Kia Ceed

Kia Ceed review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£18,600
What Car? Target Price£17,311
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Kia is no longer the budget brand it once was, so pricing is competitive rather than ultra-cheap next to rivals such as the Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon. The good news is that significant discounts have always been available on the Ceed, so make sure you check out our New Car Buying service for the latest savings.

An area where Kia has become more competitive recently is in its finance deals, with the Ceed offering very reasonable monthly payments on a PCP arrangement – even next to the good-value rivals mentioned above. Leasing rates are also on the money, so to speak.

There's less good news if you're a company car driver paying benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax. Despite having relatively small engines, petrol versions of the Ceed aren’t particularly fuel-efficient, emitting more CO2 than the best rivals and therefore pushing up your tax bill.

If maximising your miles per gallon is all-important, the 1.6 diesel is your best bet, although you’d really need to do more than 15,000 miles a year for it to make any sense at all.

Equipment, options and extras

No Ceed is poorly equipped, and with the exception of metallic paint, Kia doesn’t really do options. That can be a bind, though, because it means an expensive upgrade is necessary if there's a specific feature you want that's available only on the posher trims.

Entry-level 2 models get air-con, cruise control, all-round electric windows, a 7.0in touchscreen with smartphone connectivity and a reversing camera.

Upgrade to 3 trim and you'll also get dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers and and larger alloy wheels. Meanwhile, range-topping GT, GT-Line S and First Edition add yet more luxuries, but are too pricey to really recommend.

Kia Ceed

Reliability

Kia has a great reliability record, finishing third out of the 31 manufacturers featured in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey. That's only just behind Toyota, better than Skoda and a long way ahead of Ford and Volkswagen.

Even if you do have a problem, Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty is the longest currently available on a new car.

Safety and security

Things appear quite promising if you look at the amount of safety equipment all trims receive: automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane assist and a driver attention monitor. The First Edition and GT-Line S trims gets even more: traffic sign recognition, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and an upgraded AEB, which include pedestrian and cyclist detection.

However, when Euro NCAP tested the Ceed it found issues: the driver’s head making contact with the steering wheel in a frontal collision, and poor protection for the front passengers' chest in the side-on crash test with a pole. As a result it gets just four stars out of five, which is very rare in this class and indicates that the Ceed is less safe than many rivals, including the Mercedes A-Class and Mazda 3.

On top of that security expert Thatcham has shown the Ceed to be relatively easy to break into and steal, despite having a standard alarm and immobiliser. 

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Verdict

The Ceed is competitive in lots of areas and a perfectly decent car. However, unlike its best rivals, it fails to be outstanding in any area. Long warranty aside, there's little compelling reason to recommend it over the better-handling Ford Focus, the more practical Skoda Octavia, or the more refined and comfortable VW Golf. The 1.0-litre petrol in entry-level '2' trim is the sweet spot of the Ceed line-up.

  • Entry-level versions represent good value for money
  • Well-built interior
  • Decent-sized boot
  • Not especially practical
  • Poor security rating
  • Unsettled ride over rough surfaces

What's important to you?

Performance & drive
Interior
Passenger & boot space