THE BMW 5 Series estate has been named as Tow Car of the Year for 2018.
It is the first time the Bavarian car maker has won the title which is judged by experts from Practical Caravan and What Car? magazines and The Camping and Caravanning Club.
After a series of tests at the MIRA proving ground in Warwickshire the BMW 520d Touring xDrive M Sport came out on top out of 44 models in the 12 running of the contest.
Each car is matched to a caravan from a fleet supplied by the UK's biggest caravan manufacturer, the Swift Group, or a trailer, ballasted to the recommended maximum of 85 per cent of its kerb weight.
Cars are also assessed for value for money, ride comfort, running costs, refinement and passenger space, as well as the practicality for carrying a typical load of camping or holiday gear.
David Motton, tow car editor of Practical Caravan, described the overall champion as a "clear winner," after beating some tough competition in its weight class, such as the Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC40.
"Clearly, this is a towing competition first and foremost, and when it comes to pulling a caravan confidently and securely, the BMW 5 Series has few peers. There wasn't a single one of our towing tests in which the BMW showed any weakness," he said.
Robert Louden MBE, director general of The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: "We really value the Tow Car Awards because they demonstrate you can enjoy caravan holidays towing with such a wide range of cars, from the value-for-money of a Skoda to something as compact as a Volkswagen Polo, or the premium luxury of the overall winner for 2018, the BMW 5 Series - either as a new or used-car purchase."
The winners of the Tow Car Awards 2018 by weight classes and special categories:
Up to 1400kg: Skoda Octavia Hatch 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L DSG
1400-1549kg: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive
1550-1699kg: Peugeot 5008 2.0 BlueHDi EAT8 S&S GT
1700-1899kg: class: BMW 520d Touring xDrive M Sport
1900kg+: Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Td6 HSE
Best Ultralight Tow Car: Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 115PS SEL DSG
Best Petrol Tow Car: Kia Stinger 2.0 T-GDI GT-Line
Best Family SUV: Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro
Fuel Economy Award: Hyundai i30 Tourer 1.6 CRDi 110PS Premium
Overall winner: BMW 520d Touring xDrive M Sport