The Kia Stonic may be the lightest car in this year’s tests and has the smallest engine, but don’t be fooled – it’s more capable than you might think. Yes, the low kerbweight and modest towing limit mean you’ll be restricted in your choice of suitable matches, but micro-caravan owners could do a lot worse.
When slowing down from high speeds the Al-Ko ATC sensors picked up some slight sway, but nothing worrying.
And the Stonic handled the lane change test with surprising ease, changing direction in a crisp and controlled manner and keeping the caravan firmly in control.
It’s not the quickest car in the lightweight class, but it’s also far from the slowest. The 1.0-litre turbo engine punches well above its weight, with surprising reserves of low-down pulling power for a petrol engine. It’s rather noisy, however.
The hill start is where the Stonic lost serious ground to the best small tow cars. The handbrake needed a firm pull to hold car and caravan still on the 1-in -6 slope, and it was hard to balance clutch and throttle to pull away smoothly. Judging by the smell from the clutch, you wouldn’t want to make a series of hill starts in quick succession.
As one of the smallest cars tested this year, the Stonic really struggled to cope with a typical load of holiday luggage. And we’d like to see some form of trailer stability control.
In everyday driving, the Stonic drives well with a firm but composed ride and well weighted steering. What’s more, it’s affordably priced and comes with Kia’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty.