03/10/2022

3 October 2022
3 October 2022, Comments Comments Off on Caravan and Motorhome Club announces results of its 40th Towcar of the Year Awards
Caravan and Motorhome Club announces results of its 40th Towcar of the Year Awards

The UK’s Caravan and Motorhome Club has announced the winners of its 40th Towcar of the Year Awards.

There were a total of 24 vehicles entered for this year’s competition which were tested in six weight classes, two Family Towcar categories as well as Electric and Plug in Hybrid categories. The vehicles are judged by caravan weight categories – rather than being listed by price – to make it easier for buyers to know which cars could tow their caravans. Cars were entered into classes using their 85% kerbweight figure or by their towing limit, whichever was the lower.

The overall winner of the Towcar of the Year Awards 2023 is the ŠKODA Karoq Sportline 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG 4×4 SCR. It also triumphed in the Caravan Weight 1400kg – 1500kg Category and the Family Towcar Category. Its performance highly impressed the judges around UTAC’s Millbrook Proving Ground’s demanding and unique track.

The complete winners’ line-up:

Caravan Weight under 1200kg: Volkswagen ID.5 Style 77kWh Pro Performance 204PS

Caravan Weight 1200kg – 1300kg: ŠKODA Enyaq iV 80X Sportline

Caravan Weight 1300kg – 1400kg: Volkswagen Golf Estate Alltrack 2.0-litre TDI 4MOTION 200PS 7spd DSG

Caravan Weight 1400kg – 1500kg / Family Towcars / Overall Winner:  ŠKODA Karoq Sportline 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG 4×4 SCR

Caravan Weight 1500kg – 1700kg:  Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin

Caravan Weight over 1700kg:  Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid 8-Speed Tiptronic S

Electric Vehicles:  Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor

Plug-in Hybrids Vehicles:  Volvo V90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6

Large Family Towcars:  Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Multivan Style 2.0-litre TSI 204PS 7spd DSG

Nick Lomas, Director General of the Caravan and Motorhome Club said, “This year’s Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Competition was notable for the number of electric vehicles competing, and the EVs performed well against established petrol and diesel offerings.  Meanwhile, SUVs lined up against estates and pick-ups, and even a traditional MPV was fielded.  Leisure vehicle holidays are more popular than ever, it’s important that the Club continues to provide qualified and unbiased information to help all those who plan to tow to find the right towcar for their needs.”

Each car was put through its paces at the UTAC Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford, UK, which provides a variety of testing driving environments. Manufacturers were invited to submit for testing any vehicle that was capable of towing a trailer over 750kg and on sale on 1 October 2022.

The Club’s Scrutiny team thoroughly checked each vehicle before handing it over to the ‘caravanability’ and driving judges.

Caravanability judges tested whether a car’s boot could swallow the bulky accessories normally needed on a caravan trip. They also measured the towball height, both solo and hitched up, and checked the towing information provided in the manufacturer’s handbook.

The cars were then hitched up to caravans ballasted to 85% of their kerbweight, or towing limit if lower. Using specialised apparatus the technical judges then measured the cars’ acceleration and braking capabilities. The car/caravan combinations were then passed over to the driving judges who set off around the UTAC Millbrook circuit to put the vehicles through their paces.

The cars were tested at speeds of up to 55mph on the ‘Alpine route’, which featured various gradients culminating in a 17% hill start and a 26% downhill brake test. The ability to join fast traffic from a standstill was also assessed.

Judges then took the vehicles to the high-speed bowl to further assess their capabilities at speeds in excess of UK legal limits.  In the safety of a controlled environment, the judges could induce some instability at 60mph to see how the cars reacted. The vehicles were also put through reversing examinations.  All-important issues of driver and passenger comfort and visibility were also assessed.

The results of the competition were announced at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards ceremony, held at the Royal Automobile Club in London on 23 September. The awards were presented by British racing driver Mark Blundell.

Lomas continues, “As the UK’s premier event of its type, this competition supplies caravan owners with important information on potential new towcars.  During the exhaustive four-day test, the vehicles are taken on several hundred circuits of the Millbrook Proving Ground, consisting of many laps of the high-speed circular track and demanding alpine hill route.”

Grenville Chamberlain OBE, Caravan and Motorhome Club Chairman, said: “Our sincere congratulations go to all the worthy winners in the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year 2023.  The Club is delighted to be able to share the wealth of data and information about towing vehicles to help both our members and all those who tow.”