Here I’ve picked my top 10 potential tow cars – in no particular order – from the Geneva motor show.
A new Chinese car maker, Qoros showcased the Qoros 3 and 3 Cross hybrid concept cars. The 3 is a saloon that’s about the size of the VW Jetta – itself a proven tow car – which is due to go into production later this year, followed by an estate version. Qoros currently only lists a range of 1.6-litre petrol engines, though. Expect keen pricing.
The fourth-generation AWD Forester is due on sale in the UK this summer. The new model is sleeker and more stylish, and the 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine produces 258lb.ft at 1600-2400rpm. With a kerbweight of 1556kg and a max tow of 2000kg, it looks like it’ll be a capable tow car.
A rival for the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5, the fourth generation of the RAV4 took its European bow at the Geneva show. It’s longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, and features a new 2.0 litre turbodiesel available with 2WD, as well as an AWD 2.2 litre version.
Volswagen Golf Estate
The Estate version of the Mk 7 Golf, which has performed so well in our tow car awards down the years, took its bow. The bad news for caravanners is that it’s up to 100kg lighter than its predecessor (depending on the variant), but has more boot space. There are three diesel engine options: a 104bhp 1.6 TDI, a 109bhp 1.6 Bluemotion and a 148bhp 2.0 TDI. The cars are set to arrive in the UK in October.
A second SUV from Ford, the EcoSport is built on the Fiesta platform, sits just below the Kuga, and is packed with new technology, such as smartphone connectivity. It’s set to arrive in the UK at the end of the year. The largest turbodiesel engine offered is a 1.5-litre unit.
Our Motty was broadly impressed by the Duster SUV, from Renault budget-brand Dacia, as a potential towcar. Now the Logan MCV, which is effectively an estate version of the Sandero, is expected to go on sale in June for around £7000.
Skoda Octavia Estate
The Octavia’s a renowned tow car, and the new, bigger estate version looks set to continue that reputation. It’s due in the UK in June. Skoda also unveiled the new Octavia 4×4 in Geneva, which we understand won’t be available until 2014.
It’s a styling concept, but I rather like the look of this crossover model, which is aimed at the likes of Kia’s Sportage and Nissan’s Qashqai. The Rodius people carrier has also been significantly improved.
Honda Civic Tourer
Although it was billed as a concept, it’s nearly ready to go into production and should arrive in dealerships in 2014. The Civic Tourer will be a rival to the Focus and Golf estates. At least one version of the 1.6 litre turbodiesel engine is expected.
This concept version of Mitsubishi’s pick-up looks great, and comes with an interesting new development in its electric vehicle technology: it pairs a 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine and a front-mounted electric motor to drive the wheels through an automatic gearbox.