Pick-ups haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory at past Tow Car Awards, but we’re so impressed with the Amarok that we’ve given it a gong.

In still air in particular, the big VW made a very secure and reassuring tow car. Only at speeds which would earn licence points on the motorway did we notice any slight sway. The Amarok wasn’t quite as stable in a stiff breeze, but certainly gave us no worrying moments.

The VW’s performance on the brakes also impressed, especially as this has been a weak point for many pick-ups in the past. The stopping distance of 10.8m from 30mph is shorter than the stops recorded by many of the big luxury 4x4s in this year’s tests.

When you want to go rather than stop, the Amarok obliges. There’s real punch from the V6 engine, and even the heft of a big twin-axle caravan in tow can’t disguise it.

So long as the handbrake was pulled on firmly, the Volkswagen held still on a 1-in-6 slope. With so much pulling power, there was no trouble towing to the top of the hill.

The load bay offers lots of space for luggage, and it’s reassuring to see a trailer stability control system fitted.

However, there’s no getting away from the Amarok’s high price compared with most pick-ups.

One other word of warning – some caravan warranties warn against towing with commercial vehicles, so check before you decide to use a pick-up like the VW Amarok as a tow 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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