The Volkswagen Jetta Sport 2.0TDI DSG took the top honour in its class and went on to be voted overall winner of the 30th Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Competition, setting the record for the first car in the history of the competition to secure the accolade twice in consecutive years. It was judged the winner by a panel of 10 judges who applauded its suave design, its practicality as a caravanning family car and its great performance when towing in a variety of situations.
For the first time in the long history of this competition, the categorisation of entrants was decided by Vehicle Excise Duty tax bands, rather than by price-class. This is to ensure The Club provides relevant information for its one million members and in recognition of environmental motoring issues. In times when many are feeling the effects of the economic climate, vehicle running costs, of which road tax can form a significant part, loom ever more prominently in motorists’ budgets. Lower exhaust emissions, on which the tax bands are decided, also usually equate to reduced fuel consumption.
In The Club’s on-going quest to provide caravanners with as much information about the vehicles as possible, an acceleration test – carried out by two judges with specialised test equipment – and a reversing test, were added to the usual evaluation of the towcar’s dynamic abilities and ergonomic qualities. These included a mid-range 30-60mph acceleration assessment, high-speed towing circuits, emergency braking, ride and handling evaluations and hill-stop and restart tests.
The vehicles were divided into four Vehicle Excise Duty classes plus two All-Wheel Drive categories, under 1800kg and over 1800kg. Held, as in previous years, at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, the Competition attracted 23 entrants. Class wins in the Competition went to the Volkswagen CC GT 2.0-litre TDI 138bhp BMT; Volkswagen Jetta Sport 2.0TDI DSG; Škoda Yeti SE Plus; Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC Sport and Chevrolet Captiva 2.2 LT VCDi. From these Class winners the sleek, stylish and very capable Volkswagen Jetta Sport emerged as the overall victor.
The results of the Competition were announced at The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Awards ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club in London on 26th September. Special guest, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, attended the testing regime at Millbrook and then presented the Class awards to representatives from the winning manufacturers at the Awards ceremony. Grenville Chamberlain, Caravan Club Chairman, commented, “The Club extends its congratulations to all the winners in this Competition. Special plaudits go to the terrific Volkswagen Jetta, it really is a great vehicle and it proved itself time and time again with the judges during testing.”