Automotive & Transport

ROAD TEST – Kia Ceed 1.6

Kia Ceed 1.6

By Ian Strachan

Something’s missing from the new Kia Ceed. Not from the car itself, but from its name. The rogue apostrophe after the final ‘e’ and before the ‘d’, which never made any grammatical sense, has finally gone.

But that’s far from the only improvement that Kia has made to its popular hatchback, which has sold more than 1.3 million units since its launch in 2006.

The all-new Ceed – German designed and Slovakian built – has a smart new design, a sportier interior and a host of new technology to improve both safety and driver comforts.

The new version makes more of a statement than its predecessors, with a sportier design and lower stance. The result is a medium-sized family car which still manages to look sleek and sporty. So many of its competitors are on the conservative, staid side.

From the front you have the Ceed’s attractive grille. From the side the Ceed has smooth, flowing lines and from the back the car is nicely sculpted while still giving good carrying capacity thanks to slightly increased width, particularly with its fold down rear seats. Whichever way you look at it, this car is a good looker.

The inside is nice too. The front seats are extremely comfortable with a good range of adjustment. There are plenty of storage spaces around the interior and all instruments are clear and accessible.

I drove the 114 bhp CRDi 2 version powered by a smooth 1.6 litre diesel engine. It’s quiet for a diesel, even when worked hard, with good acceleration and flexibility. In addition it has the latest emission control technology. Mated to a pleasant six-speed manual gearbox you also get superb economy – around 74.3 miles to the gallon in mixed driving.

Ride and handling are excellent thanks to a lightweight chassis and good suspension.

Specification on the ‘2’ trim level I tested is fairly generous. Standard equipment includes 16 inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, cornering headlights, cruise control with speed limiter, steering wheel mounted controls, 60/40 folding rear seats, a six-speaker audio system with DAB radio controlled from a seven-inch touchscreen, USB ports, Bluetooth and Android capability with voice control and reversing camera .

You also get lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, electronic stability control, tinted glass, air conditioning, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, all-round electric windows, hill-start assist and a temporary spare wheel.

Strangely, on this specification, despite all the standard features and technology, you don’t get satellite navigation. The day when cars without satnav as standard simply won’t sell is getting very close.

On the road price for this spec is £19,545. You also get the very substantial bonus of a seven year, 100,000 mile warranty, which means the third or even fourth owner could still benefit from a manufacturer’s warranty.

I found this new, well-equipped Kia a very pleasing car to drive.