Kia Ceed Review
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Recommended. Kia produces another top-notch family car. Private car buyers will find it one of the best choices in the class. Read our Kia Ceed review to see why
For the first time Kia has introduced a direct replacement for an existing hatchback. Before now Kia has been moving upmarket so swiftly that each new model has been about half a class better than its predecessor. However, the first Cee’d (hereinafter referred to simply as Ceed) already was a mainstream player, not a bargain-basement cheapie, so this model follows in its tyre tracks.
That is not to say that it is merely a reprise of the original. The design, under the hugely successful Peter Schreyer, is significantly more sophisticated, especially at the front with the 'Tiger Shark' grille and swept back headlights. The interior also sees much improvement, especially in the top-of-the-range 4 version with its Jaguar-esque fully electronic instruments with no moving parts.
Mechanically, there are still two petrol and two diesel engines (both fuel types being available as a 1.4 and a 1.6). All 1.6 litre manual versions come with stop/start fitted as standard to improve economy, while the 1.6 litre diesel boasts a CO2 figure of just 97 g/km, equating to a fuel consumption of a smidge under 69 mpg.
To drive, as we found in our Kia Ceed road test, the second-generation Ceed is what you would expect from a modern Kia. It feels smooth, refined and fully fledged. The 1.6 models will cruise at motorway speeds with very little sound coming from the engine, while all the controls are well-weighted and precise. Handling is neat rather than inspiring, but even a keen driver would not feel short-changed by the Ceed. It will tackle a mountain road with ease, even if you never get the impression it is actually enjoying the experience.
For the first time, the 1.6 petrol comes with the option of a dual clutch transmission - a form of automated manual transmission. It is set up to perform more like a full auto, with soft, slurred gear changes rather than the sporty, crisp ones of VW's similar DSG system. It generally works well, but it can get a bit befuddled on steep gradients. One plus is that in manual mode it stays in manual - it does not default to auto after a few moments as so many systems do.
As you would also expect, the gizmo count is very high. All models get USB, Bluetooth, air conditioning, heated door mirrors and hill start assist. At the top of the range you get panoramic glass sunroof, heated front seats (electric with memory for the driver), leather upholstery, 17 inch alloys and automatic parking system. Sat nav is standard on the three upper trim levels (of five). The interior of the top spec models look very impressive, but the cheaper models have a few bits of cheap, hard plastics where the more expensive features would go.
The Ceed comes with a reassuring seven-year 100,000 mile warranty.
Next: ratings and breakdown
1. Good styling
2. Thoroughness of the engineering - there are no real weak points
3 Stress-free ownership
We don't like:
1. Petrol engines could be smoother
2. Some interior plastics are a bit cheap
3. Not the most dynamic drive
Most fun: 1.6 petrol
Most sensible: 1.6 diesel