Revealed: the best caravan tow cars 2019

tow car of the year

The Volvo XC40 has won an award for its caravan-towing ability. The compact SUV, in D4 AWD R-Design Pro spec, was the overall winner in the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s 2019 test.

The XC40 also triumphed in the 1,400-1,500kg caravan weight category. A total of 36 vehicles were sampled at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.

Judging ‘caravanability’

tow car of the year

Before being tested for acceleration, braking, handling and high-speed stability while towing, the cars had to go through certain static assessments. These included space for bulk accessories, towball height (both with and without a hitched-up caravan) and the quality of the towing information in the owner’s handbook.

For the moving tests, the caravans were filled to 85 percent of the car’s maximum towing weight limit or overall kerb weight – whichever was the smaller value. A 55mph run on Millbrook’s Alpine course tested handling, downhill braking and acceleration, while high-speed testing took place on a banked bowl circuit.

The Caravan and Motorhome Club even checked how cars responded to sudden swerve manoeuvres.

The runners up

tow car of the year

Although the Volvo triumphed overall, other cars won in specific classes.

If your caravan weighs less than 1,150kg, the electric Jaguar I-Pace could be the eco-conscious vehicle for you. Likewise, the 400hp Jag won the alternative-fuel class overall.

Winners of the 1,150kg to 1,300kg, 1,300kg to 1,400kg and 1,500kg to 1,700kg classes were the Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0 TDI, Ford Focus Vignale Estate 2.0 and Volvo V60 D4 AWD respectively.

The over-1,700kg class was won by the Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 TDI, while the VW Amarok 3.0 TDI won best pick-up.

The best large family tow car was won by the Skoda Kodiaq VRS.