The Land Rover Discovery has landed the title of The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2016.
It is the first overall victory for the Disco and one of three top honours secured by the prestige model at the annual awards.
The Discovery HSE Luxury’s other two wins were for all-wheel-drive vehicles of more than 1,800kg and for vehicles priced in excess of £50,000.
Strong praise for the model came from the competition judges who gave special mention to its “rock solid stability, master-class hill start, and its electric parking brake, which holds really well and releases automatically when pulling away”.
The Caravan Club tested 43 cars for this year’s competition, carried out by caravan journalists, national motoring journalists and Caravan Club members, with the aim of providing drivers with sound advice for their towing needs.
The judges assessed each car’s towing abilities including acceleration, braking and coping with hill starts.
The entrants, which were split into seven price classes and two weight categories, ranged from the MG6 S DTI-TECH, the ‘Under £17,500’ class winner at £14,347, to the Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography coming in at a hefty £97,700.
Each towcar endured a gruelling series of trials – being judged not only on their towing performance over the testing circuit at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, but also for their ‘caravanability’.
This measures how well the car holds up to a caravanner’s needs – how much typical holiday gear and caravan essentials it can accommodate.
They also gauge how easily it can be hooked up to a caravan and the quality of towing information available in its handbook.
Also added to the marking equation was the towcar’s value for money.
Price class awards went to: the MG6 S DTI-TECH; Renault Captur Dynamique Nav dCi 110; Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0-litre TDI BlueMotion 150PS DSG; Skoda Octavia Estate Scout 2.0TDI 150PS 4×4; Volkswagen Passat Estate GT 2.0-litre TDI SCR 190PS DSG; Volkswagen Touareg R-Line 3.0-litre V6 TDI 262PS 4MOTION and the Land Rover Discovery HSE LUX.
From these class winners, it was the Land Rover Discovery that took the overall victory, the panel agreeing “it can accommodate massive amounts of luggage” and is available with a useful TowAssist guidance system.
Jaguar Land Rover UK chief Jeremy Hicks said: “2015 is proving to be another fantastic year for Discovery. It has been at the top of the judges’ lists of capable towing vehicles consistently for the last nine years.
“Along with our recent research concept announcements, we are demonstrating our strong ability to develop ground breaking technologies that put the needs of our customers first.”
Earlier this month Land Rover previewed how the future of towing may look with world-first Transparent Trailer and Cargo Sense research concepts.
Transparent Trailer uses a series of cameras that enables the driver to view a see-through rendering of their trailer in the rear-view mirror, boosting visibility.
Cargo Sense provides the driver with live data on the condition of storage or livestock during transportation. Pressure pads provide details of movement within the cargo area and temperature sensors ensure that an optimum temperature is maintained during the journey.