volkswagen passat estate pulls in fourth tow car award

Jun 12, 2014

Volkswagen’s Passat Estate has retained its class title at the Tow Car Awards for the fourth year running, confirming that it’s a family car with real pulling power.

The Tow Car Awards are a joint venture between Practical Caravan, What Car? and The Camping and Caravanning Club. The awards were judged by a team including staff from Practical Caravan magazine, What Car? and the technical department at The Camping and Caravanning Club.

Each car goes through a series of towing tests at the MIRA proving ground, including 30-60 mph acceleration, 30-0 mph braking, a hill start and an emergency lane-change test. Cars aren’t rated solely for their towing ability; What Car?’s expert road test team scores each car for regular driving, safety, running costs and value for money. The Camping and Caravanning Club’s technical team check practical details such as boot space, how easily extension mirrors can be fitted, and whether the spare wheel provision is suitable for towing. The aim is to find cars which are great to tow with, but which are also good value and easy to live with in everyday driving. 

Following judging, the Passat Estate Executive Style 2.0-litre 177 PS TDI DSG BlueMotion Technology won the ‘1425-1579 kg’ class, beating stiff competition from Land Rover, Honda and Subaru, among others. Commenting on the vehicle’s performance, David Motton, tow car editor at Practical Caravan said: ‘First and foremost we’re interested in how well a car tows, and the Passat remains the benchmark for mid-sized tow cars. Stability at speed is a given, and the Volkswagen feels settled and calm at 70 mph in breezy conditions that had other cars wandering at 60 mph.

‘The electronic parking brake held car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope, and this year’s test car was fitted with DSG, which means there’s no clutch pedal to worry about – this made tackling the hill even easier than in previous years.’

He concluded: ‘Although towing ability is the bedrock of the Passat’s success, it’s just as impressive when the caravan is safely parked on your driveway. It handles neatly, rides comfortably and is impressively quiet at speed.’

Remarking on the win, Robert Hazelwood, Director of Volkswagen UK, said: ‘It’s great news that the Passat Estate has once again been awarded this important accolade. For the fourth year running this car has proved itself not only as a highly capable tow car but also a top all-rounder.  The towing market is a significant one for us and we’re grateful for the recognition we’ve received from the judges.’ 

Prices for the multi-award-winning Volkswagen Passat Estate start at £21,740 RRP OTR, and rise to £32,160 for the range-topping Alltrack model with four-wheel-drive and added off-road capability.  An all-new Passat is due to make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in October ahead of its UK launch in January 2015.

For more information on Volkswagen’s award-winning range of cars, please visit



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