The Kia Soul is a capable crossover and good value, but as a tow car it disappoints.

In the lane-change test the Kia coped well enough with the first, slowest attempt at the manoeuvre, but the car was dragged sideways by the caravan on the second, faster run.

The braking test also showed the Kia in a poor light, with the 11.7m stopping distance among the longest of any car in this weight division.

It wasn’t just in extreme manoeuvres that the Soul was found wanting. In crosswinds the car felt unsettled, and the petrol engine’s modest pulling power struggled to hold speed into headwinds, despite the respectable 30-60mph time of 15.6 seconds.

The handbrake needed a firm pull to hold the car and caravan still on a 1-in-6 slope, and plenty of revs were required to tow to the top.

Our practicality testers were disappointed to note the handbook’s warning against towing with the supplied compact spare. They boot couldn’t manage a full load of caravan holiday luggage and the deep lip made loading awkward.

It’s not all bad news, though. In day-to-day driving the Soul handles neatly, and light controls and the car’s compact size make parking easy.

The Kia is good value, too. In ‘2’ spec it comes with 17-inch alloys, cruise control, a DAB radio and a seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system. The price is keen, and the car comes with a seven-year, 100,000-mile 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.