Got a caravan? You’re not alone – there are an estimated 555,000 currently in use across the UK, and UK caravanners spend roughly £1.8 billion a year on their holidays. It’s important to have a suitable tow car, otherwise your plastic pride and joy could end up upside down on the M6. The good people at the Caravan and Motorhome Club have just announced their 2018 Towcar of the Year winners. Read on to discover the cars that should be on your towing shortlist.
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A total of 44 cars were shortlisted for the competition, split into seven price classes and two weight categories: under 1,800kg and over 1,800kg. The Ssangyong Korando, in SE 4×4 guise, was entered into the ‘all-wheel drive over 1,800kg’ and ‘under £24,000’ categories, picking up the gong for the latter. Judges praised the £19,168 Ssangyong, with one describing it as “a real surprise”.
A car doesn’t need to be a four-wheel-drive SUV to tow a caravan. The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 turbodiesel in SRi Nav trim was entered in the sub-1,800kg category and picked up the £24,000 – £26,000 gong. Judges said it would be “a super-sensible choice for the company car driver who tows at weekends”.
Skoda Octavia Scout
The Skoda Octavia Scout is essentially a regular Octavia with an extra 30mm of ground clearance, some extra body cladding and four-wheel drive… perfect for tackling a muddy caravan site. In 150hp guise, the Octavia Scout took the gong in the £26,000 – £30,000 price class. Judges described it as “solid and good at everything”.
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
An upmarket version of the Skoda Octavia Scout, it’s not a huge surprise to see the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack take the prize in the £30,000 – £33,000 price class in the 2018 Towcar of the Year awards. One judge said “You can’t go wrong with one of these,” while another said it “stuck like glue to the road.”
The Volvo XC60 is an impressive rival to the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. While the extra torque of the D5 could prove useful for towing, judges rated the D4 diesel model, describing it as “one to aspire to”. It came top in the £38,000 – £50,000 price class.
The Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid is proof that you don’t need a big diesel 4×4 to lug a caravan. One judge commented that it behaves “as if the caravan is not there.” Not only did it win the £50,000+ price category, it was also named the best towcar over 1,800kg.
You know a caravanner means business when they turn up at a site in a pick-up truck. The Volkswagen Amarok is the best new pick-up truck you can buy for towing your caravan, says the Caravan and Motorhome Club. One judge praised its “superb handling”, while another said is has “the refinement of a premium 4×4”.
And we come to the overall winner. The Caravan and Motorhome club has named the Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0-litre TDI 190 as the winner of the £33,000 – £38,000 price class, the sub-1,800kg all-wheel-drive category and the overall Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year 2018.
“Skoda has once again built a fantastic, no nonsense, utterly awesome towcar,” said the judging committee. “The Kodiaq put in one of the best performances of the competition. Relaxing, stable, dependable, comfortable touring at its best.”
2018 Towcar of the Year: the winners
- OVERALL WINNER: Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4×4 DSG 190PS
- Under £24,000: SsangYong Korando SE 4×4 MY17
- £24,000-£26,000: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport SRi NAV 1.6 136PS Turbo D ecoTEC
- £26,000-£30,000: Skoda Octavia Estate Scout 2.0 TDI 150PS 4×4
- £30,000-£33,000: Volkswagen Golf Estate Alltrack 2.0TDI 4MOTION 184PS DSG
- £33,000-£38,000: Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4×4 DSG 190PS
- £38,000-£50,000: Volvo XC60 D4 Inscription
- All-wheel drive under 1800kg: Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4×4 DSG 190PS
- All-wheel drive over 1800kg: Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Momentum
- Pick-up: Volkswagen Amarok Highline 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 224PS Automatic