Volkswagen’s Passat Estate has once again affirmed its place at the top of the towing tree, having retained its class title at the Tow Car Awards for the third year running.
The Tow Car Awards are a joint venture between Practical Caravan, What Car? and The Camping and Caravanning Club, with caravans and technical support supplied by the Swift Group. The awards were judged this year by a team which included the editor of Practical Caravan magazine, the tow car editor of Practical Caravan, the deputy road test editor of What Car? and the technical department at The Camping and Caravanning Club.
Each car goes through a series of towing tests at the MIRA proving ground, including 30-60 mph acceleration, 30-0 mph braking, a hill start and an emergency lane-change test. Cars aren’t just rated for their towing ability; What Car?’s expert road test team score each car for regular driving, safety, running costs and value for money. The Camping and Caravanning Club’s technical team check practical details such as boot space, how easily extension mirrors can be fitted, and whether the spare wheel provision is suitable for towing.
The aim is to find cars which are great to tow with, but which are also good value and easy to live with in everyday driving. A total of 46 cars were tested this year at the MIRA testing ground in Warwickshire.
Following judging, the Passat Estate Sport 2.0-litre 177 PS TDI BlueMotion Technology, won the ‘1425-1579 kg’ class, beating stiff competition from Mazda, Hyundai and Volvo. Commenting on the vehicle’s performance, David Motton, tow car editor at Practical Caravan said: ‘This is the third year in a row the Passat Estate has topped the second weight category. As a tow car, a daily commuter, or the family taxi, the Volkswagen quietly and efficiently gets on with the job.
‘The Passat’s towing credentials are what we’ll concentrate on here, and after two years at the top of the class, they were never in doubt. Stability at speed is excellent. In everyday driving the Volkswagen continues to unobtrusively make your life easy, thanks to a comfortable ride and excellent refinement. It’s very quiet at speed, and a sound driving position means long journeys are no chore. A very capable all-rounder with no major flaws.’
Remarking on the wins, Robert Hazelwood, Director of Volkswagen UK, said: ‘I’m delighted that the Passat Estate has once again been awarded this important accolade. For the third year running this car has proved itself not only as a highly capable tow car but also a top all-rounder. The towing market is a significant one for us and we’re grateful for the recognition we’ve received from the judges.’
For more information on Volkswagen’s award-winning range of cars, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.
Volkswagen UK is one of the country’s largest importers, accounting for almost one in ten of every car sold. The company sells a wide range of vehicles which range from compact city cars through the best-selling and renowned Golf, Polo and Beetle models, to luxury saloons and 4x4s.