Towcar of the Year 2020

Towcar of the Year 2020 – Volvo XC40


Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro takes the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year 2020 crown.

Towcar of the Year 2020
Towcar of the Year 2020

The Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro has won this year’s overall trophy and also triumphed in the Caravan Weight 1400kg-1500kg category in the 37th Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Competition. 

The industry’s premier towcar awards saw Volvo win back-to-back titles for the first time, while an all-electric Jaguar made a significant competition breakthrough. 

The compact and stylish SUV impressed the judges around Millbrook Proving Ground’s tight and twisting ‘country lanes’ with consummate ease, and also proved rock-solid when pushed faster around the high-speed bowl.

The 36 entrants were put into caravan weight categories – rather than being listed by price – to make it easier for buyers to know which cars could tow their caravans.

Cars were entered into classes using their 85% kerbweight figure or by their towing limit, whichever was the lower.

The competition had six weight classes, two Family Towcar categories as well as Pick-Up and Alternatively Fuelled categories.

The six weight classes were:

  • Caravan Weight under 1150kg & Alternatively Fuelled
  • Caravan Weight 1150kg – 1300kg
  • Caravan Weight 1300kg – 1400kg & Best Family Towcar
  • Caravan Weight 1400kg – 1500kg & Overall Winner
  • Caravan Weight 1500kg – 1700kg
  • Caravan Weight over 1700kg
  • Best Large Family Towcar
  • Pick-Up

The competing car line up in the classes were:

Caravan Weight under 1150kg

Jaguar I-Pace 400PS Electric HSE

ŠKODA Scala SE 1.6 TDI 115 PS Manual

Volkswagen Polo SEL 1.0 TSI 115PS DSG

Volkswagen T-Cross SE 1.0 TSI 115PS DSG


Caravan Weight 1150kg – 1300kg

Dacia Duster Comfort Blue DCI 115 4×4

SEAT Ateca XCELLENCE 2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG

ŠKODA Octavia Estate Sportline 2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG

Subaru XV 2.0i SE Premium Lineartronic


Caravan Weight 1300kg – 1400kg

Ford Focus Vignale Estate 2.0 EcoBlue 8-Speed Auto

Mazda6 2.5 194ps GT Sport Nav+ Tourer Auto

Peugeot 508 SW GT Line 2.0l BlueHDi 160 EAT8 S&S

Subaru Forester 2.0i XE Premium Lineartronic

Volkswagen Arteon Elegance 2.0-litre TDI SCR 150PS manual


Caravan Weight 1400kg – 1500kg

Mazda CX-5 2.2 184PS AWD GT Sport Nav+

Subaru Outback 2.5i SE Premium Lineartronic

Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro


Caravan Weight 1500kg – 1700kg

Citroën Space Tourer Flair M BlueHDi 180 EAT8

Jaguar E-Pace 240PS R-Dynamic SE

Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport 2.0l 300ps AWD

Kia Sorento 2.2CRDI KX-3 Auto (7 seats)

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque D240 HSE R-Dynamic

Mitsubishi Outlander 19MY PHEV. 4hs 2.4 Auto

Nissan X-TRAIL 1.7L dCi 150 AWD Manual 7 seater

Volvo V60 D4 AWD Cross Country Plus


Caravan Weight over 1700kg

Isuzu D-Max Utah Double Cab manual

Land Rover Discovery SD6 306ps HSE Luxury

Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e HSE Dynamic

Mercedes-Benz E400D 4MATIC All Terrain

Mercedes-Benz GLE 300D AMG Line 7 Seater

Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 4 Auto

Nissan Navara 2.3 Doublecab dCi 190 Tekna

ŠKODA Kodiaq vRS 2.0 TDI 239 PS 4×4 DSG

SsangYong Musso Rebel auto

SsangYong Rexton ICE auto

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Amarok Trendline 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 204PS auto

Volkswagen Touareg R-Line Tech 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 286PS auto tiptronic


Alternatively Fuelled

Jaguar I-Pace 400PS Electric HSE

Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e HSE Dynamic

Mitsubishi Outlander 19MY PHEV. 4hs 2.4 Auto


Best Family Towcar

Ford Focus Vignale Estate 2.0 EcoBlue 8-Speed Auto

Mazda CX-5 2.2 184PS AWD GT Sport Nav+

Mazda6 2.5 194ps GT Sport Nav+ Tourer Auto

Peugeot 508 SW GT Line 2.0l BlueHDi 160 EAT8 S&S

Subaru Forester 2.0i XE Premium Lineartronic

Subaru Outback 2.5i SE Premium Lineartronic

Volkswagen Arteon Elegance 2.0-litre TDI SCR 150PS manual

Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro


Best Large Family Towcar

Citroën Space Tourer Flair M BlueHDi 180 EAT8

Kia Sorento 2.2CRDI KX-3 Auto (7 seats)

Land Rover Discovery SD6 306ps HSE Luxury

Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e HSE Dynamic

Mercedes-Benz GLE 300D AMG Line 7 Seater

Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 4 Auto

Nissan X-TRAIL 1.7L dCi 150 AWD Manual 7 seater

ŠKODA Kodiaq vRS 2.0 TDI 239 PS 4×4 DSG

SsangYong Rexton ICE auto


Pick-Up

Isuzu D-Max Utah Double Cab manual

Nissan Navara 2.3 Doublecab dCi 190 Tekna

SsangYong Musso Rebel auto

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Amarok Trendline 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 204PS auto


The complete winners’ line-up is as follows: 

