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.

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

ContinueWe use cookies to give you the best browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising.
By continuing to use our website you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.