finding a car that can legally tow a caravan.
Seems like I have hit the wall by trying to get the KIA Sorento SUV documentation changed to include maximum towing capacity. From checking the internet, it is 2000kg, but I cannot get official documentation for my model to support it.
So I started to look for a second-hand or a new car that had this marked on the car document. The first try was to head for some second-hand dealer in Shanghai. The cars there were too old, and it seems the car needs to be a 2022 year model in most cases. I think only some pick-ups have this option on the older models, and only one older car model, Volvo XC90 T8, has this possibility. There is no official list available about what models would have this.
Quickly checking on the internet with Baidu found some cars have the maximum towing capacity available for the 2022 year models. The information is very scattered, and only 4WD models can be equipped with the towing arrangements. Haval H9 seems very popular, and they advertise this openly on their pages. When purchasing a car, one thing that has come up is documentation. The car does not have the towing capacity by default. You need to apply yourself to be included afterward at the Public Security Bureau vehicle management.
I will try to see if the local PSB has a list of the approved models for towing a caravan from this place.
This is the Public Security Bureau vehicle management office in Shanghai
Some car models with the possibility of adding the towing arrangement
Found some information about SUV cars with the help of a translation app/Baidu.com. It might not be 100% accurate
- Haval H9 towing capacity 2.5 tons
- Land Rover Discovery could not find the information about towing capacity
- GWM Tank 300 towing capacity 3.2 tons
- Volvo XC90 T8 towing capacity 2.4 tons
- Got this information from a friend.
- ***Volvo XC60
- **Volvo XC40 towing capacity 1.5 tons
- **Volvo Polestar2 towing capacity 1.5 tons
- *Ford F150 towing capacity 4.128 tons
- I did not find the official local pages and assume F150 is an imported model
- * Maxus T70/T90 towing capacity 3 tons
- Maxus D90 Pro towing capacity 3.2 tons
- * GWM pickups, several models 2.5 tons
- **NIO ES7 towing capacity 2 tons
- **NIO ES8 towing capacity 1.5 tons
- Tesla Model 3 towing capacity 910kg
*Pick-up **Electrical ***Hybrid
Example NIO ES7 towing capacity
What about second-hand cars, then?
This is tricky. As the new law for towing caravans came in 2022, I assume that the manufacturers have not provided this information to the vehicle administration as it was not required. It is a no-go if you don’t have valid documents. One exemption is if the trailer is under 700kg, you don’t need it, but you need the C6 license anyway.
Short test drive with Haval H9 4WD
The second-hand shop had no options, so I went to the local Haval sales. The salesperson’s first comment was it is not possible to tow anything in China. Luckily, my web pages have some information that I have gathered and pulled up web pages on my phone showing the regulations. As new regulations came into effect in April 2022, very few people know about this, and pulling caravans is not typical in China. Even less now as the new law requires a C6 driving license. The law for towing capacity before was very borderline. It was more or less up to the person to judge what the car could tow, and nothing mentioned the maximum towing weight in the car’s documentation.
Haval H9 SUV with a towing capacity of 2.5 tons. I don’t know how they have managed to get 165 kW/385 Nm from the 2-liter turbocharged engine. That is amazing, well enough for pulling a caravan. I think this one was year model 2021, and according to sales, it cannot be registered for towing a caravan.
Our links for travel in China
Anyway, the Haval H9 is a big car complete with electronic gimmicks. What Haval H9 does not have, you don’t need. The quick test drive was short and only around the block. It was too short a drive, but the car’s feeling was excellent. The only complaint I could find, the power steering feeling was too light, I learned that it could be adjusted. The price for the top model is around 260k CNY = 37k EUR. Unfortunately, I cannot write a comprehensive car review for this short test. This one is my favorite so far.
The next one we checked up on is the Trumpchi GS8
Another competitor we checked in the same SUV size and price class was the Trumpchi GS8. Two models are available, one hybrid and one with a gasoline engine. This gasoline 2.0TGDI version power is 185kW/400Nm, and the hybrid model with Trumpchi 2.0TM 140kW/320Nm+ electric 134kW/270Nm .. Sales could not find any information on towing capacity, so I did not even take it for a test drive. Maybe the hybrid one could have a towing arrangement as it is 4WD? I don’t know, as I could not find any information about this. This is a good-looking car, and the prices equal Haval H9. A few pictures were taken and I immediately lost interest in the car when I was informed it could not be equipped with the towing arrangement.
Massive grille in front. I liked the car, but no information about the maximum towing capacity could not be found—especially this one, as it is only 2WD. According to my understanding, only 4WD cars can have it. I’m unsure if the hybrid version has it, as that one is 4WD. No information available
The last place visited was the nearby Honda shop. No cars were available matching my requirements with a maximum towing capacity.
Haval H9, is this the perfect car for caravan life?
- Big and spacious
- H9 have plenty of Nm and kW for pulling caravan
- Model 2022 should have the prepaprations for the caravan
- Very good to drive (short drive around the block)
- 4L gear for tricky situations
- Huge list of accessories in the top model
- Maximum towing capacity not available for older Haval H9
- For us the price is on the high side
- Question mark is the fuel consumption when towing a caravan
- No diesel model available