Refinement, interior quality, styling, no more apostrophe
Not as exciting to drive as rivals
What is it?
It’s Kia’s third generation Ceed that carries on the legacy of the past, in that improvements have been made all round and no-one should feel ashamed if one of these is on their buying list.
It’s a time-worn cliché with Kia these days, but only because it’s so true – some of the cars it produces are about as good as anything else out there. Nothing to rock the boat or set the segment on fire, but everything made better. As Team Sky would say, it’s all about the marginal gains.
So, we have the usual five-door hatch and the usual selection of petrol and diesel engines. Again, nothing revolutionary.
There are two petrols to choose from – either a 1.0-litre T-GDi turbo or an all-new 1.4-litre T-GDi lump. Power is either 118bhp or 138bhp, 0-62mph is either 10.9 or 8.6 seconds and both are available with either a manual or 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The diesel is new as well, the 1.6-litre engine now producing 138bhp and 178lb ft.
Economy figures? Unfortunately, not all of these are available at the moment. Kia is struggling as much as every other car manufacturer with the new WLTP testing procedure, but what we can tell you is that in base trim, the 1.0-litre does 52.3mpg and 122g/km, the diesel does 74.3mpg and 99g/km and the 1.4 manages 48.7mpg and 132g/km. Precise figures for some of the other trims aren’t available yet.
None of these figures are groundbreaking, but they’re all in the area they need to be.
Price-wise, it still offers value for money because of the kit that comes as standard, but it’s no longer got quite as much daylight between it and rivals. That’s the price you pay for the improvements.
It’s all wrapped up in a Peter Schreyer/Gregory Guillaume design that, to our eyes at least, looks as sharp as any other hatch out there. One thing though - we’d avoid the red paint. Blue is the way to go.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
The Ceed has matured into something approaching the top of the class – if nothing else, the lack of the ridiculous apostrophe scores it a couple of extra points. This is as close as Kia has ever been to European rivals, with the sort of refinement and quality that the VW Group had a monopoly on not that long ago. If you want your Euro-hatch to be comfortable, reliable and come with enough tech to make every commute more manageable, you won’t go far wrong with a Ceed.
However, if you want to have fun on the occasional journey when the car isn’t loaded with kids or you’re not stuck in traffic, then look elsewhere. Otherwise, though, a fine effort from Korea.