If you have a trailer tent or a lightweight caravan like a Swift Basecamp to tow, the Hyundai i30 is a great car for the job.
Even with a small-capacity petrol engine, the Hyundai is refreshingly lively with a caravan in tow, pulling from 30-60mph in just 12 seconds. From 3000rpm or so, the punchy and efficient 1.4 turbo performed very well indeed. And the i30 stops as well as it goes, with a 30-0mph stopping distance of just 10.4m.
Stability can sometimes be lacking in very light tow cars, but despite its modest kerbweight the i30 took firm charge of the caravan.
In still air the car was stable, even beyond legal speeds – and when the wind picked up there was only slight movement. Data from the Al-Ko ATC system backed up the subjective impression of the drivers.
The hill start was the i30’s weakest point as a tow car, needing plenty of revs to avoid stalling and a careful balance of clutch and throttle.
In regular driving, the Hyundai benefits from a smooth and supple ride. It corners well enough, too, with balanced handling and ample grip.
The i30 didn’t score as well with our practicality testers, largely because the handbook warned against using the compact spare when towing.
Premium spec means plenty of standard equipment, but doesn’t mean a premium price. The i30 is one of the most affordable cars in this year’s tests. It also benefits from Hyundai’s five-year warranty.