Skoda simply Superb as top tow car
- Credit: supplied
For the 10th year running, experts from the Camping and Caravanning Club and What Car? and Practical Caravan magazines have vigorously tested the towing abilities of some of the latest cars for the Tow Car Awards 2016.
To mark the 10th year of the competition, they also had to decide on the winner of the first tow car of the decade award which went to the Land Rover Discovery 4 for its unrivalled winning record.
There were 41 cars in this year's competition judged in five groups according to their kerbweight (from up to 1,400kg to 1,900kg or more) as well as for specific titles, including the green award, best multi-purpose vehicle, best petrol tow car and best ultralight tow car. The judges then had to agree which one of these should become the overall winner of the Tow Car Awards 2016.
Every car tows a caravan supplied by the UK's biggest manufacturer, the Swift Group, or a small trailer, weighted to 85% of the car's kerbweight or maximum towing limit, if lower. Stabiliser hitches are replaced with basic ones to enable the judges to feel any instability during the test programme.
The testing takes advantage of the facilities at the MIRA Proving Ground to push the brakes, handling and engines of the cars to their limits. This includes testing high-speed stability beyond the legal limit, slalom and emergency lane-changes, acceleration and braking tests, plus a hill start on a one-in-six slope. The cars are also scored on how well they accommodate a typical load for a holiday, their buying and running costs, and what they're like to drive when not towing, based on What Car?'s expert review of each model.
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David Motton, tow car editor of Practical Caravan magazine, said: 'After 10 years of tow car awards, we're really proud to have developed the most comprehensive tests, proved how accomplished and safe most cars can be when towing a suitable trailer and compiled a decade's worth of useful towing test reports of over 400 cars.'
This year's results saw a few surprises, with some regular winners beaten by newcomers, giving manufacturers like Honda and Suzuki a taste of tow car success for a change this year. The other winning manufacturers for 2016 include Jaguar, Kia, Ford, Land Rover and Seat, with Skoda taking the top award of overall winner for its new Superb Hatch 2.0 TDI.
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The Skoda Superb. which also won its 1,400 to 1,549kg class, was chosen as overall winner for its exceptional towing ability, value and everyday prowess.
For full details the winning tow cars visit www.thetowcarawards.com