Tow Car Awards 2021: 1400-1549kg

If you’re looking for a great tow car that will also be enjoyable to drive solo, you need one of our 2021 Tow Car Awards winners. Here we look at the best buy from 1400-1549kg...

WINNER: 1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 150 R-Line DSG

2021 Tow Car Awards logo

Kerbweight 1465kg 85% match 1245kg Max towing weight 1600kg Towball limit 80kg

Some cars appear secure and stable in normal towing, but go to pieces in an emergency manoeuvre. Not so the latest Volkswagen Golf. The harder it was pushed, the more it seemed to relish towing a caravan.

Even the lane-change test, which often finds cars wanting, failed to upset the Golf. The first two runs were entirely undramatic. The third and fastest lane-change saw the caravan sliding but with no effect on the car.

Volkswagen Golf towing a caravan - rear

The Golf is brisk as well as stable. Diesels may be out of favour with many car buyers, but the mid-range pull of a good one makes this type of engine ideally suited to towing. The Golf's 2.0 TDI unit pulled car and caravan from 30-60mph in 11.2sec.

In more normal towing, the Golf also excelled. There's was little sign of movement at 60mph or beyond, and it handled a hill-start without any sign of strain.

Leave the caravan behind, and the Golf is a really satisfying everyday drive. The suspension is well judged; more comfortable than the Seat Leon's, but more tightly controlled than the Skoda Octavia's.

Volkswagen Golf dashboard

What's not so pleasing is the infotainment system. Like many manufacturers, Volkswagen seems to be obsessed with getting rid of buttons and replacing them with touch-sensitive pads or onscreen menus. It might make for a clean, uncluttered looking dashboard, but ease of use suffers.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the Golf doesn't have as much rear leg room or boot space as the Octavia, although for a hatchback of its size it's still reasonably practical.

Also consider

2nd  Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0 TDI 150 SE L DSG

3rd  MG HS 1.5 T-GDI Exclusive

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