2014 towcar winners
15 Oct

Caravan Towcar Of The Year 2014

The Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG has been named The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2014.

The Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG took top honours in its class and went on to be voted overall winner of the 31st Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Competition.  The panel of nine judges suggested that it lived up to its name – simply superb!

For the first time in the competition’s history, entry invitations were extended to all vehicles capable of towing a trailer over 500kg and that are on sale on 1 October 2013.

In The Club’s ongoing quest to provide caravanners with as much information about the vehicles as possible, the usual evaluation of each towcar’s dynamic abilities and ergonomic qualities was carried out.  Tests included a mid-range 30-60mph acceleration assessment, high-speed towing appraisal, reversing, emergency braking, ride and handling evaluations as well as hill-stop and restart trials.  This year, for the first time, car roof loads were assessed, taking in the capacity to carry items such as bicycles.

Held, as in previous years, at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, the competition attracted 41 entrants.  Vehicles were divided into seven price categories, and Class wins in the competition went to: the SsangYong Korando SE; Škoda Octavia hatch 1.2 TSI SE 105PS; Volkswagen Jetta Sport 2.0TDI DSG; Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG; Jaguar XF 2.2D Luxury; Jaguar XF Sportbrake 3.0D Portfolio; and the Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography.

From these Class winners, the sleek, stylish and very capable Škoda Superb emerged as the overall victor, with all driving judges agreeing that “this vehicle is as good as it gets” and “you wouldn’t know you were towing a caravan.”

ll-Wheel drive vehicles competed in two additional categories – ‘All-Wheel Drive Under 1800kg’ and ‘All-Wheel Drive Over 1800kg’. First place in the lighter category went to the all-conquering Škoda, while the Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography took the honours in the heavier group.

The results of the competition were announced at The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Awards ceremony, held at the Royal Automobile Club in London on 25 September.

For the 2014 competition, a Judges’ Special Award recognised any entrant that particularly impressed the assessors, and a vehicle that “offered so much to so many for so little” caught their attention. The award went to a vehicle in the Under £16,000 Class, the Dacia Duster Ambiance 4×4, which “provided good high-speed stability and stopping power, adequate hill-route performance and a hill stop and start that shamed many of the more expensive towcars”.

Grenville Chamberlain, Caravan Club Chairman, commented, “It was great to see so many entrants this year and The Club extends its congratulations to all the winners in this competition.  Special acclaim goes to the terrific Škoda Superb, which demonstrated that it was just about as good as it gets.”

The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2014

More about the winning vehicles…

Vehicles under £16,000.  Class winner SsangYong Korando SE

The vehicle pulled well through all the gears and gave a smooth ride.  Stability at speed was good and it tackled the hill route with enthusiasm.   A very economical vehicle, and a worthy class winner.

Vehicles priced £16,000 – £20,000.  Class winner Škoda Octavia hatch 1.2 TSI SE 105PS

A competent, economical towcar.  For such a little engine, the Octavia breezed around the hill route.  An easy-to-use gearbox and a good-sized boot, as well as a 75kg roof load.

Vehicles priced £20,000 – £25,000.  Class winner Volkswagen Jetta Sport 2.0TDI DSG

With lovely composure, the Jetta handled very well through corners and the steering was great.  Provided a good, agile ride. Generous boot space, full-size spare and 75kg loads on both towball and roof, the Jetta wowed the judges, with one awarding it top marks in every category.

Vehicles priced £25,000 – £31,000.  Class winner Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG;  winner of the All-Wheel Drive Under 1800kg category;  also voted overall winner, The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2014

A great all-round vehicle. With a loading limit of 100kg on the roof, 80kg on the towball and a boot that scored maximum marks, it’s a very tough act to follow.  With great detail and full-size spare, everything was simple to fit.

Vehicles priced £31,000 – £41,000.  Class winner Jaguar XF 2.2D Luxury

A sporty performance and frugal consumption – a great towcar. “Superb”, “brilliant”, “effortless” and “beautifully poised” were just some of the ways judges described this vehicle.  Who wouldn’t want to caravan with a Jaguar, especially one that provides such an effortless performance?

Vehicles priced £41,000 – £51,000.  Class winner Jaguar XF Sportbrake 3.0D Portfolio

With such a blend of power and torque, and a slick-shifting transmission, this vehicle couldn’t fail.  Fun to drive solo, the XF made such a good impression while towing that one judge gave it a full set of top scores.

