ŠKODA’s Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4×4 DSG lifted this year’s overall trophy, and also scooped class and category wins in the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year 2018 Competition. This is the 35th year of the industry’s premier towcar competition.
The competition’s 44 entrants were split into seven price classes, two weight categories and a newly-introduced Pick-Up category, with winning vehicles coming from ŠKODA, SsangYong, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Volvo.
However, it was ŠKODA’s Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4×4 DSG that took the overall victory. One of the judges commented, “ŠKODA has once again built a fantastic, no nonsense, utterly awesome towcar.”
Each towcar was thoroughly tested – being judged not only on its towing performance over the testing circuit at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, but also for ‘caravanability’ ie how well does it cater for caravanners’ needs? For example how much typical holiday gear and caravan essentials it can accommodate, how easily it can be hitched up to a caravan and the quality of towing information available in its handbook. Also added to the marking equation was the towcar’s value for money.
Seven driving judges evaluated each car for its dynamic abilities and ergonomic qualities – the test route included tight and twisty ‘country lanes’, 17% hill stops and starts, as well as circuits of a high-speed bowl. The vehicles were also put through reversing examinations. The four days of arduous and rigorous evaluation highlighted that every vehicle could be considered a respectable towcar, so long as it was properly matched to its caravan.
Price class awards in the competition went to: SsangYong Korando SE 4×4 MY17; Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport SRi NAV 1.6 136PS Turbo D ecoTEC; ŠKODA Octavia Estate Scout 2.0 TDI 150PS 4×4; Volkswagen Golf Estate Alltrack 2.0TDI 4MOTION 184PS DSG; ŠKODA Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4×4 DSG 190PS; Volvo XC60 D4 Inscription and Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Momentum.
All-wheel drive vehicles competed in two additional weight categories: ‘Under 1800kg’ and ‘Over 1800kg’. Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Momentum took the ‘Over 1800kg’ prize, while the ŠKODA Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4×4 DSG 190PS took first place in the ‘Under 1800kg’ category.
The newly-introduced Pick-Up category was won by the rugged and muscular Volkswagen Amarok Highline 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 224PS.
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 22 September. The awards were presented by journalist and TV presenter, Matt Allwright, who also spent time at Millbrook to see how the judging process was carried out.
Grenville Chamberlain, Caravan and Motorhome Club Chairman, said: “As Europe’s premier touring Club, it always gives a sense of pride to see this leading competition be so well supported by the car manufacturing industry. The 44 entrants gave the judges a challenging time in selecting the winners – the winning manufacturers should take great satisfaction from their achievements. This competition is designed to provide the most up-to-date and relevant information for the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s one million members to ensure we ease their purchasing process so they can make their decision in the knowledge they have all the information they require to buy their perfect towcar; and enjoy inspiring and adventurous holidays.”
Matt Allwright, TV presenter, journalist and guest presenter commented, “It was great to be at Millbrook Proving Ground to see the cars put through their paces. No stone was left unturned by the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s expert testers. Whoever comes away with the big prizes today can know they’ve really earned their spurs.”
Simon Howard, Marketing Director of Bailey of Bristol, who provides the caravans for testing, commented, “It is 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 years running.”