Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography - Over £51,000
The top price category in our tow car test had some big hitters, including Mercedes’ ML350 CDI, which was our class champ here last year. But it lost its crown to the all-new Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography.
The luxurious Brit SUV is vast, and with a maximum towing capacity of 3,500kg, it had no problem hitching up the twin-axle Bailey Unicorn Barcelona.
Push the start button, and the fabulous 4.4-litre diesel V8 roars into life, and as soon as you hit the road, it’s easy to see why the Range Rover scored so highly, despite its steep £95,000 price. It’s hugely capable, and fast, too, covering 30-60mph in 7.4 seconds and 40-60mph 5.3 seconds even while towing the large caravan.
The Range Rover raises its game further with an interior that rivals the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce for sheer luxury. The seats are sumptuous armchairs and the new dash is a great mix of modern tech and traditional appearance.
Land Rover has stripped out half the switches from the previous model, leaving the cabin feeling less cluttered, plus the full-length panoramic roof lets in plenty of light. The Range Rover performed well in every test it took on. The clever Roll Stability Control system lets you take even the tightest corners with confidence and keeps body roll to a minimum even when the car is loaded.
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Used car tests
There’s plenty of grip, too, and the supple ride allows you to waft around serenely. So if you have deep enough pockets, the Range Rover Autobiography is the ultimate luxury tow car.
4WD (over 1,800kg)
Last year, the Chevrolet Captiva took the honours in this class, but this time round the most expensive model ever tested by our Tow Car of the Year judges achieved a clear victory.
The new Range Rover has all the off-road ability for which Land Rover is famous (even though most owners will barely scrape the surface of the car’s talents). It’s the most remarkable four-wheel-drive vehicle on the market today, as it combines its off-road ability with the kind of opulent interior you would expect from a luxury limousine.
This latest model is 420kg lighter than its predecessor, so is more fuel-efficient and cleaner, emitting 229g/km of CO2. As a result, it’s also faster – the Range Rover has incredible pace even when towing, and can put some sports cars to shame when running without a caravan.
But what impresses most is the SUV’s off-road ability. The standard air-suspension switches between ride heights to deliver class-leading comfort whether on or off the road. What’s more, you can watch everything on the screen as it tells you how the system is working.
To please gadget fans, the car also comes with an optional electrically deployable tow bar, as well as trailer hitch assistance and a trailer reverse system. You can even opt for a surround camera system to assist you further, while trailer stability control is standard across the range.
So while the Range Rover is an expensive car, the engineering and sheer luxury that’s gone into it makes it a convincing winner.