Best Ultralight Tow Car
Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 115PS SEL DSG
The Polo might be small in this company, but it was described by the judges as 'a fine and stable tow car', despite what you might imagine was the handicap of its small 1-litre engine.
This generation of Polo might be bigger than the first Golf from the 1970s, but it still has a limited towing capacity. Tested for the awards with an ultralight caravan it nevertheless impressed the panel with its 'big-car feel'.
Best Petrol Tow Car
Kia Stinger 2.0 T-GDi GT-Line
You'll notice that most of the winners of the Tow Car Awards categories happen to be sporting diesel engines, which make good luggers thanks to their hefty torque figures. But that doesn't rule out petrol engines entirely – according to the towing experts that made up the panel, the Stinger was the car that proved you don’t need a large – diesel-engined – estate or SUV to go caravanning.
Best Family SUV
Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro
The XC40 has already been voted European Car of the Year in 2018, but it's added a minor accolade to that win here. The panel said the Volvo proved it had the 'power and stability to make a suitable match for a broad range of caravans and trailers'.
Hyundai i30 Tourer 1.6 CRDi 110PS Premium
The testers described the i30 Tourer not just as the most economical car they tested for the awards, but also one of the most stable tow cars, making it a double whammy for the Korean estate. Of course, the winning economy figure posted by the Hyundai was 24mpg, so don't get too excited.
Up to 1,400kg
Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L DSG
The Octavia is a regular round these parts, winning this category every year but one since 2013. It impressed the judges with its stability, interior space and all-round performance, and as an added bonus the panel says that the car can easily be found with solid discounts.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive
The overall winner in 2016, the Superb is another reliable contender from the Czech carmaker, impressive judges with its interior space and quality, as well as its value for money. 'It puts a big tick in just about every important box,' according to the panel.
Peugeot 5008 2.0 BlueHDi EAT8 SandS GT
A newcomer to the awards, this upgraded 5008 is a 'practical seven-seater with impressive towing stability at speed', according to the Tow Car Awards judges. They also said that the 5008 impressed in the emergency lane-change manoeuvre thanks to trick traction control that makes the most of the available grip.
1,700-1,899kg – and overall winner
BMW 520d Touring xDrive M Sport
The 5 Series was the panel's overall winner in the Tow Car Awards competition.
David Motton, tow car editor of Practical Caravan magazine, described the overall champion as 'a clear winner,' after fending off some tough competition in its weight class, such as the Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC40.
'Clearly, this is a towing competition first and foremost, and when it comes to pulling a caravan confidently and securely, the BMW 5 Series has few peers. There wasn’t a single one of our towing tests in which the BMW showed any weakness.'
Land Rover Discovery Td6 HSE Main
The Discovery won a lot of praise from the judges – 'imperious', 'relaxing', a 'compelling all-round car'. Indeed, it fought off some impressive competition in the form of the Range Rover Velar, Mercedes GLE and new Volkswagen Tiguan, but the Discovery's seven-seat cabin and range of capabilities sealed the category win.
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