The judges have spoken and the winner of the 39th Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year competition is the SEAT Leon Estate FR 1.5TSI 150PS.
After a week of vigorous testing at the Technical Union for the Automobile Motorcycle and Cycle Industries’ (UTAC) Millbrook Proving Ground, it was the SEAT that took the overall top spot.
Putting towcars through their paces
The unique and demanding track really put the vehicle through its paces as a towcar, demonstrating its performance in a selection of scenarios.
What’s great about the SEAT Leon is that it’s an all-round family estate and the judges were impressed with the 1.5-litre TSi petrol engine, which worked well with the seven-speed auto gearbox.
After handling the faster sections of the route with calm composure, the SEAT Leon didn’t disappoint on the hilly, twistier roads either. It felt agile with the engine coping really well with the inclines.
What’s more, there’s no shortage of room inside the vehicle to stash all your touring equipment, including a decent-sized boot.
Nick Lomas, director general of the Caravan and Motorhome Club said, “With the rise in popularity of the staycation, it’s more important than ever that the Club continues to provide qualified and unbiased information for its one million members to help them to find the right towcar for their needs.
“We’ve also been receiving an increasing number of enquiries about the technicalities and practicalities of towing with hybrid and electric vehicles so it’s fantastic news we are seeing a boom in competition entrants and winners in these categories.”
After the Club’s scrutiny team had assessed the towcars in fine detail, they were handed over to groups of specialised judges, including CaravanTimes’ own Dan Cartwright.
They drew conclusions on everything from driving to caravanability, which covers practical elements like measuring the towball height, both solo and hitched up, and checked the towing information provided in the manufacturer’s handbook.
The right towcar for you
While the SEAT Leon was the overall winner of Towcar of the Year 2022, 11 other vehicles won in a variety of categories, including accolades for pick-ups, electric vehicles and hybrids.
Some 32 entrants were put into caravan weight categories, instead of being listed by price, to facilitate buyers in knowing which cars could tow their caravans.
Here are the winners in each category:
Caravan Weight Under 1100kg and Electric Vehicles
ŠKODA Enyaq iV 80 Lounge 82 kWh 204 PS DSG
Caravan Weight 1100 – 1200kg and Overall Winner
SEAT Leon Estate FR 1.5TSI 150PS
Caravan Weight 1200 – 1300kg
Volkswagen Golf R-Line 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG
Caravan Weight 1300 – 1400kg
Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ (Xtronic)
Caravan Weight 1400 – 1500kg
Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake R-Line 2.0 TDI 200PS DSG
Caravan Weight 1500 – 1700kg
Volvo XC40 Recharge pure electric AWD
Caravan Weight Over 1700kg
Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid 8-Speed Tiptronic S
Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles
Volvo V60 Recharge plug-in hybrid T6 AWD
Ford Kuga ST-Line X Diesel mhev
Large Family Towcar
Ford S-Max FHEV ST-Line
SsangYong P Musso Rhino Auto