We were thoroughly impressed with the Vitara diesel we tested last year. This year’s petrol-powered Suzuki Vitara S is light enough to be considered an ultralight tow car.

For a car which barely weighs more than 1.2 tonnes, stability at speed was excellent. The Suzuki pulled its trailer to 60mph and well beyond without any waywardness.

It also handled the lane-change test well, up to a point. It was firmly in charge on the first two attempts, only struggling on the final high-speed run.

The S is powered by a turbocharged petrol engine. The Boosterjet name may be rather over the top, but it performs well, pulling the trailer from 30-60mph in 14.4 seconds. Turbocharging helps give more mid-range pull than you get from most petrols, making for an engine that’s surprisingly well suited to towing lightweight trailers and micro-caravans.

The change from diesel to petrol power isn’t the only difference between this year’s S and the Suzuki we tested last year; range-topping S models have firmer, sportier suspension. The set-up is well suited to towing as the car’s performance with a trailer behind it shows. And once the trailer has been unhitched, it makes for a lively and entertaining drive.

It’s reasonably practical, too. Rear-seat space is fairly modest, but that’s forgivable in a car of this size. On paper, the 375-litre boot capacity looks rather tight but we squeezed in all but one item from our typical load of holiday luggage.

S-spec Vitaras come with a long list of standard equipment, including satellite navigation, suede upholstery, a DAB radio and a rearview camera that’s very handy when hitching up.

So, your £20k buys lots of kit, impressive stability and four-wheel drive. That makes the Suzuki Vitara a worthy winner of this year’s ‘Best Ultralight Tow Car’ award.

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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