Vehicles priced over £51,000.  Class winner Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography; also voted winner of the All-Wheel Drive Over 1,800kg category

This vehicle was described as feeling more like a sports car than a two-tonne 4×4.  With clever innovation blended seamlessly with years of 4WD development, experience and engineering, the Range Rover was described as “simply perfect for towing”; large luggage space and plenty of carrying capacity makes this an amazingly capable towcar.

THE CARAVAN CLUB TOWCAR OF THE YEAR 2014

LIST OF ENTRANTS

Vehicles priced under £16,000

SsangYong Korando SE Dacia Duster Ambiance 4×4 Kia Rio 1.4 CRDi 3

Vehicles priced £16,000 – £20,000

Škoda Octavia hatch 1.2 TSI SE 105PS Chevrolet Trax 1.7 LT VCDi Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon 1.7 LT VCDi Vauxhall Mokka Tech Line 1.4 Turbo 4×4

Vehicles priced £20,000 – £25,000

Volkswagen Jetta Sport 2.0TDI DSG Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi KX2 AWD Škoda Octavia Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 150PS SsangYong Korando Sports EXT Mazda6 2.2 SKYACTIV-D 150PS Tourer SE-L Nav Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi 3 MG6 GT DTi-Tech Mitsubishi ASX 4 1.8 DI-D 4WD Mazda CX-5 2.2 SKYACTIV-D 2WD SE-L Nav SsangYong Turismo EX

Vehicles priced £25,000 – £31,000

Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG Volkswagen Golf GT 2.0TDI 150 PS DSG Hyundai i40 Premium SE Tourer Toyota RAV4 Icon 2.2 D4-D Touch & Go Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC 4WD SR Subaru Forester 2.0D XC Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Isuzu D-Max Utah

Vehicles priced £31,000 – £41,000

Jaguar XF 2.2D Luxury Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0TDI 177 PS DSG Land Rover Freelander 2 SD4 HSE Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Executive SE Estate Volvo New XC60 D4 SE Mitsubishi Shogun SG3 LWB Mitsubishi New Outlander GX5

Vehicles priced £41,000 – £51,000

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 3.0D Portfolio Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI BlueTEC AMG Sport Estate Volvo New V60 Plug-in Hybrid

Vehicles priced over £51,000

Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography Land Rover Range Rover Sport SDV6 HSE Mercedes-Benz ML350 CDI BlueTEC AMG Sport Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 HSE Lexus RX450h Premier

All-Terrain Under 1,800kg

Dacia Duster Ambiance 4×4 Vauxhall Mokka Tech Line 1.4 Turbo 4×4 Mitsubishi ASX 4 1.8 DI-D 4WD Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG Toyota RAV4 Icon 2.2 D4-D Touch & Go Honda CR-V 2.2i-DTEC 4WD SR Subaru Forester 2.0D XC Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0TDI 177 PS DSG Land Rover Freelander 2 SD4 HSE Mitsubishi New Outlander GX5

All-Terrain Over 1,800kg

Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi KX2 AWD SsangYong Korando Sports EXT SsangYong Turismo EX Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Isuzu D-Max Utah Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium Mitsubishi Shogun SG3 LWB Volvo New V60 Plug-in Hybrid Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography Land Rover Range Rover Sport SDV6 HSE Mercedes-Benz ML350 CDI BlueTEC AMG Sport Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 HSE Lexus RX450h Premier

THE CARAVAN CLUB TOWCAR OF THE YEAR 2014

LIST OF WINNERS

Vehicles Under £16,000 SsangYong Korando SE

Vehicles £16,000 – £20,000 Škoda Octavia hatch 1.2 TSI SE 105PS

Vehicles £20,000 – £25,000 Volkswagen Jetta Sport 2.0TDI DSG

Vehicles £25,000 – £31,000 Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG

Vehicles £31,000 – £41,000 Jaguar XF 2.2D Luxury
Vehicles £41,000 – £51,000 Jaguar XF Sportbrake 3.0D Portfolio

Vehicles Over £51,000 Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography

All-Wheel Drive Under 1800kg Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG

All-Wheel Drive Over 1800kg Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography

Judges’ Special Award Dacia Duster Ambiance 4×4

Overall Winner Towcar of the Year 2014 Škoda Superb Elegance Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170PS 4×4 DSG

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