Choosing a winner in this class wasn’t straightforward, as the Skoda Octavia Estate ran the Nissan Qashqai a very close race.

Like the Nissan, the Skoda is very stable at motorway speeds, with the driver’s subjective impressions backed up by data from the Al-Ko ATC system. Only in windy conditions did the driver need to make any steering corrections, and in the lane-change test the Octavia performed well, only sliding at the rear on high-speed runs.

A firm pull on the handbrake was needed to keep car and caravan still on a 1-in-6 slope, but otherwise the Octavia had no trouble pulling to the top of the hill. Our tests took place in dry weather, but the Octavia’s 4×4 system would have come into its own in the wet.

Go for the 4×4 and you’ll pay £1450 more than for the front-wheel-drive estate. Fuel economy worsens to 57.6mpg according to the official combined figure, but these compromises could be worth making if you often stay at out-of-the-way campsites or tour in all weathers.

Boot space is the same for the front- and four-wheel-drive models: 610 litres with the rear seats upright. That’s easily enough for the typical load of holiday luggage the practicality testers tried to fit into every car.

2018
Category Winners
2018 Up to 1400kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI 150PS SE L DSG

2018 1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb

2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive

2018 1550-1699kg

Peugeot 5008

2.0 BlueHDi EAT8 S&S GT

2018 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2018 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE

2018 Best Family SUV

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro

2018 Best Petrol Tow Car

Kia Stinger

2.0 T-GDi GT-Line

2018 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Volkswagen Polo

1.0 TSI 115PS SEL DSG

2018 Fuel Economy Award

Hyundai i30 Tourer

1.6 CRDi 110PS Premium

Previous Winners
2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

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

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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