If you want to tow a caravan without spending a fortune on fuel, look no further. Towing a tourer weighing 85% of its kerbweight, the Kia Cee’d Sportswagon returned a commendable 31.6mpg, beating any other car we shortlisted for this year’s Green Award.
Choosing the Cee’d won’t just save on fuel, it’s an economical all-round buy. Going for ‘2’ spec keeps the list price below £20,000, and from What Car?‘s research it’s clear that buyers should be able to save a healthy amount from the asking price if they haggle. What’s more, Kia’s seven-year warranty should help avoid unexpected repair bills long after most cars’ warraties have expired.
Although fuel economy is what the Kia’s 1.6 diesel engine is all about, it still has enough strength to tow a sensibly matched caravan, accelerating from 30-60mph in 16.4 seconds. That lags behind the punchy Skoda Octavia but it’s more or less on a par with the Honda HR-V.
At the legal limit, the Kia is a stable tow car. Only when we pushed to speeds beyond 60mph did we start to see some slight movement from the caravan in our mirrors.
In an emergency lane-change the Cee’d performed well, always pulling the caravan straight again, even when it stepped out of line.
Having a conventional handbrake put the Kia at a disadvantage in the hill-start test. It had to be pulled on very firmly before it would stop car and caravan rolling backwards on the 1-in-6 slope. Careful balance of clutch and throttle was needed to pull over the top of the hill.