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What tow car is the best? Results Are Revealed!

nissan qashqai
Overall winner: Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi (130PS) StopStart

A record 56 vehicles tested to answer the question: “What tow car is the best?” One new overall winner for 2014, plus 10 category winners Cars judged in five weight classes plus five special categories: the Green Award, Money No Object Award, Best MPV, Best Ultralight Tow Car, Best Petrol Tow Car Cars tested ranged from a Fiat Panda to a Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and included plug-in hybrids and engines as small as 1.0-litre Rigorous test programme at MIRA proving ground, judged by experts from The Camping and Caravanning Club, plus Practical Caravan and What Car? magazines Full results available from 8pm on 12 June 2014 at The Tow Car Awards

The question, “What tow car is the best?” can now be answered thanks to the results of The Tow Car Awards 2014. These are now available at The Tow Car Awards and will be published with Practical Caravan, What Car? and The Camping and Caravan Club members’ magazine.

This year’s 56 entries, a record number since the first competition in 2007, ranged in size from a Fiat Panda to a Land Rover Range Rover Sport, valued from £11,000 to £75,000, and included plug-in hybrids and engines as small as 1.0-litre, all competing for 11 awards split across five weight classes and five special categories – Green Award, Money No Object Award, Best MPV, Best Ultralight Tow Car and Best Petrol Tow Car – plus one overall winner.

Once again, the results prove that winning tow cars are available across all budgets and sizes, with a new overall winner for 2014 – the new Nissan Qashqai - with a 130 PS, 1.6 dCi engine. It also won its 1400-1549kg weight class. The judges said it is: “A brilliant family crossover, a superb tow car, plus it’s built in Britain.”

Last year’s overall winner, the Skoda Octavia, won the ‘Up to 1400kg’ weight class again, while the Volkswagen Passat Estate, Jaguar XF Sportbrake and Land Rover Discovery also retained their titles in their respective weight classes once more.

This year’s Best Ultralight Tow Car is the Renault Captur, while the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is the Best Petrol Tow Car. Six cars were shortlisted for the Green Award and subjected to What Car?’s True MPG tests, but the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid AWD was a clear winner.

New awards for 2014 include the Best MPV, won by theCitroën Grand C4 Picasso, and a Money No Object Award which had to go to the £75,000 Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

Commenting on The Tow Car Awards 2014, Julia Bradbury, the TV presenter and President of The Camping and Caravanning Club said: “I don’t think people realise how tough and comprehensive the testing is for this competition, so for everyone’s safety, these results are invaluable for those looking for a new car, or as a reference for a used one in the future.”

David Motton, Tow Car Editor of Practical Caravan magazine added: “We had a really impressive list of entries this year and an extremely busy week putting them all through what we believe is the most rigorous test programme. The results make interesting reading.”

As choosing a good tow car is important for everyone’s road safety, the cars were tested at the renowned MIRA private proving ground in Warwickshire to give the judges from The Camping and Caravanning Club and Practical Caravan and What Car? magazines a safe but extremely demanding venue to push the cars to their limits in a series of dynamic tests, including high speed stability, hill starts on a 1 in 6 gradient, plus emergency stops and lane changing. The judging criteria also includes practical features such as boot space, running costs, ease of fitting towing mirrors and driver appeal when not towing.

Each car was matched to a caravan (with any stability control devices disabled) supplied by The Swift Group, or a lightweight trailer, if necessary,weighing up to the recommended safe limit of 85 per cent of the car’s ‘kerbweight’.

The new dedicated Tow Car Awards website (The Tow Car Awards) a full details of how each car performed, plus a reference to results from previous years.


Notes to editors:

Full results of The Tow Car Awards 2014:

Award Car Price Up to 1400kg Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance £22,310 1400kg–1549kg Class, and Overall Winner Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium £23,995 1550–1699kg Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI Bluemotion Technology 177PS Executive Style DSG £29,160 1700–1899kg Jaguar XF Sportbrake 3.0 V6 Diesel S 275PS Portfolio £51,995 1900kg+ Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 XS £46,865 Best MPV Citroën Grand C4 Picasso Blue HDi 150 Exclusive+ £27,375 Best Petrol Tow Car Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 1.6i 16v Direct Injection Turbo (170PS) Start/Stop Elite Nav £25,129 Best Ultralight Tow Car Renault Captur 1.5 dCi 90 Dynamique MediaNav £16,395 Money No Object Award Land Rover Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic £75,005 Green Award Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid D6 AWD Geartronic SE Lux Nav £44,975*

(*with £5,000 government grant)