It didn’t take long to decide the winner in this class. The BMW 5-Series does it all. In a hurry? The 2.0-litre engine has 184bhp – more than enough poke for fuss-free overtaking when driven solo. Even with a van on the back the Five went from 30-60mph in 12.6 seconds.

That makes it one of the quickest cars in this class, yet it’s also one of the most economical. Fitted with the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox, the BMW promises 53.3mpg on the combined cycle. Carbon dioxide emissions of 139g/km are exceptionally low for a car with such strong performance.

Straight-line stability is beyond reproach. Even when towing at 70mph drivers almost forgot there was a caravan hitched up until they looked in the mirror. In the lane-change test there was some body roll, and the tourer slid around dramatically but never took charge.

Hill starts are a doddle. Press a button to turn on the auto-hold feature and the outfit won’t roll backwards – no need to apply the push-button parking brake. There’s plenty of muscle to breeze up steep slopes in first gear or reverse.

Inside, the adjustable seat and wheel make it easy for the driver to get comfortable. Rear passengers could do with a little more knee-room, though, and we couldn’t quite squeeze every bit of holiday luggage into the boot. This aside, the practicality judge was impressed with the self-levelling suspension and comprehensive handbook.

Our biggest complaint? The ride is over-firm – but opt for Variable Damper Control (£985) and comfort improves.

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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