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.

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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