I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Tow Car of the year awards have been announced and JLR takes 4 awards with the Discovery the overall winner.

  • 44 cars entered for 13 awards (with 12 separate categories and one overall winner) – all put through rigorous tests on a private test track to provide valuable insights of towing abilities to car buyers
  • Judged by experts from What Car? and Practical Caravan magazines plus The Camping and Caravanning Club, the cars are separated into five weight categories and seven special categories (Best Ultralight Tow Car; Best Petrol Tow Car; Best MPV, Best Pick-Up; Best Budget 4x4; Best Hybrid and the Fuel Economy Award) – and one of these is chosen as the overall winner
  • In addition to the dynamic towing tests, cars are also scored for practicality, driving (solo), plus the costs of buying and owning
  • Exclusive first towing competition test of the new Land Rover Discovery – chosen as the overall winner of The Tow Car Awards 2017 - “As an all-rounder, it sets a new benchmark,” said the judges
  • Congratulations to Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Skoda, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo who also won awards this year
  • An extensive archive of full-length reviews of nearly 500 cars tested since the first Tow Car Awards in 2007 is available at: thetowcarawards.com 
  • The Swift Group, the UK's biggest leisure vehicle manufacturer, has provided a fleet of caravans for the testing every year since the competition started 10 years ago. Any standard stability aids fitted to the caravans are disabled or removed for the testing to ensure judges feel any instability 
The results of the Tow Car Awards 2017, organised and judged by experts from What Car? and Practical Caravan magazines and The Camping and Caravanning Club, reveal this year’s top cars for towing, with a unique archive of full reviews of nearly 500 cars tested since the first Tow Car Awards in 2007 available at www.thetowcarawards.com to help new and used car buyers make the most informed choices. 
To create the most informative towing reviews, the 44 cars entered for this year’s competition were judged for a total of 13 awards by separating them into five categories according to their kerbweight (from up to 1400kg to 1900kg+), seven special awards according to the type of vehicle, and then one overall winner. 
Every vehicle tows a caravan or trailer weighted to 85 per cent of the car’s kerbweight (or its maximum towing limit, if lower) and is put through a rigorous test programme in the safe surroundings of a private proving ground in Warwickshire. It’s not just about their outright performance though, as each car is also scored for its practicality and costs of buying and owning. 
This year’s winners range in size (and price) from the mighty, new Land Rover Discovery to the more humble Hyundai i30 hatchback, with a mix of hybrids, MPVs, estates and 4x4 models in between. 
This was the first towing competition for the new Land Rover Discovery and it continued the success of the previous model by winning its 1900kg+ weight class as well as being chosen as the overall winner. The judges said: “As an all-rounder, it sets a new benchmark.” 
Jaguar and Škoda collected two awards each for the successful combination of performance and practicality for their latest models. The new Jaguar F-Pace was another car tested for the first time at these awards, while the XF saloon won its weight class again. The latest Škoda Octavia and the Superb rose to the top of their weight categories again, with the Superb also winning the Fuel Economy Award, while Ford, Audi, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo also achieved category wins.
The full list of categories and winning vehicles for the Tow Car Awards 2017 are as follows:
  1. Up to 1400kg: Škoda Octavia Estate 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L DSG
  2. 1400-1549kg: Škoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive
  3. 1550-1699kg: Jaguar XF 2.0 i4 180PS RWD Portfolio Auto
  4. 1700-1899kg: Jaguar F-Pace 3.0d 300PS AWD S
  5. 1900kg+: Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Td6 HSE
  6. Best Ultralight Tow Car: Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi 140PS Premium
  7. Best Petrol Tow Car: Audi A4 Allroad 2.0 TFSI 252PS Quattro S-tronic
  8. Best MPV: Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 180PS Titanium
  9. Fuel Economy Award: Škoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive
  10. Best Budget 4x4: Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.4 BoosterJet Allgrip SZ5 4x4 Auto
  11. Best Pick-Up: Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 TDI 224PS 4Motion Aventura Auto
  12. Best Hybrid: Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Momentum
  13. Overall Winner: Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Td6 HSE 
The caravans used for the towing exercises are supplied by the UK’s biggest manufacturer, the Swift Group. Any stabiliser hitches as standard are disabled or replaced with basic ones to ensure the judges feel any instability created during the rigorous test programme which is designed to push the brakes, handling and engines of the cars to their limits. 
This includes testing high-speed stability beyond the legal limit, slalom and emergency lane-changes, acceleration and braking tests, plus a hill start on a 1-in-6 slope. The cars are also scored on how well they can accommodate a typical load for a touring holiday, plus their buying and running costs, and what they're like to drive when not towing based on What Car?'s expert reviews of each model. 
Commenting on this year’s results, David Motton, Tow Car Editor of Practical Caravan magazine said: “All the winners of the Tow Car Awards 2017, whether they are big or small, have shown us that they’re particularly good as an overall package to tow, own and live with every day.
 “There can only be a limited number of winners, but as you can see from the full reports on www.thetowcarawards.com, many of today’s best-selling cars also performed extremely well. However, when it came to choosing this year’s overall winner it had to be the new Land Rover Discovery as it sets a new benchmark as an impressive all-rounder.” 
TV presenter and President of The Camping and Caravanning Club, Julia Bradbury said: “The Camping and Caravanning Club is delighted to have co-produced the Tow Car Awards for the 11th year. These results give really useful information for anyone choosing a car to tow with, to make touring as safe and relaxing as possible. 
“A big thanks to all the judges and our members who volunteered to help make the event such a success,” Julia continued. 
Tow Car Awards Overall Winners, 2007 to 2017:
2007: Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 4Motion Sport
2008: Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Titanium auto 
2009: Volvo XC60 D5 SE Geartronic
2010: Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 XS
2011: Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport
2012: Jaguar XF 2.2D Premium Luxury
2013: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance
2014: Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium
2015: Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG
2016: Skoda Superb Hatch 2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business
2017: Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Td6 HSE