The results of the UK’s Tow Car Awards 2017, organised and judged by experts from What Car? and Practical Caravan magazines and The Camping and Caravanning Club, reveal this year’s top cars for towing. With a unique archive of full reviews of nearly 500 cars tested since the first Tow Car Awards in 2007 available at: www.thetowcarawards.com to help new and used car buyers make the most informed choices.
To create the most informative towing reviews, the 44 cars entered for this year’s competition were judged for a total of 13 awards by separating them into five categories according to their kerb weight (from up to 1400kg to 1900kg+), seven special awards according to the type of vehicle, and then one overall winner.
Every vehicle tows a caravan or trailer weighted to 85 per cent of the car’s kerb weight (or its maximum towing limit, if lower) and is put through a rigorous test programme in the safe surroundings of a private proving ground in Warwickshire. It’s not just about their outright performance though, as each car is also scored for its practicality and costs of buying and owning.
This year’s winners range in size (and price) from the mighty, new Land Rover Discovery to the more humble Hyundai i30 hatchback, with a mix of hybrids, MPVs, estates and 4×4 models in between.
This was the first towing competition for the new Land Rover Discovery and it continued the success of the previous model by winning its 1900kg+ weight class as well as being chosen as the overall winner. The judges said: “As an all-rounder, it sets a new benchmark.”
Jaguar and Skoda collected two awards each for the successful combination of performance and practicality for their latest models. The new Jaguar F-Pace was another car tested for the first time at these awards, while the XF saloon won its weight class again.
The latest Skoda Octavia and the Superb rose to the top of their weight categories again, with the Superb also winning the Fuel Economy Award, while Ford, Audi, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo also achieved category wins.
The full list of categories and winning vehicles for the Tow Car Awards 2017:
Up to 1400kg: Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L DSG
1400-1549kg: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive
1550-1699kg: Jaguar XF 2.0 i4 180PS RWD Portfolio Auto
1700-1899kg: Jaguar F-Pace 3.0d 300PS AWD S
1900kg+: Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Td6 HSE
Best Ultralight Tow Car: Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi 140PS Premium
Best Petrol Tow Car: Audi A4 Allroad 2.0 TFSI 252PS Quattro S-tronic
Best MPV: Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 180PS Titanium
Fuel Economy Award: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive
Best Budget 4×4: Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.4 BoosterJet Allgrip SZ5 4×4 Auto
Best Pick-Up: Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 TDI 224PS 4Motion Aventura Auto
Best Hybrid: Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Momentum
Overall Winner: Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Td6 HSE