THE Volkswagen Passat Estate Alltrack has been named the Caravan Club’s Towcar of the Year 2017.
Described by the judges as “one of the classiest mid-range cars by a mile” it also scooped class and category wins.
The competition’s 47 entrants, which were split into seven price classes and two weight categories saw winning vehicles from Citroen, Peugeot, Škoda, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, as well as Volkswagen.
Each towcar was judged not only on its towing performance at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, but also for ‘caravanability’.
That evaluates how well the car caters for caravanner’s needs – how much typical holiday gear and essentials it can accommodate, how easily it can be hitched 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.
Seven driving judges evaluated each car for its dynamic abilities and ergonomic qualities and the test route included tight and twisty country lanes, 17 degree hill stops and starts, as well as circuits of a high-speed bowl. They were also put through rigorous reversing exams.
Price class awards in the competition went to the Citroën C4 Cactus Rip Curl BlueHDi 100, Peugeot 308 SW Active BlueHDi 120, Skoda Superb SE L Executive 2.0TDI 150PS, Volkswagen Golf Estate Alltrack 2.0TDI 4MOTION 150PS, VW Passat Estate Alltrack 2.0TDI SCR 4MOTION 150PS, Mercedes-Benz E220d AMG Line Saloon and the BMW X5 xDrive40d M Sport.
All-wheel drive vehicles competed in two additional weight categories – Over 1800kg and Under 1800kg, the BMW X5 xDrive40d taking the ‘Over’ prize while the VW Passat Estate Alltrack took ‘Under’ award before going on to win the overall title.
caravan Club chairman Grenville Chamberlain said: “It was a thrill to see such a great choice of vehicles being put through their paces during the competition – the winning manufacturers should feel very proud of their achievements.
“These vehicles will enable our Caravan Club members to have wonderful holidays and effortless towing experiences.”