There’s a new winner in the middleweight class this year – the BMW 330d Touring. Our judges were so impressed with the BMW that it outpointed last year’s class champion, the Volkswagen Tiguan, in all four scoring categories.

First and foremost, the 3 Series Touring makes towing seem effortless. In no small part that’s down to the engine, which drags car and caravan from 30-60mph in just 7.3 seconds. Some of the cars tested here would struggle to match that without a caravan, let alone when towing.

Power counts for nothing without control, though, and the 3 Series is exceptionally stable, as well as seriously swift. In the lane-change test the BMW scored a perfect 10 from our tame What Car? road tester, who described the 3 Series as ‘grippy, composed and in control’.

Other drivers were also impressed with the way the 3 Series handled crosswinds, observations backed up by data from the Al-Ko ATC system. It also settled down quickly after any sharp steering input, and cornered with poise and precision.

So long as the handbrake was pulled on firmly, car and caravan held still on the 1-in-6 test hill, and we had no trouble tackling the slope in drive or reverse.

Whether towing or driving solo, the eight-speed automatic gearbox is excellent, responding quickly and smoothly. Paddles behind the wheel let the driver take charge, and this adds to a really rewarding drive on the right road.

It’s not just quick, stable and fun; the 3 Series is practical, too. Rear-seat space has improved over the old model, and our practicality testers found room for a full load of holiday luggage. Trailer stability control picked up more marks.

The BMW’s price tag is high, but strong resale values and impressive fuel economy should keep running costs down.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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