VOLKSWAGEN’S PASSAT ESTATE 2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport has been named the overall winner in the Towcar Awards 2011.


The awards are Britain’s toughest towcar tests, taking expertise from Practical Caravan, the Camping and Caravanning Club and What Car? to deliver definitive verdicts on the best towing performers. In 2011, judges were unanimous in their praise for the winner.



Weight-class winners

Practical Caravan editor Nigel Donnelly said: “The Volkswagen Passat Estate tows brilliantly. It’s a pleasure to drive and travel in, economical to run and easy to live with. It also provides unshakeable stability and responsive steering, which leaves drivers fresh, ready to unhitch and start enjoying their holiday.”


The Volkswagen Passat offers a remarkable average economy figure of 60.1mpg. Fuel efficiency is boosted by the engine’s stop-start system, which cuts the engine in stationary traffic and starts it again when the driver is ready to move off. Carbon dioxide emissions of just 123g/km are lower than those of many smaller cars and mean the Passat Estate will cost just £95 per year in road tax. It won the 1425-1574kg weight class as well as the overall prize.


Volkswagen also scooped the Up to 1424kg category with its Golf 2.0 TDI Match 5dr for the second year in a row.


The Ford Mondeo Estate 2.0 TDCi won the 1575-1724kg category and the BMW 520d Touring SE the 1725-1899kg category. Last year’s overall winner, the Land Rover Discovery, proved it’s still a great towcar by picking up the 1900kg and above category.



Chevrolet’s seven-seat Orlando 2.0 VCDi MPV is a great all-round vehicle that won’t break the bank, attributes which made it the Budget MPV winner.


This year’s Green Award went to Vauxhall for the Astra Sports Tourer. Donnelly said: “The remarkable Astra Sports Tourer impressed all the judges. It has stability that matched some of the best models in the top weight category – which is some accolade. Running costs are low with promises of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of just 119g/km. A few cars in this year’s tests beat those figures, but none tows as well as the Astra.”

The Mazda CX-7 2.2D Sport Tech won the Editor’s Choice award. Donnelly commented: “The Mazda is a good match for many a mid-range tourer. Unlike many cars in its class it’s an engaging drive with precise steering, good brakes and generous standard kit.”



About the Towcar Awards 2011

Practical Caravan,  the Camping and Caravanning Club and What Car? hitched 50 cars to caravans in their quest to find the best towing cars for 2011 to help holidaymakers make the right choice this year.

Jim Holder, editor of What Car? magazine, said: “What Car? has long helped people to buy their next new car with confidence, and we’re proud to be part of tests that help people to choose their next towcar with the same confidence.”


Matthew Eastlake, the Club’s Marketing & Communications Director, added: “The Towcar Awards is now an established event in the club’s calendar and the aim has always been to provide campers and caravanners with the very best and latest information about the leading vehicles suitable for towing.

“Our rigorous, robust tests, carried out by our experienced judges, ensure results are accurate and genuine and we believe that this helps our members to take informed decisions about high-value purchases. Hopefully they are able to enjoy safe, comfortable and enjoyable motoring as a result.”



Full results and test verdicts on all 50 cars tested appear in Practical Caravan August issue which in the shops 23rd June.