The road to Discovery

29/09/2015

Land Rover’s luxury SUV takes a much-deserved, first overall win in the industry’s most prestigious towcar competition, The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year.

The competition’s 43 entrants, which were split into seven price classes and two weight categories, ranged from the MG6 S DTI-TECH, the ‘Under £17,500’ class winner at just £14,347, to the Land Rover Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography coming in at a whopping £97,700.

Out of a diverse entry list, the Land Rover Discovery HSE LUX sat at the top as ‘Over £50,000’ class winner, All-Wheel Drive Over 1,800kg category victor and The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2016.

Each towcar endured a gruelling series of trials – being judged not only on their towing performance over the testing circuit at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, but also for their ‘caravanability’. This measures how well the car holds up to a caravanner’s needs – how much typical holiday gear and caravan essentials it can accommodate, how easily it can be hooked up to a caravan and the quality of towing information available in its handbook. Also added to the marking equation was the towcar’s value for money.

Seven driving judges evaluated each car for its dynamic abilities and ergonomic qualities – the test route included tight and twisty ‘country lanes’, 17% hill stops and starts, as well as circuits of a high-speed bowl. They were also put through reversing tests. These four days of rigorous evaluation highlighted that every vehicle could be considered a respectable towcar, so long as it was properly matched to its caravan.

Price class awards in the competition went to: the MG6 S DTI-TECH; Renault Captur Dynamique Nav dCi 110; Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0-litre TDI BlueMotion Technology 150 PS DSG; Škoda Octavia Estate Scout 2.0TDI 150PS 4x4; Volkswagen Passat Estate GT 2.0-litre TDI SCR 190 PS DSG; Volkswagen Touareg R-Line 3.0-litre V6 TDI 262 PS 4MOTION; and the Land Rover Discovery HSE LUX.

From these class winners, it was the Land Rover Discovery that took the overall victory. It can accommodate ‘massive amounts of luggage’ and is available with a handy TowAssist guidance system.

All-wheel drive vehicles competed in two additional weight categories; ‘Under 1,800kg’ and ‘Over 1,800kg’. Of course, the Land Rover Discovery took the ‘Over 1,800kg’ prize, while the Volkswagen Passat Estate GT 2.0-litre Bi-TDI SCR 240 PS 4MOTION took first place in the Under 1,800kg category. Volkswagen also took home the ‘Judges Award for Innovation’, for its fabulous ‘Trailer Assist’ feature, which allows you to reverse the car and trailer using only the door mirror controls and the accelerator pedal.

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 24 September.

Grenville Chamberlain, Caravan Club Chairman said: “It was great to see such a diverse variety of vehicles entered into the competition this year. There is a vehicle choice for everyone’s needs, whether you tow a small trailer tent or a large twin-axle caravan. On behalf of The Caravan Club, our congratulations go to all the winners and a special mention must go to Land Rover for its triumphant Discovery. I am sure we will see our competition entrants on Club Sites in the near future.”

Find out more about The Caravan Club's Towcar of the Year Award.


Contact information

Nikki Nichol 
External Communications and Sponsorship Manager 
The Caravan Club
01342 336 797 / 07771 834443
nikki.nichol@caravanclub.co.uk

Rochelle Claxton
Communications Administrator
The Caravan Club
01342 779346
rochelle.claxton@caravanclub.co.uk

Notes to editor

Champions of the great outdoors, The Caravan Club represents the interests of over one million caravanners, motorhomers and trailer tent owners across the UK.

Driving Judges: Bernie Jones, Club member and caravan course instructor; Ben Hackney-Williams, Warners Publications; Lesley Harris, road test journalist for Auto Express Magazine; Lee Davey, specialist press journalist; Tim Rayment, Sunday Times; John Harris, Events Committee member; Deborah Black, Events Committee member.


Caravanability Judges: Keith and Caroline Rogers, Caravan Course Instructors


Thanks: The Caravan Club would like to thank Bailey of Bristol for supplying all the caravans used in the competition, and for providing staff on site throughout the event. Simon Howard and Mark Elsom ensured the caravans were correctly ballasted, that their noseweights were kept in trim and that they were in general good working order. Stuart Mead from AL-KO ensured brakes were adjusted, wheels were kept tight and all undergear was properly fettled. Raclet Ltd at Wokingham, importer of Trigano Silver Caravans, for the provision of a Silver 310 Pop Top Caravan.


The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2016 Competition
When, Where and How…
Testing took place in July at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire – arguably the best car testing facility in the country. This year, 43 cars were divided into seven price-range classifications and two classes for all-wheel-drive vehicles (‘All-Wheel Drive {AWD} Under 1,800kg’ and ‘AWD Over 1,800kg’).

Manufacturers were invited to submit for testing any vehicle that was capable of towing a trailer over 750kg and on sale on 1 October 2015.

The cars entered were carefully scrutinised to ensure that they conformed to the exact specification declared on the entry documentation. Five expert drivers assessed each car’s towing characteristics including acceleration, braking and the ability to cope with demanding hill starts. A further two driving judges performed mid-range 30-60mph and 40-60mph acceleration tests on each vehicle. Another team of two ‘caravanability’ judges evaluated each entrant’s usability in terms of everyday caravanning: would it carry a set of awning poles, for instance, and do you have to get on your hands and knees to connect the caravan electrics?

Caravans used during testing were supplied by Bailey of Bristol, and loaded to 85% of the relevant car’s kerbweight, or the car’s towing limit if that figure was lower. Noseweights were set at 7% of the caravan’s actual laden weight, or the car or tow hitch’s maximum limit, whichever was lowest. Raclet supplied a lightweight Silver caravan for vehicles towing under 1,000kg.

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nikki.nichol@camc.com
@Media_CAMC

01342 336 797
07771 834 443

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