  • Caravan Weight under 1150kg & Alternatively Fuelled : Jaguar I-Pace 400PS Electric HSE
  • Caravan Weight 1150kg – 1300kg : ŠKODA Octavia Estate Sportline 2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG
  • Caravan Weight 1300kg – 1400kg & Best Family Towcar : Ford Focus Vignale Estate 2.0 EcoBlue 8-Speed Auto
  • Caravan Weight 1400kg – 1500kg & Overall Winner : Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro
  • Caravan Weight 1500kg – 1700kg : Volvo V60 D4 AWD Cross Country Plus
  • Caravan Weight over 1700kg : Volkswagen Touareg R-Line Tech 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 286PS auto tiptronic
  • Best Large Family Towcar : ŠKODA Kodiaq vRS 2.0 TDI 239 PS 4×4 DSG
  • Pick-Up : Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Amarok Trendline 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 204PS auto

More about the winning vehicles…

Caravan Weight under 1150kg & Alternatively Fuelled: Jaguar I-Pace 400PS Electric HSE

The judges were impressed not only by the Jaguar’s acceleration but also by its refinements. During straight-line tests, it accelerated from 0 to 60mph in a staggering seven seconds – while towing.

Caravan Weight 1150kg – 1300kg: ŠKODA Octavia Estate Sportline 2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG

Comfortable and stable at cruising speeds with an attractive interior and great visibility. The judges praised the Octavia for its large boot as well as excellent information data in the handbook.

Caravan Weight 1300kg – 1400kg & Best Family Towcar: Ford Focus Vignale Estate 2.0 EcoBlue 8-Speed Auto

All the driving judges were effusive in their praise of its superb handling when towing, the engine and gearbox working in perfect harmony. It has plenty of punch when you need it most – the Ford Focus is a class act.

Caravan Weight 1400kg – 1500kg & Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year 2020 overall winner: Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro

The judges agreed that it’s a great-looking, sporty SUV that has good all-round towing credentials. The minimalistic interior is classy and a comfortable place to spend some time. The engine is punchy when needed.

Caravan Weight 1500kg – 1700kg: Volvo V60 D4 AWD Cross Country Plus

This sporty, compact estate car certainly looks the part and is a safe, solid towcar. The interior is stylish with functions running through the floating, tablet-inspired infotainment system.  Judges were impressed with the luggage space and an electrically – retractable towbar.

Caravan Weight over 1700kg: Volkswagen Touareg R-Line Tech 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 286PS auto tiptronic

The powerful V6 3.0-litre engine was nothing short of outstanding, coping admirably with a large twin-axle caravan. Ride, handling and steering were all praised and the stability at all speeds was excellent.

Best Large Family Towcar: ŠKODA Kodiaq vRS 2.0 TDI 239 PS 4×4 DSG

Everything you need for happy towing – pace, refinement, looks, space, the list goes on – the Kodiaq is a seriously impressive, sure-footed towcar with brilliant handling and an excellent ride at all speeds.

Pick-Up: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Amarok Trendline 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION 204PS auto

The 3.0-litre V6 engine makes light work of hauling a caravan.  The Amarok put in yet another sterling performance, so it was no great surprise when it retained its ‘Pick-Up’ category title.


Each car was put through its paces at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford, which provides a variety of testing driving environments.

Manufacturers were invited to submit for testing any vehicle that was capable of towing a trailer over 750kg and on sale on 1 October 2019.

The Club’s technical team thoroughly checked each vehicle before handing it over to the ‘caravanability’ and driving judges.

Caravanability judges tested whether a car’s boot could swallow the bulky accessories normally needed on a caravan trip.

They also measured the towball height, both solo and hitched up, and checked the towing information provided in the manufacturer’s handbook.

The cars were then hitched up to caravans ballasted to 85% of their kerbweight, or towing limit if lower.

Using specialised apparatus the technical judges then measured the cars’ acceleration and braking capabilities.

The car/caravan combinations were then passed over to the driving judges who set off around the Millbrook circuit to put the vehicles through their paces.

The cars were tested at speeds of up to 55mph on the ‘Alpine route’, which featured various gradients culminating in a 17% hill start and a 26% downhill brake test.

The ability to join fast traffic from a standstill was also assessed.

Judges then took the vehicles to the high-speed bowl to further assess their capabilities at speeds in excess of UK legal limits. 

In the safety of a controlled environment, the judges could induce some instability at 60mph to see how the cars reacted.

The vehicles were also put through reversing examinations.  All-important issues of driver and passenger comfort and visibility were also assessed.

The results of the competition were announced at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards ceremony, held at the Royal Automobile Club in London on 20 September.

The awards were presented by British racing driver Mark Blundell. Blundell competed in Formula One for four seasons,  won the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans, was an ITV F1 presenter and this year he made his return to the race track on the grid for the British Touring Car Championship.

He also spent time at Millbrook to see how the judging process was carried out.


Grenville Chamberlain OBE, Caravan and Motorhome Club Chairman, said:

“Here at the Caravan and Motorhome Club we are proud of our 37-year heritage with this competition and the wealth of data and information we are able to offer people on their choice of towcar.   

Our sincere congratulations go to all the worthy winners in the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year 2020.”

Mark Blundell commented,

“It was great to be back with the Caravan and Motorhome Club for this competition. 

The level of testing and assessment they put the vehicles through really is second-to-none. 

This was my second time at Millbrook Proving Ground for the competition, and while hybrid cars have regularly competed this year saw the first all-electric vehicle take an award.”


For more information about the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s Towcar of the Year competition please visit https://www.camc.com/towcar/

For further information and details about the Caravan and Motorhome Club visit www.camc.com

To see last years winner click HERE


Post Author: Caravan Gossip

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