A jury from three of the UK's leading caravan and car publications has awarded the new Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTi (160PS) SRi 5dr its 2010 Towcar Award for cars weighing 1425-1574kgs.
The Vauxhall Astra was tested against rivals including models from Volkswagen, Ford, Skoda and Renault and took overall honours with the verdict: "A worthy winner, with great stability and strong performance."
The annual awards are organised by What Car?, Practical Caravan and The Camping and Caravanning Club and are recognised as the industry standard in the UK. Each vehicle tested is put through a series of gruelling tests at the MIRA proving ground in Warwickshire to determine a selection of winners, based on kerbweight classes.
As well as performing hill starts on a 1-in-6 slope, aggressive lane change manoeuvres at speeds up to 35mph, and emergency stops - all hitched up to a Swift caravan - each competitor was also assessed on practicality, buying and owning and how good it was to drive without a trailer/caravan.
Steve Fowler, Editor of What Car? magazine, summarised why the Astra had won: "Our winner is one of the stand-out cars of the 2010 tests, and not just for its good looks. (The 2.0 CDTi's) diesel engine combines great strength with exceptional economy. Rock steady stability makes this car feel unflappable, even at high speeds. What's more, we're proud to say that it's built in Britain."
Vauxhall was also included in the shortlist for the 1575-1724kg class, with the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 1.6T SRi, which the judges concluded was, "One of the best petrol-powered towcars tested in a long time."
Enhancing the Vauxhall Astra range still further, will be the Sports Tourer model, which combines a rakish and elegant design with up to 1550 litres of volume. The Sports Tourer will hit UK showrooms later this year.
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