You can stop holding your breath now – the results of the 2018 Tow Car Awards are just in.
With a panel made up of representatives from What Car? and Practical Caravan magazines, as well as the Camping and Caravanning Club, judging for the 12th annual awards took place recently in the Midlands, with a rigorously scientific test setup at the Horiba Mira proving ground near Nuneaton. Using the same facilities used by manufacturers to test their cars out, the panellists performed hill starts, emergency lane changes, acceleration and braking tests, as well as high-speed stability checks.
Each car was matched to a caravan from a fleet supplied by the UK’s biggest caravan manufacturer – the Swift Group – or a trailer, ballasted to the recommended maximum of 85 per cent of its kerbweight (or less if the manufacturer’s towing limit is lower). Cars were also assessed by the judges for value for money, ride comfort, running costs, refinement and passenger space, as well as the practicality for carrying a typical load of camping or holiday gear.
With 44 cars entered this year, the organisers of the Tow Car Awards say that they now have verdicts on over 500 cars that have been tested since the first year of the competition back in 2007.
The awards are divided into nine different categories, with some based on weight, but extra plaudits for the most economical car, the best petrol-engined towing option and the best family SUV, among others. The 10th category is the overall award, reserved for the car the offers the best all-round towing experience.