Cheap to own, but some engines aren’t that efficient
The Ceed’s pricing is one of the most appealing things about it; it’s one of the cheapest cars in its class. The seven-year/100,000-mile transferable warranty has a positive effect on resale values, although the Ceed won’t hold its value as well as a VW Golf.
For fuel economy the standout model is the 1.6 CRDi diesel, which averages more than 70mpg in its most frugal form and dips under the 100g/km CO2 barrier. That’s not a match for the most efficient Ford Focus, Peugeot 308 or VW Golf, however.
The pick of the petrols for economy is the 1.0 triple. There are two power outputs, the lesser of which is cleaner and more frugal. The GT’s turbocharged engine is unusually thirsty, consuming more fuel than the much more powerful Ford Focus ST and VW Golf GTI.
Kia’s Care-3 package is an optional extra that provides fixed-price servicing for the car’s first three, or five, services.
Kia Ceed equipment
Decent kit across the range
The Ceed is offered in eight trim levels, ranging from the fairly basic to luxuriously equipped; overall it’s roughly on a par with mainstream rivals such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra for kit.
Entry-level models miss out on alloy wheels and electric rear windows but come with air-con, front electric windows, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, an iPod-compatible CD stereo and Bluetooth connectivity. There are no major omissions there, so it’s our favourite trim due to the great value it represents.
Reversing sensors are standard from the second trim level upwards, while automatic headlights and wipers are standard on the top three trims. Top-spec Tech models are a bit pricey but get Parallel Park Assist System (PPAS), which automatically steers the car into kerbside spaces, plus fully electric driver’s seat adjustment and adaptive xenon headlights.
Kia Ceed reliability
Warranty is hard to beat
One of the most appealing aspects of Ceed ownership is the fact that – like all Kias – it comes with a transferrable, seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty that covers the bodywork and all major parts. There’s also an unusually long five-year paint warranty and a year of breakdown assistance from the first registration. Few rivals can match that kind of cover.
In our most recent customer satisfaction survey the Ceed finished in the top half of its class and in the top third overall, while Kia finished ninth out of the 26 makes included.
Owners were generally satisfied, but reported problems with door locks and unexpectedly high servicing costs. The Care-3 fixed-price package should guard against the second of those concerns, though.
In our latest survey of used car reliability, Kia finished thoroughly mid-pack.
Kia Ceed safety & security
Ticks the right boxes, but no better than average
The Ceed achieved the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, and standard equipment includes six airbags, electronic stability control and hill-start assist. Top-spec ‘4 Tech’ models have a lane departure-warning system.
It’s disappointing that Kia doesn’t go the extra mile on safety kit, though: there’s no driver’s knee airbag or city-braking assist. Theft resistance is boosted by deadlocks, an automatic door-locking function and locking wheelnuts. Security expert Thatcham has given the Ceed four out of five for resisting theft, and three out of five for resisting being broken into
This entry-level trim keeps the Ceed’s price low and you get the basics you really need, including air-con, front electric windows, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, an iPod-compatible CD stereo and Bluetooth connectivity. There are no frills, but Ceed 1 models are great value for money and this is our favourite trim as a result.
This trim adds some desirable extras over 1 trim, including interior and exterior cosmetic upgrades, alloy wheels, electric rear windows and reversing sensors. Unfortunately, it also bumps up the price, and is only available with the two least powerful engines, so we’d give it a miss.
As with VR7, SR7 is available only with the two least powerful engines in the range. It adds a few more features again, including cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, but we’d still save the cash and stick with the entry-level model.
The addition of daytime running lights, alloy wheels, electric rear windows and cornering lights make this these models look and feel noticeably plusher than entry-level 1 versions. However, there’s a fairly sizeable jump in price, so unless you can negotiate a great saving, we’d stick with the cheaper car.
Here’s where things start getting plush – and expensive. Standard kit includes rear privacy glass, automatic headlights and wipers, a reversing camera and sat-nav, but all this pushes the price into Audi A3 territory – and that’s a better and more desirable car overall.
Luxuries on 4 models include leather trim, heated front seats, rear air vents and an electric parking brake. It’s all very nice but at this money an Audi A3 or VW Golf makes a lot more sense.
This Ceed model comes with everything but the kitchen sink, but the price is too high. The Ceed is all about value for money, so speccing it up to this level makes it far less appealing.
This standard version of Kia’s warm hatch is far from a stripped-out racer, with lots of kit as standard, including part-leather upholstery, Bluetooth, reversing sensors, air-con and four electric windows. It’s decent value compared with some sporty hatchbacks.