Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The cheapest petrol engine for the Kia Ceed Sportswagon is the 118bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder (1.0 T-GDi). It provides the sort of pace most buyers will find adequate (0-60mph takes 11.0sec), even on the motorway. Just bear in mind that it needs plenty of revs to get up to speed.
If you expect your Sportswagon to be heavily loaded up, the 158bhp turbocharged 1.5 T-GDi petrol is a much better bet. Aside from some initial hesitation at low revs, it’s effective once you’ve wound it up, getting from 0-60mph in 8.3sec. The downside is that you’ll need to opt for the top-spec 3 trim to get this engine, which pushes up the price.
Quick steering gives the Ceed Sportswagon a lively turn-in to corners, which gets you thinking it's a pretty well-sorted car. Up to a point, that's the case. When you push harder, you'll find the steering is nicely weighted, and although it doesn't have the sense of feel the Ford Focus Estate steering has, it's a confidence-inspiring car and easy enough to place accurately in bends.
While the Ceed flows nicely along a country road at seven-tenths pace, if you enter a corner fast, it leans a bit and isn't particularly well tied down at the rear. As a result, it has to rely quite heavily on its electronic safety aids, and making an emergency lane change can feel a tad alarming.