Welcome to the second show in our new series on The Caravan Channel – and this time it is a towing special! So tune in and find out more about some of the best and most exciting new tow cars of 2015, with Practical Caravan’s tow car expert David Motton.
First, it’s time to test the mighty new Land Rover Discovery Sport, which replaces the Freelander – and, appropriately for a 4×4 test, it’s raining! We’re towing with the SD4 auto, which boasts a kerbweight of 1863kg, a legal towing limit of 2200kg and a noseweight limit of 100kg, as well as impressive performance figures. Like its predecessor, Motty is pleased to report that the Land Rover Discovery Sport SD4 auto is a strong tow car and stable on the limit, however he has a few gripes with its emissions and refinement – tune in for the full story.
Make sure you watch The Caravan Channel, which you’ll find on Sky 261, Freesat 402 or Freeview 254. Alternately, watch live online on the Information TV website. Each show is on 10 times over a two-week period – please scroll down for the full TV schedule.
Next, it’s the turn of the new Ford Mondeo to fall under our spotlight, here in 2.0-litre TDCi Econetic guise. Matched with a five-berth Bailey Pursuit 540-5, the Ford’s engine proved more than up to the job, making this a relaxing car to tow with. The Mondeo also excelled in our lane-change test, staying on course even when pushed. Watch our review to see what space both people and luggage can enjoy in this car when on tour – and more.
Then in our towing special show on The Caravan Channel, we look at a heavyweight, the latest version of the Kia Sorento. It is better equipped, better finished, more spacious and also more expensive than before, but you get a lot for your money, and with a 1932kg kerbweight, there’s not a lot this Sorento can’t tow. Powered by a flexible and powerful 197bhp/325lb ft 2.2-litre diesel engine, even from low revs the Sorento pulls well, so you don’t need to work the gearbox hard, even when towing a big, twin-axle caravan. Check out our show live online, on Freesat 402, on Freeview 254 or on Sky 261, and watch our full Kia Sorento review.
Our fourth tow car test showcases the Nissan X-Trail – and if first appearances are anything to go by, has it gone soft? This four-wheel drive car is powered by diesel engine with a capacity of just 1.6 litres, making it the smallest-engined car tested in this TV show so far. However, this unit produces a decent 128bhp plus 236lb ft torque and feels pretty capable, but it does lack some overtaking punch, although economy is impressive. Get inside the Nissan X-Trail with our Motty on The Caravan Channel.
After the break, Motty kicks off part two of our tow car special featuring 2015’s top tugs with his Volvo XC90 review. Lighter, more fuel efficient and more sophisticated than before, this smart-looking, seven-seat SUV will make for an eye-catching outfit on tour and is powered by a four-cylinder engine that pushes out a very useful 347lb ft of torque. Paired with an Elddis Crusader, the Volvo was more than up to towing this twin-axle caravan, being well-controlled and composed, even under pressure. You don’t want to miss our Volvo XC90 test.
We follow this with another large tow car in the form of the Mitsubishi L200, a double-cab pick-up with a healthy kerbweight of 1935kg, and a low ratio gearbox that might useful if you’re a fan of year-round touring. Getting it moving is a 2.4-litre engine with 178bhp and 317lb ft torque, which has lots of mid-range muscle. It’s definitely a better drive than its predecessors, and it’s more refined and the cabin is better finished, too, and it’s more stable when towing than the car it replaces. Watch our special show for the full lowdown on this multi-purpose Mitsubishi.
Finally, it’s the turn of the Seat Leon X-Perience to be put through our tough tow car test. With four-wheel drive and a gutsy diesel engine, wrapped in a practical package, on paper this car has a lot going for it. And right away, this 148bhp model felt like a very capable tow car. Add the 2.0-litre diesel engine’s 250lb ft of torque and we certainly didn’t feel short-changed, despite this being the range’s lower-powered model. Tune in to find out why Motty thinks the Seat Leon X-Perience is a confidence-inspiring tow car.
With seven reviews to watch to help you decide what tow car to buy next, make sure you don’t miss our special TV show. This episode will be broadcast between Monday 16 November and Sunday 29 November 2015, at these times, on these days:
- Monday at 8pm
- Wednesday at 5pm
- Friday at 7pm
- Saturday at 7pm
- Sunday at 7pm
The Land Rover Discovery Sport SD4 auto is a strong tow car and stable on the limit