What is it?
It's a near premium-look alternative to more mundane Ford Focus and VW Golf estates. A good egg all round, then.
Remarkably tidy, even as an estate, using fully independent rear suspension to great effect. You'll have fun in here.
Bounds from speed bump to pothole without so much as a murmur. Compare this quantum leap in suspension capability over the previous-generation Cerato and you'll see what strides Kia has made. Rides as well, if not better than, the European competition.
There are five engines available; an 89bhp or 113bhp version of a 1.6-litre diesel and two petrols (a 1.4 with 103bhp or a 1.6 with 121bhp). The 113bhp diesel sounds weedy but isn't.
On the inside
As practical as any other small five-door estate, which is to say very. As a practical and useful cheap alternative to a premium brand, it's not very far away.
Forget Kia of old and embrace Kia of the next century. Millimetric precision abounds on the Ceed- even if nearly everything (including the materials) are just tracing-paper perfect clones of the Toyota Corolla. Feels so well put together that the seven-year warranty won't get troubled much.
Brilliantly low insurance (group 4,5 and 6), relatively cheap initial purchase price (between £11k and £14k) and a seven-year warranty that can be passed from owner to owner, the Ceed makes fantastic financial sense. Residuals won't be mental, but that passable warranty should buoy things up a bit.