The Honda HR-V returned to the Tow Car Awards as last year’s class champion.

In 2017 it’s been beaten by the rejuvenated Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf, but it still ranks as one of the best small tow cars.

Stability was the cornerstone of the HR-V’s success last time around, and it’s still a very reassuring car to tow with.

In the lane-change test the Honda stayed on course even with the caravan moving around behind it. However, the 11.7m stopping distance was longer than either the Octavia or Golf needed.

Accelerating from 30-60mph took 14.8 seconds. That’s reasonably dogged performance, but again, the Honda is slower than its more powerful rivals.

Without a caravan in tow the 1.6-litre’s relatively modest performance is less noticeable, but whether towing or not the engine is gruff when accelerating hard, and the suspension makes for a firm but controlled ride.

There are some clever touches in the HR-V’s cabin, like the rear seat bases which fold upwards to create a second luggage area if there are no passengers travelling in the back.

It’s a practical tow car, too, with its handy reversing camera and a usefully large boot that swallowed all but one item of our typical luggage load.

The Honda isn’t cheap to buy – certainly not in EX spec. But if you do choose this high-end trim the car is very well equipped. Opting for SE spec instead would make for a healthy saving without sacrificing too many creature comforts.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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