THE HONDA CIVIC 1.6i DTEC ES took the prestigious ‘Best Green tow car’ award at the 2013 Tow Car Awards.


Our testers said that: ‘Despite achieving 78.5mpg on the combined cycle, the Civic diesel is strong enough for towing, pulling its van 30-60mph in 18.7 seconds… Honda has led the What Car? Reliability Survey for seven years.”


There were many more small cars and petrol models on the 2013 test programme, in response to feedback from readers of Practical Caravan and members of the Camping and Caravanning Club.


If you tow a folding caravan or trailer tent, and want a small, economical car to pull it with, we can now point you in the right direction.


Economy while towing was also part of this year’s test programme. We assessed a cross section of this year’s tow cars, tugging caravans laden to 85% of the tow car’s kerbweight, to measure the impact of towing on fuel economy accurately.


To do this, we joined forces with What Car’s True MPG testers. Sophisticated emissions equipment measures CO and CO2 emissions, which in turn give an accurate picture of a car’s fuel economy.


Here are the results:


Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 150 GT DSG 5dr (diesel hatchback)

Solo MPG 46.2

Towing MPG 25.3

Percentage reduction in economy when towing 45%


Dacia Duster 1.5dCi Ambience 4×4 (small SUV)

Solo MPG 43.9

Towing MPG 27.8

Percentage reduction in economy when towing 37%


Mazda 6 2.0 165 Sport 4dr (petrol saloon)

Solo MPG 47.3

Towing MPG 27.3

Percentage reduction in economy when towing 42%


Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 XS (large SUV)

Solo MPG 26.9

Towing MPG 18

Percentage reduction in economy when towing 33%