Tow Car Awards 2024: 1550-1699kg

If you’re looking for a great tow car that will also be enjoyable to drive solo, you need one of our 2024 Tow Car Awards winners. Here we look at the best buy from 1550-1699kg...

WINNER: 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Passat 1.5 eTSI 150 R-Line

Kerb weight 1572kg 85% match 1336kg Max towing weight 1600kg Towball limit 90kg

The Volkswagen Passat was the first ever overall winner of the Tow Car Awards (in 2007), and this all-new version upholds the model’s reputation as an outstanding tow car.

The latest Passat is larger than its predecessor, and with this growth comes greater practicality, including a vast boot – 690 litres with the rear seats upright. It’s no surprise that our practicality testers easily found space for a full load of holiday luggage.

Tow Car Awards 2024 Volkswagen Passat boot

Today’s Passat is roomier inside, too. There’s an extra 5cm between the front and rear wheels, and this makes for more leg room in the rear seats; even tall adults can travel in comfort. Meanwhile, up front there’s plenty of space for the driver and passenger, and a much-improved infotainment system.

Still, what matters most here is how well the Passat tows, and the 1.5-litre, 148bhp mild hybrid petrol engine of our test car brought a respectable turn of speed; it took 11.6sec to accelerate from 30-60mph with a caravan in tow. The DSG automatic gearbox can be a little slow to change down, though.

If you need to stop in a hurry, the Passat’s brakes have bite and power. It took just 10.5 metres for car and caravan to come to a halt in dry conditions.

Tow Car Awards 2024 Volkswagen Passat pulling caravan

The Passat also excels when it comes to stability. It tows serenely at 60mph and was happy when taken up to 70mph on the test track. Plus, it acquitted itself well in the lane-change test, easily and safely completing the manoeuvre at all three test speeds.

In day-to-day driving, the Passat has a well controlled ride, and the 1.5-litre petrol engine is smoother and quieter than the 2.0-litre diesel in the Volkswagen Tiguan, which we also tested.

Our ratings

Towing 5/5 Solo driving 4/5 Practicality 5/5 Buying and owning 4/5 Overall 5/5

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