I use a 2008 tiguan escape 2.0 tdi auto to launch and retrieve a 6m humber destroyer from slips & sandy beaches all over Scotland. All up weight about 1400 kg. On normal road tyres I have been astounded at the performance on towing out of the water, up the beach ( though I use momentum over soft dry sand ) and up a steep grassy bank it has never once struggled. This suv was for me a downsize from a full size 4x4 and on the first recovery I had a team of guys ready to push - not required at all.
hope this is of interest