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.

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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