The Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 168bhp 4×4 DSG took top honours in its class and went on to be voted overall winner of the 31st Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Competition. The panel of nine judges suggested that it lived up to its name – simply superb!
For the first time in the competition’s history, entry invitations were extended to all vehicles capable of towing a trailer over 500kg and that are on sale on 1 October 2013.
In The Club’s ongoing quest to provide caravanners with as much information about the vehicles as possible, the usual evaluation of each towcar’s dynamic abilities and ergonomic qualities was carried out. Tests included a mid-range 30-60mph acceleration assessment, high-speed towing appraisal, reversing, emergency braking, ride and handling evaluations as well as hill-stop and restart trials. This year, for the first time, car roof loads were assessed, taking in the capacity to carry items such as bicycles.
Held, as in previous years, at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, the competition attracted 41 entrants. Vehicles were divided into seven price categories, and Class wins in the competition went to: the SsangYong Korando SE; Škoda Octavia hatch 1.2 TSI SE 103bhp; Volkswagen Jetta Sport 2.0TDI DSG; Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 168bhp 4×4 DSG; Jaguar XF 2.2D Luxury; Jaguar XF Sportbrake 3.0D Portfolio; and the Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography.
From these Class winners, the sleek, stylish and very capable Škoda Superb emerged as the overall victor, with all driving judges agreeing that “this vehicle is as good as it gets” and “you wouldn’t know you were towing a caravan.”
ll-Wheel drive vehicles competed in two additional categories – ‘All-Wheel Drive Under 1800kg’ and ‘All-Wheel Drive Over 1800kg’. First place in the lighter category went to the all-conquering Škoda, while the Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography took the honours in the heavier group.
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 25 September.
For the 2014 competition, a Judges’ Special Award recognised any entrant that particularly impressed the assessors, and a vehicle that “offered so much to so many for so little” caught their attention. The award went to a vehicle in the Under £16,000 Class, the Dacia Duster Ambiance 4×4, which “provided good high-speed stability and stopping power, adequate hill-route performance and a hill stop and start that shamed many of the more expensive towcars”.
Grenville Chamberlain, Caravan Club Chairman, commented, “It was great to see so many entrants this year and The Club extends its congratulations to all the winners in this competition. Special acclaim goes to the terrific Škoda Superb, which demonstrated that it was just about as good as it gets.”