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What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

For Good value; good to drive and comfortable; long warranty

Against Rarer than rivals; questionable cabin materials; road noise

Verdict It's not the most exciting of hatchbacks, but is capable and affordable.

Go for… 1.6GS/2

Avoid… 2.0 CRDI Sport

Kia Ceed Hatchback
  • 1. There's good passenger space in the front and back, with only the middle rear seat a little cramped. The boot is a good size and usable shape.
  • 2. The Cee'd isn't as refined as the class leaders, but wind and road noise aren't intrusive. Even though the cabin materials aren't the highest quality, the Cee'd feels well built.
  • 3. Low CO2 emissions keep road tax down, with only the 1.6-litre petrol models producing more than 150g/km. Both 1.6-litre diesels manage an impressive 119g/km.
  • 4. Kia's seven-year warranty on the Cee'd will save you repair bills if anything fails, although you're not covered for items such as brakes, clutches and exhausts.
  • 5. The Cee'd was originally supplied with Michelin Energy tyres, which are designed to improve fuel economy, but these can wear out in under 20,000 miles, so check them carefully.
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Kia Ceed Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Kia Cee'd is capable and great value on the used market.

It is designed to be family friendly, and the cabin is just that. There’s space for four adults, and the boot is large and easy to load. Cabin materials aren't of the highest quality, but the Cee'd still feels well built and solid. The Kia’s light and responsive steering is good around town, and while the ride is generally comfortable, it can thump over bumps. The Cee’d remains composed at higher speeds, but its grip and stability is inferior to rivals such as the Ford Focus or Renault Megan. Road noise is an issue on poor surfaces.

Trade view

Don't get snobby about the badge: the Kia Cee'd is a good hatchback at a decent price.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

It's a straight choice between the five-door Cee'd, the three-door Pro_cee'd. The three-door model is more sporty to drive, but the ride is too harsh and there’s excessive road noise. The boot is slightly smaller than the five-door version's, too.

The 105bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine is willing and easy, but the 124bhp 1.6-litre is the better option overall. The 1.6-litre diesel comes with either 89bhp or 113bhp, but we'd recommend the more-powerful version because it offers decent performance, without big fuel bills. There's also a rare 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel, which is fast but not substantially better.

The entry-level Cee'd S comes with air-con, front electric windows and a CD player, while the GS gets alloy wheels, remote central locking and a stereo upgrade. The LS (available with the 1.6-litre petrol and 113bhp diesel only) comes with climate control, rear electric windows and half-leather seats. There was also a Sport version of the 2.0-litre diesel available until the face-lift, with larger alloys, tinted windows and stability control as standard.

Kia face-lifted the Cee’d in October 2009, with new front- and rear styling, an upgraded cabin and different wheels. Kia also renamed the trims 1, 2 or 3, but kept the specification as before. The slow-selling 2.0-litre diesel was retired and the 1.6-litre Ecodynamics edition, with engine stop-start technology, was introduced. The Pro_ceed had to wait until early 2011 for a face-lift and a 126bhp version of the 1.6-litre diesel engine.

Trade view

The Cee'd's seven-year warranty should save you from scary repair bills if things go wrong.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Cee’d cleaned up its act with the 2009 face-lift, making the newer models slightly lighter on your pocket in terms of fuel economy and road tax. This, combined with their fresher design, make them a better bet when considering resale values.

The older 1.4-litre petrol manages an average of 46.3mpg in both the Cee'd and Pro_cee'd, while the 1.6-litre returns 44.1mpg. The lower-powered 1.6 diesel does 62.8mpg, while the 113bhp version achieves 60.1mpg in the Cee'd and 58.9mpg in the Pro_cee'd. The 2.0-litre diesel comes in at 50.4mpg for both cars. The greenest Cee’d of all, though, is the Ecodynamics version, delivering 62.8mpg.

Low-CO2 emissions keep road tax bills down, with only the 1.6-litre petrol models emitting more than 150g/km. Both 1.6-litre diesels manage an impressive 119g/km.

The servicing costs are a little higher than they are for rivals such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, though.

Kia's seven-year warranty on the Cee'd will save you repair bills if anything fails, although you're not covered for wear and tear items such as brakes, clutches and exhausts. If you opt for a car 18 months old on Kia’s approved used scheme, the warranty gets topped-up to the original seven years.

Trade view

Don't get snobby about the badge: the Kia Cee'd is a good hatchback at a decent price.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Kia is proving a hit with owners because there are few reliability issues to report. It was best small family car in 2010’s JD Power customer satisfaction survey, and the only model to achieve a full five-star result.

The Cee'd was originally supplied with Michelin Energy tyres, which are designed to improve fuel economy, but these can wear out in fewer than 20,000 miles, so check them carefully. Alternative tyres can be fitted, but these may have an effect on fuel economy. Early cars suffered a possible steering issue caused by faulty steering racks, and some rear suspension systems develop ‘clonks’.

Gearboxes have been known to give some problems – a reluctance to change gear when cold could indicate that the transmission fluid needs to be changed.

The stereo can freeze, especially in very hot weather, but so far dealers have fixed the problem under warranty.

Trade view

The Cee'd's seven-year warranty should save you from scary repair bills if things go wrong.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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