The Mercedes-Benz C-Class puts in a mixed performance as a tow car.

On the plus side, the engine has enough pull to comfortably tow any suitably matched tourer. The 30-60mph time of 12.6 seconds is perfectly respectable, although you hear the engine working away more than you should.

The hill start was another strength. The electronic parking brake held the car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope, and with so much pulling power and an automatic gearbox, the C-Class breezed to the top of the slope. The Merc found reversing a short distance uphill just as easy.

However, stability was disappointing. When slowing from speed, the Al-Ko ATC sensors detected some movement from the caravan, and some of the drivers found car and caravan moving around slightly at motorway speeds.

The lane-change test was also below par. On the second of three runs, the caravan became so wayward the driver almost lost control, so the third and fastest manoeuvre wasn’t attempted.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has other strengths. The cabin is beautifully designed and built, and really does put most rivals to shame. There’s a decent amount of space for passengers, and the boot is reasonably practical. It almost had space for our typical holiday luggage load. We’re always pleased to see a reversing camera fitted, and the trailer stability system earned the Mercedes-Benz more marks.

Although the purchase price is high, Sport models come with lots of standard equipment and strong resale values help offset the high initial purchase price.

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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