Chevrolet Trailblazer 2,8 LTZ AT
The transmission on the big Chev had quite a lot of torque slippage, making pull-aways smooth but slow. Once locked up, the meaty 132 kW powertrain pulled well and it has the highest torque figure in this group – 470 N.m – that made cruising and overtaking easy. Stability is good thanks to trailer-sway stability control combined with the 2 163 kg mass of the Trailblazer (the highest here). The Chev also offers generous interior space – perfect for a family – and a decent ride on the bumpy road, although this could be somewhat harsh at times.
Pro: great mid-range torque
Con: initial slip hampers take-off
Ford Kuga 2,0 TDCi Titanium Powershift
THE dual-clutch Powershift gearbox had a grabby clutch on pull-away that was initially a touch unnerving. Advanced electronics allow torque splitting that, for example, counters an understeer situation by sending more torque to the rear wheels. Trailer-sway control is part of the package, too. Due to limited power (120 kW) and a comparatively light mass (1 707 kg), the hefty Penta tugged and swayed the car, but there was no bottoming out on serious bumps. The ride is typically Ford – impressive – and seating is also very comfortable.
Pro: good ride comfort
Con: grabby clutch
Honda CR-V 2,2i D-TEC Elegance AT
The Honda’s engine has the second lowest power output (behind the Tiguan and along with the Outback) and this does reduce the suitability for serious towing. The five-speed epicyclic auto does a good job, enhanced by sporty paddle shifts and a sport mode that’s ideally suited to towing by maintaining lower gears for longer. The quiet engine has only one drawback: turbo lag. The low-ish mass of 1 757 kg results in some shunting from the heavy caravan. Suspension, ride, seats and build quality are all positives.
Pro: build quality
Con: bit light for caravan
The test videos:
Part 1: Read more about TowCAR of the Year here (click).
Part 2: We test the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Ford Kuga and Honda CR-V here (click).
Part 3: Videos and information of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Wrangler and Kia Sorento can be read here (click).
Part 4: The Land Rover Freelander, Mitsubishi Pajero and Nissan Pathfinder are tested here (click).
Part 5: Finally you can watch videos and read more about the Subaru Outback, Toyota Fortuner and Volkswagen Tiguan here (click).