Pickups and SUVs have become such an ingrained part of the American automotive landscape, that when the subject comes to towing, there's no question about what kind of vehicle to get. The natural choice would be a fullsize SUV or pickup. That's not the case in Europe, where towing with a car is still fairly common thanks to a combination of narrow roads and steep fuel prices. The overall winner of the 2012 Towcar Award, hosted by the editors of Practical Caravan magazine was the Jaguar XF 2.2D diesel sedan, which has a maximum rated towing capacity of 4000 lb.

But the Jaguar wasn't the only winner in this year's competition. The Volkswagen Tiguan won in the 1575-1724 kg (3472-3800 lb) category, and the Land Rover Discovery 4 (aka the LR4) won in the 1900+ kg (4188+ lb) category. That rating is more than 1200 lb more than the U.S.-spec Tiguan, which is not available with the TDI turbodiesel engine.

Likewise, the U.S.-spec LR4 is available only with a 5.0-liter gasoline direct-injected V-8 engine with 375 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. However, the European model is available with a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 255 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed transmission. Both UK and U.S. models have a 7716 lb towing capacity.

Other category winners included the Volkswagen Golf TDI in the Up to 1424 kg (3139 lb) class, and the Volkwagen Passat Estate (wagon) in the 1425-1574 kg (3141-3470 lb) class.

Source: Practical Caravan