The competition’s 43 entrants, which were split into seven price classes and two weight categories, ranged from the MG6 S DTI-TECH, the ‘Under £17,500’ class winner at just £14,347, to the Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography coming in at a whopping £97,700.
Out of a diverse entry list, the Land Rover Discovery HSE LUX sat at the top as ‘Over £50,000’ class winner, All-Wheel Drive Over 1,800kg category victor and The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2016.
Each towcar endured a gruelling series of trials – being judged not only on their towing performance over the testing circuit at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, but also for their ‘caravanability’. This measures how well the car holds up to a caravanner’s needs – how much typical holiday gear and caravan essentials it can accommodate, how easily it can be hooked up to a caravan and the quality of towing information available in its handbook. Also added to the marking equation was the towcar’s value for money.
Seven driving judges evaluated each car for its dynamic abilities and ergonomic qualities – the test route included tight and twisty ‘country lanes’, 17% hill stops and starts, as well as circuits of a high-speed bowl. They were also put through reversing tests. These four days of rigorous evaluation highlighted that every vehicle could be considered a respectable towcar, so long as it was properly matched to its caravan.
Price class awards in the competition went to: the MG6 S DTI-TECH; Renault Captur Dynamique Nav dCi 110; Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0-litre TDI BlueMotion Technology 148bhp DSG; Škoda Octavia Estate Scout 2.0TDI 148bhp 4×4; Volkswagen Passat Estate GT 2.0-litre TDI SCR 188bhp DSG; Volkswagen Touareg R-Line 3.0-litre V6 TDI 260bhp 4MOTION; and the Land Rover Discovery HSE LUX.
From these class winners, it was the Land Rover Discovery that took the overall victory. It can accommodate ‘massive amounts of luggage’ and is available with a handy TowAssist guidance system.
All-wheel drive vehicles competed in two additional weight categories; ‘Under 1,800kg’ and ‘Over 1,800kg’. Of course, the Land Rover Discovery took the ‘Over 1,800kg’ prize, while the Volkswagen Passat Estate GT 2.0-litre Bi-TDI SCR 238bhp 4MOTION took first place in the Under 1,800kg category. Volkswagen also took home the ‘Judges Award for Innovation’, for its fabulous ‘Trailer Assist’ feature, which allows you to reverse the car and trailer using only the door mirror controls and the accelerator pedal.
The results of the competition were announced at The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Awards ceremony, held at the Royal Automobile Club in London on 24 September.
Grenville Chamberlain, Caravan Club Chairman said: “It was great to see such a diverse variety of vehicles entered into the competition this year. There is a vehicle choice for everyone’s needs, whether you tow a small trailer tent or a large twin-axle caravan. On behalf of The Caravan Club, our congratulations go to all the winners and a special mention must go to Land Rover for its triumphant Discovery. I am sure we will see our competition entrants on Club Sites in the near future.”