The Volkswagen Passat is fast becoming another serial winner. This is the third year in a row the Passat Estate has topped the second weight category.

Its looks may not stand out from the crowd, but what it lacks in individuality the Passat makes up in ability. As a tow car, a daily commuter or the family taxi, the VW quietly and efficiently gets on with the job.

The VW’s towing credentials are what we’ll concentrate on here, and after two years at the top of the class, they were never in doubt. Stability at speed is excellent. High winds made for some of the most challenging towing conditions we’ve experienced at the Tow Car Awards, but only slight steering corrections were necessary – even when pulling a caravan with no stabiliser and the Al-Ko ATC system disabled. Data from the ATC shows how well the Passat coped with high winds, and with speeds above the legal limit.

The punch from latest generation of VW’s 2.0-litre diesel means reaching 60mph won’t take long. The Passat pulled its Swift caravan from 30-60mph in just 11 seconds. The VW is a practical car, too. With seats up, there are 603 litres of space to fill – enough for all our test load of holiday luggage. With seats down, that expands to 1731 litres.

In everyday driving the VW continues to make your life easy, thanks to a comfortable ride and excellent refinement. It’s very quiet at speed, and a sound driving position means long journeys are no chore.

It’s official combined economy of 60.1mpg is impressive for a car of this size, and Sport models come well equipped.

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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