RAC Cars News


Tow Car Of The Year 2016

By raccars Published

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This year's Tow Car of the Year awards have been announced, with the Land Rover Discovery taking the top spot as overall winner. There were seven further category awards given, out of the 43 entries this year, with testing taking place at Bedfordshire's Millbrook Proving Ground. To be eligible for the awards, cars must be on sale on 1 October but don't necessarily have to be new. The categories were based upon price band, with two further categories for four wheel drive equipped vehicles, separated by kerb-weight. Ultimately, all the cars tested performed well, but the class leaders were chosen with care to represent the absolute best tow cars.

The Land Rover Discovery HSE LUX took the over-all prize but also category prizes for the over £50,000 class and the over 1800kg All Wheel Drive class. The Discovery shone throughout the whole spectrum of testing, pulling a trailer, caravan or horse box. The HSE LUX specification is full of kit too, such as DRLs and adaptive xenon headlights, plus rear seat entertainment and digital TV. The Discovery was also rated as impressive when not towing, with a spacious interior which can seat seven in comfort. The latest Discovery is more luxurious and sophisticated than previous models, and more than powerful enough to handle even heavy towing duties. It's powered by a 3.0 litre V6 for brisk performance, despite its substantial bulk - a kerbweight of 2,622kg.

While the Discovery is an expensive machine, it does retain its value well and is predicted to still be worth 54.3% of the original list price after three years.

The far more modest MG6 DTI-TECH was the winner in the under £17,500 class, with judges commenting on its competence during hill starts and also its spacious boot. It was up against the SsangYong Korando. From £17,500-£22,000, the Renault Captur in Dynamique Nav dCi 110 guise took the category prize as a good all rounder, with judges praising driver visibility in the cabin. Its category competitors were the Citroen C4 Cactus, the Fiat Panda Cross, the Suzuki Vitara, the Toyota Auris Touring Sports and the Vauxhall Mokka.

Next up was the £22,000-£26,000 category, which went to the 2013 overall winner, the Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0 litre TDI BlueMotion Technology 150PS DSG, with excellent driving dynamics and a huge boot giving it the edge over the competition - which included the Citroen C4 Picasso, Mitsubishi ASX, Peugeot 3008, Seat Leon ST - last year's overall winner, SsangYong Korando Sports and the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer.

At £26,000-£30,000, former overall winner, the Skoda Octavia Estate is unbeatable, tested this year in Scout form, a 4x4 jacked up, beefier version of the standard estate, with the 2.0 litre TDI 150PS engine. Its driving dynamics won approval, along with the spacious cabin. Other cars taking part in this category of the competition were the Fiat 500X, Ford Mondeo Estate, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-5, Mazda6, Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 508, Seat Leon X-PERIENCE, SsangYong Rexton, Toyota Avensis, Subaru Forester and the VW Golf SV.

Volkswagen triumphed again in the £30,000-£40,000 category, with the Passat Estate GT 2.0 litre TDI SCR 190 PS DSG, with judges once again swayed by interior space and comfort. In 4MOTION guise, the 240PS bi-turbo Passat Estate also took the win for all wheel drive vehicle weighing under 1800kg, with remarkable acceleration and stability through the gears. Elsewhere in the £30,000-£40,000 category, the Honda CR-V, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon, Nissan X-Trail and the Seat Alhambra were also featured.

In the £40,000-£50,000 class it's Volkswagen yet again, with the Touareg leading a pack also made up of the Kia Sorento and the Land Rover Discovery Sport. In the over £50,000 class, the Land Rover Discovery was only challenged by the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

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