New Land Rover Discovery pulls clear to win Tow Car Award
ALONG with being able to traverse the Andes and cross the Sahara, pulling a horse box or a very large trailer is a core Land Rover attribute.
So the good folk at Land Rover will be relieved that their new Discovery has managed to impress the judges of the annual Tow Car Awards enough to be crowned as this year's overall winner.
The awards are judged by experts from What Car? and Practical Caravan magazines and the Camping and Caravanning Club, who said of the Discovery: "As an all-rounder, it sets a new benchmark."
Before arriving at the decision that the Discovery was the winner, they assessed 44 cars for 12 award categories.
There are five trailer weight categories, plus others for competence in areas like fuel economy, best MPV and best hybrid tow car.
As well as outright towing ability, the cars were scored for practicality, driving without a trailer, plus the costs of buying and owning.
Every vehicle was tasked with towing a caravan or trailer weighted to 85 per cent of the car's kerb weight - or its maximum towing limit, if lower - and put through a rigorous test programme at a private test track.
The test is designed to push the brakes, handling and engines of the cars to their limits, assessing their high-speed stability beyond the legal limit and how they cope with a slalom and emergency lane-changes.
There are also acceleration and braking tests, plus a hill start on a 1-in-6 slope.
The test is conducted using caravans supplied by Swift, and any stabiliser hitches fitted as standard are disabled or replaced with basic ones to ensure the judges feel any instability.
After all that, manufacturers with category wins included Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Skoda, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo.
David Motton, tow car editor of Practical Caravan magazine, said: "All the winners of the Tow Car Awards 2017, whether they are big or small, have shown us that they're particularly good as an overall package to tow, own and live with every day."