Our cars: Kia Ceed - July
Week ending July 20
Driven this week: 110 miles
Read the full Kia Cee'd review
Only three weeks into my tenure of the Cee'd and it's already proving to be a bit of a hit.
So far, passengers aged from six to 86 have given it the thumbs up, commenting on its smooth ride and spacious and well-built interior.
They like the looks too, and I don't blame them, so do I. The new Cee'd looks rather dashing, as do most of the recent Kias produced under Chief Designer Peter Schreyer. For a five-door hatchback it's a remarkable achievement, more so considering the rather lardy Cee'd it replaced.
Our well-equipped 2 trim comes with 16-inch alloys, which fill the wheelarches and please the eye.
The interior impresses for its build quality, for its soft-touch plastics, and for the ease of use of all the controls: the rotary air-conditioning dials are functional and well laid out, and the radio and hands-free Bluetooth are intuitive to use. It's easy to find a good driving position, the steering wheel feels good in the hands and the instruments are large and clear.
It'll seat four adults comfortably, and five at a pinch – at just over six foot, I can sit in reasonable comfort in the back.
The boot proved its worth this weekend by easily carrying huge amounts of old clothes, shoes, bottles and electrical goods to the recycling centre.
Week ending July 13
Driven this week: 121 miles
Read the full Kia Cee'd review
Our Kia Cee'd let me down this week. I should, however, point out the problem was merely related to the inability to get my eight-year old daughter’s bicycle into the Kia's boot.
There we were, waiting for a trip to the grandparents' house, and a cycle ride round the block, when the truth had to be confronted: the bicycle wouldn't fit in the boot and the cycle ride was off. On another occasion, it should be noted, my six-year old daughter's smaller bicycle fitted just fine.
The Cee'd actually has a really good-sized boot. At 380 litres it's bigger than both the Ford Focus's and Volkswagen Golf's, the class-leaders the Kia has firmly in its sights. It's easily accessible and an excellent shape. It compliments perfectly the roomy and stylish interior of this well thought out car.
Admittedly this is not the blackest mark against a car, but it did highlight an anomaly: we call cars like the Cee'd small family cars, but it depends on what sort of family you've got.
Once upon a time all families had cars of this size, but nowadays the regular child comes with a lot of paraphernalia that has to be carried around, not just the wide car seats they have to sit on, but the buggies they ride in and the toys they cannot live without. For babies and toddlers, the Cee'd would be too small. For my two, and for children older, 99% of the time it would be fine.
Just be careful how you plan your cycle rides.
Week ending July 6
Driven this week: 175 miles
This is the new Kia Ceed, and it's the latest addition to our long-term fleet.
We've gone for the 1.6 CRDi 126 diesel engine, which provides the car with respectable performance and produces an impressive 74.3mpg; equating to 100g/km CO2. We've combined this engine with the mid-range 2 trim, because we think this will be the biggest seller. This gives you a long list of standard goodies, including 16-inch alloys, electric front and rear windows, and rear parking sensors as standard.
The new Ceed is a particularly handsome car, and ours looks even better still in metallic silver storm; a £445 option. One of our missions over the next few months of ownership will be to see if the Kia is as good to run and own as it is to look at, and also to see how it compares with its sister car, the Hyundai i30, which we're also running as a long-termer.
Like the i30, the Ceed has the Focus and Golf in its sights, so it'll have to succeed not only in the showroom, but on the road too. It's early days, but initial impressions are positive: it's easy to drive, with a flexible and refined engine that seems well suited to motorways. We look forward to going far in our reasonably priced car.