Volkswagen is celebrating a number of class wins, and overall victory, in the annual Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Awards. The 4MOTION-equipped all-wheel drive Passat Alltrack has been named Towcar of the Year 2017 while the Passat and its smaller sibling, the 4MOTION-equipped Golf Alltrack, have taken three class wins between them.
In the respected awards, once again presented at the Royal Automobile Club in London, the Passat Alltrack won the £32,000 to £35,000 category and also scooped the honours in the hotly contested All-Wheel Drive Under 1800 kg group. The Passat Alltrack then went on to take the biggest prize of all: Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2017. Meanwhile the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack triumphed in the £29,000 to £32,000 category.
The driving dynamics and ergonomic efficiency of both Alltrack models were thoroughly tested by the judges, who praised the Passat as being “one of the classiest mid-range cars by a mile… it simply oozes competence.” They added: “It pulls away strongly and exhibits excellent flexibility throughout the mid-range.”
The Passat Alltrack was singled out as the best of the best thanks to its combination of advanced technology and attractive affordability. The car features permanent all-wheel drive with a Haldex coupling, which means the drive is sent to the rear wheels as soon as it is needed. Meanwhile, the default is front-wheel drive which contributes to an impressive fuel consumption figure of 57.6 mpg* on the combined cycle, with CO₂ emissions of 130 g/km*.
The Passat Alltrack, priced from £31,215 (RRP OTR), differs from the standard Passat Estate in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most obvious is the ground clearance which is increased by 27.5 mm to 174 mm. It also features additional underbody and wheel arch protection, and has exclusive front and rear bumper designs. Matt chrome door mirror housings and anodised silver roof rails work with the 18-inch ‘Kalamata’ alloy wheels to complete the Passat Alltrack’s rugged looks.
Versatility is another reason why the Passat Alltrack is Towcar of the Year 2017. The car is available with a 150 PS 2.0-litre diesel engine with a six-speed manual gearbox or a 190 PS 2.0-litre diesel unit with a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The configuration that won the Towcar of the Year award was the 150 PS option, while both engines have a braked towing capacity of 2200 kg and an unbraked capacity of 750 kg.
A host of other technological features add to the driving experience offered by the Passat Alltrack. As an example, the EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) system reacts to a wheel slipping by directing the drive power to the wheel on the opposite side within fractions of a second. Furthermore, XDSPlus brakes the wheels on the inside of a bend during fast cornering and thus perfects the steering response and improves traction. The driver can also select ‘Off-road’ mode, which adds Hill Descent Assist to give more progressive accelerator control.
A particularly pertinent option for caravanners of all grades on the Passat Alltrack is Trailer Assist. This ingenious system helps to control the reverse guidance of the car and trailer, thus making manoeuvring considerably more straightforward. A visual display in the infotainment screen shows the steering angle and how alternative steering inputs would affect the route of the car and trailer.
This is the third time in eight years that Volkswagen has taken top spot at the Towcar of the Year Awards. The four titles won yesterday add to a host of other notable victories for Volkswagen this year. These include the Best Supermini title for the Volkswagen Polo at the Auto Express Awards; and Best MPV (Touran), and Best Electric Car (Passat GTE) titles at the annual What Car? Awards. Meanwhile the up! city car was named Best New Car Under £10,000 at the Telegraph Cars Awards.
For more details on the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack and Golf Alltrack, together with brochures and full pricing, and to use Volkswagen’s online configurator, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.