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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Kia Ceed

Overall verdict
Kia improves things yet again. Refinement, styling and interior quality are nearly as good as anything out there. Nearly…


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.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
1.6T GDi ISG GT 5dr
7.2s 155g/km 41.5 201 £25,410
The cheapest
1.0T GDi ISG 2 5dr [Eco Pack]
10.7s 115g/km 55.4 118 £18,625
The greenest
1.6 CRDi ISG 2 5dr [Eco Pack]
10.6s 100g/km 72.4 114 £19,895