Plenty of adjustment; front seats firm but comfortable
All the basics are right, with a fundamentally sound driving position and pedals that are well placed. There’s a good range of height and reach adjustment for the steering wheel, and it’s easy to tweak the driver’s seat height and backrest angle.
The seats are unusually firm, but provide good long-distance support. However, some drivers may wish that on versions without electric seat adjustment, the angle of the cushion wasn’t quite so steep.
Top-spec versions have fully electric driver’s seat adjustment, while mid-spec trims have electric lumbar adjustment. A central armrest is standard across the range, and has a sliding function on the top two trims.
The dashboard scores highly for ease of use, with a centre console that puts the controls within easy reach. The instruments and dials are easy to read, although the separate information display at the top of the dash is on the small side.
Kia Ceed visibility
Decent view forwards; not so good at the rear
Like many of its rivals, the Ceed has fairly stout front pillars and slim secondary pillars behind those, yet the view forward is very good. The rising side window line and comparatively small rear windows mean that rear visibility isn’t as good, although most drivers won’t have any cause to complain.
Reversing sensors are standard on all but the lowest-specced model. A reversing camera is standard for the top three trims, while the range-topper also gets front parking sensors and a parallel Park Assist System that can steer the car into a suitable space while you operate the throttle and brake.
Automatic headlights and wipers are standard on the top three trims, while all but the two cheapest versions use the nearside foglight to illuminate the inside of low-speed corners. Top-spec cars have xenon headlights with washers.
Kia Ceed infotainment
Lots of useful features and it’s all easy to use
The Ceed’s infotainment system is a welcome breath of fresh air because, unlike the set-ups in some rivals, ease of use seems to take precedence over style. Big, bold displays and clearly labelled controls are the order of the day, and the wealth of steering wheel-mounted buttons is easy to get used to.
Switching between functions is easy and all versions come with a Bluetooth connectivity function that’s easy to set up. USB and auxiliary input sockets are standard across the range, and these are located beneath the centre console so they’re easy to access. There are two 12v power sockets between the front seats, too.
A touchscreen system that incorporates sat-nav and reversing camera functions is standard for the top three trims. It’s mounted conveniently close to the steering wheel and has buttons at either side that make it easy to skip to certain functions on the move.
The ‘supervision cluster’ instrument display fitted to high-spec cars has to be seen to really be appreciated. It’s effectively an HD upgrade for the main instrumentation, delivering superb clarity to help minimise eyestrain.
GT models get an additional button on the steering wheel which changes the instrument cluster’s graphics and also increases the sound of the engine. It’s a shame that this sound symposer is only an illusion, because it only emphasises how poor the GT’s standard engine note is.
Kia Ceed build quality
A match for most cars in this class
Overall quality is good and it certainly matches mainstream rivals such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra for showroom appeal. There are a couple of areas where it’s not quite so impressive, however: the seats look a bit cheap, while the steering column stalks are made out of shiny plastic and have a rather dated, lightweight feel.
The range of materials in the cabin gives it a somewhat messy look, but most of them are classy and build quality is excellent. The Audi A3 has a plusher interior overall, but Kia is so confident that its cars will stand the test of time that the Ceed comes with a 100,000-mile/seven-year warranty