The 2020 Towcar Of The Year Winner
The winners have been announced
Monday, 02, Sep 2019 12:52
By William Coleman
For the first time ever one manufacturer has achieved back-to-back wins at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar Of The Year Awards. This was our second year in a row judging the competition and we were very impressed with a newcomer in the electric sector that wowed the judges and could be the beginning of the electric towing turn around.
Last year there was one thing that stood out to me was just how much effort and work goes into the testing. It is not as simple and just jump in and go round the track with a caravan attached. Each set up have to be reloaded and checked every time the vehicles came back off of the track.
A full week of testing over 30 cars for 9 hours a day while really scrutinising every aspect of each towcar, it really is hard work. Each test is done with weight added to both the towcar and caravan to set up the real world weight you can expect when taking your caravan and family away.
Another element that has become a staple of the towcar testing is the caravans that are used to ensure you are brought the best feedback. For the 22nd year in a row Bailey Of Bristol. Bailey provide the caravans and technical support throughout the week to ensure the testing goes off without a hitch, there is a joke in there somewhere.
Simon Howard, Bailey's Marketing Director, said: "It is really incredible to see how arduous and thorough the testing is for this important competition, and we are really proud to have been invited to supply caravans for 20 year"
Two Years 2 Top Winners
Last year's overall winner at the Towcar of the Year was the Volvo XC60,you can read out very own review
?here, and this year the Swedish car manufacturer have done it again with their XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro. This compact SUV wowed the panel of independent judges as they field tested it's 'caravanability'.
Pulling a 1478kg caravan around the Millbrook Proving Ground the XC40 excelled on the tracks many different driving surfaces.
As well as being mechanically superior for towing the XC40 also looks impeccable. The minimalist interior is both comfortable and classy.
The engine is also very capable of cranking up the speed when asked to. The Volvo managed 40-60mph spring of 8.6 seconds during testing.
In regards to how it handles when the can attached received top marks from all those who tested it. The XC40 has a pretty much perfect hitched attitude which was a major factor that lead to the winning of the top title this year.
Volvo also picked up 2 more wins at the awards with the Volvo V60 winning the best towcar for caravans weighing between 1500 and 1700kgs and the XC40 took the top spot in the caravans weighing 1400-1500kgs class.
This Year's Winning Line Up
- Caravan Weight under 1150kg & Alternatively Fuelled : Jaguar I-Pace 400PS Electric HSE
- Caravan Weight 1150kg - 1300kg : SKODA Octavia Estate Sportline 2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG
- Caravan Weight 1300kg - 1400kg & Best Family Towcar : Ford Focus Vignale Estate 2.0 EcoBlue 8-Speed Auto
- Caravan Weight 1400kg - 1500kg & Overall Winner : Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro
- Caravan Weight 1500kg - 1700kg : Volvo V60 D4 AWD Cross Country Plus
- Caravan Weight over 1700kg : Volkswagen Touareg R-Line Tech 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 286PS auto tiptronic
- Best Large Family Towcar : SKODA Kodiaq vRS 2.0 TDI 239 PS 4x4 DSG
- Pick-Up : Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Amarok Trendline 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 204PS auto
The Rise Of The Electric Winner
As well as having Volvo winning overall towcar for the second year in a row the 2020 testing featured a brand new category which had a clear winner that each judge absolutely loved.
The Jaguar I-Pace because the first ever electric car to win a class in the industry's premier towcar competition. The I-Pace took the top spot in the 'Alternatively Fuelled Category'.
As we know, there are quite a few limitations to what an electric vehicle can tow, something that is better but still present with the The Jaguar I-Pace.
Things are better with this electric tow car but the distance it can tow when hitched is limited. The maximum caravan weight that The Club would suggest is 750kg, which is quite a limiting amount when it comes to what caravan you can use.
Hybrid vehicles are a regular entry into the competition but have yet taken an award home, until this year.
The all round performance proved that electricity can be used, very well, for towing caravans. One noteworthy mention is the sheer acceleration power of the I-Pace, it was a bit of a brute which was not expected from an electric vehicle.
Under the test conditions set during the Millbrook testing the Jaguar got around 108 miles on a full charge with a caravan hooked up with 50 or so miles left in reserve.
All in all the Jaguar I-Pace really impressed each judge and the majority felt that this is a big step in the right direction for E towing.