The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Every Ceed Sportswagon has a good range of adjustment for the driver's seat and steering wheel, plus both line up nicely with the pedals so you’re not forced to sit crooked. Upgrade to mid-level 3 trim and you’ll also benefit from electrically adjustable lumbar support to help fend off backache on long drives, and a front centre armrest is standard on the PHEV.
These days, more and more manufacturers are moving all key functions onto touchscreens, but the Ceed retains separate buttons and knobs for its air conditioning; an approach that makes it much easier to tweak the settings on the move. The analogue dials are also clear, and they’re complimented by a digital screen that’s operated from the steering wheel buttons.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Relatively thin windscreen pillars ensure it’s easy to see out at junctions, but over-the-shoulder visibility is quite restricted, so you’ll be grateful that a rear-view camera is fitted as standard to help with reversing.
All models also get electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, a front wiper de-icer and automatic head and tail lights. Meanwhile, 3 trim includes rear parking sensors, and the PHEV adds LED headlights; the regular halogen headlights are not that great by modern standards.
Sat nav and infotainment
Entry-level 2 trim features an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with a DAB radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, which allows you to use your phone's navigation apps from the screen. If you don’t want to rely on your phone to tell you where to go, you’ll need to upgrade to a 3 trim or the PHEV model; these get built-in sat-nav, in addition to a larger, 10.3in screen.
It's as good as most of the touchscreen systems in the class. The free-standing screen is mounted nice and high, the graphics are clear and the menus are simple and responsive. There are no physical shortcut buttons to let you quickly switch between different menus, but you do get a row of touch-sensitive buttons on the 10.3in screen. We did notice, though, that the Bluetooth phone connection tends to have an echo audible to the person calling you.
The 2 trim comes with a six-speaker stereo, while the PHEV gets a seventh speaker.
The interior looks rather drab, particularly if you go for entry-level 2 spec, which misses out on the chrome and piano black trims that are standard higher up the range.
It’s hard to fault the standard of assembly, though, because everything feels well screwed together. Plus, the Ceed feels classier than a Ford Focus Estate or Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, thanks to nicely-damped controls and plenty of squishy plastics.
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