Volkswagen has once again made its mark at the Towcar Awards, claiming no fewer than four prestigious accolades and affirming its place on wish lists for customers in the market for a towing vehicle.  Volkswagen models were named champions in three of the five weight classes, while the Passat Estate also claimed the Green Award.

Volkswagen Passat 2012

The Towcar Awards 2012 were judged by experts from What Car? and Practical Caravan magazines as well as The Camping and Caravanning Club, who tested 34 cars at the MIRA testing ground in Warwickshire for their towing ability as well as their driving performance when not towing, practicality, value for money and safety.

The Passat Estate Sport 2.0-litre 170 PS TDI BlueMotion Technology, last year’s overall champion, once again won the‘1425-1574 kg’ class.  Commenting on the vehicle’s performance, Nigel Donnelly, Haymarket Outdoor Leisure Group’s Editor in Chief – Digital, who was also an award judge, said: ‘Last year’s overall champion takes class honours again.  The Passat does so many things well that it is almost irritating!  It makes an exceptionally stable towcar, whether travelling at speed in gusty winds, or changing direction fast in an emergency.’

He continued: ‘As a solo drive, the Passat is comfortable, quiet and refined.  The 2.0-litre diesel has plenty of power to pull any suitably matched caravan, and makes this car impressively swift in regular driving.  It’s also exceptionally economical, returning 60.1 mpg on the combined cycle.  Carbon dioxide emissions of 123 g/km keep VED costs low, and that earns the Passat this year’s Green Award.’

The Golf Match 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS 5dr claimed victory in the ‘up to 1424 kg’ class, with the following citation from the judges: ‘This year the Golf chalks up yet another class win.  Since the Towcar Awards began in 2007, the Volkswagen has taken the honours more often than not.  It doesn’t feel like a small car when you’re towing.  At the motorway limit the Golf feels secure and in control, and the 2.0 TDI has enough muscle to pull any suitable match.  The Golf should prove hassle-free to own, with strong resale values and impressive economy.  Stable, strong and practical, the Volkswagen Golf remains the best small towcar.’

Since launch in 2008, the Tiguan has gone from strength to strength, this year taking class honours in the ‘1575-1724 kg’ category.  Donnelly said: ‘Subtle changes since we last tested the Tiguan have been enough to push it to the top of a very competitive class.  We wouldn’t award the VW class honours if it weren’t a great towcar.  Straight-line stability proved excellent, all the way up to 70mph.  Strong marks from the practicality team, good fuel economy and healthy resale values make a compelling case for the Tiguan on all fronts.  A great all-rounder.’

Remarking on the wins, Robert Hazelwood, Director of Volkswagen UK, said: ‘To be crowned class champion in three out of the five weight classes is testament to the strength of the Volkswagen range.  We’re proud to offer an impressive line-up of vehicles with powerful yet economical engines, a high level of equipment and practicality at competitive prices.  It’s good news for customers and we’re grateful for the recognition we’ve received from the judges.’