Lizzie Pope
Digital Editor

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Tow car favourites Škoda, Kia and Volkswagen all star as the results of 2016's JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study are released, writes Lizzie Pope

Škoda has topped the second JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study, released this week, which reveals you don’t always get what you pay for – according to this report’s results, mass-market automotive brands in Britain collectively have fewer problems than premium ones.

Of course, caravanners often travel long distances when on tour, meaning a dependable tow car is key to ensuring you can relax and get the most from your caravan holidays.

This study measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of vehicles in the UK after 12 to 36 months of ownership. The volume versus prestige trend, seen to a lesser extent in the 2015 study, could be attributed to the greater level of tech on premium cars, as in-car technology was one of the major sources of quality problems reported during this study, connectivity issues with built-in Bluetooth kits the most frequently logged problem.

This is the second gong in recent weeks for the Czech manufacturer, following its overall victory at Practical Caravan’s 2016 Tow Car Awards, secured by the Škoda Superb Hatch 2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business, so the results of this week’s British JD Power survey bode well for caravanners who love their Škodas.

In fact, the manufacturer was rated highest in terms of vehicle dependability for a second year in a row, with Suzuki the runner up. Cars were ranked by how many problems were reported per 100 cars, Škoda and Suzuki scoring 66 and 79 respectively.

In the bronze medal position was Kia, another caravanners’ favourite thanks to the much-loved Sorento, the marque scoring 80. In fourth place was Vauxhall (90), Volkswagen and Peugeot next, tied with 92 apiece. The industry average is 113, a tiny improvement on last year’s average of 114.

Languishing at the bottom of the table, however, was a real tow car favourite: Land Rover. Perhaps the heavyweight prestige brand’s rating of 197 is due in no small part to the amount of kit on board? And Land Rover’s score also puts it a not insubstantial 23 points behind the next-lowest scoring automotive manufacturer, budget brand Dacia.

Looking more closely at the findings of this study, class results that might interest caravanners include the Toyota Auris beating the Škoda Octavia, a previous Tow Car Awards winner, in the Compact Car category. While over in the Compact SUV class, the Škoda Yeti triumphed over the VW Tiguan for dependability.

Top in the ‘Large and luxury’ category was the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, pushing Jaguar’s XF and BMW’s 5 Series into second and third places respectively. But the three-pointed star had to settle for second in the Midsize Car banding with the C-Class, the Ford Mondeo third and the Vauxhall Insignia coming out on top.

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