Driving

Kia Ceed review

Manufacturer price from:£15,370
What Car? Target Price:£12,735
Search new deals
Kia Ceed
Review continues below...
27 Jul 2018 15:09 | Last updated: 9 Nov 2018 08:46

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Kia Ceed hatchback performance

With only three engine options, there’s far less choice than you’ll get with rivals such as the Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf.

Still, even the cheapest petrol engine – a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder unit – provides the sort of performance that most buyers will find quite adequate, even on the motorway. It's worth pointing out that rivals with similar 1.0-litre turbocharged engines have a bit more low-down shove, though, and you have to rev the Ceed harder to get the best from it.

Watch the next video

If you want or need more poke, there’s a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol that proves really flexible in the real world and very proficient at keeping pace with fast-moving traffic. Available on 3 trim and above, it’s not much more money to buy, but it does have slightly worse claimed fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

The final engine is a 1.6-litre diesel that we haven’t yet tried. Our experience of the mechanically very similar Hyundai i30 shows that it pulls eagerly at all but very low revs. However, it's not much punchier than the 1.0 petrol, so it’s only worth considering if economy is your priority.

Kia Ceed hatchback ride

If comfort is your absolute top priority, you might want to strike the Ceed from your wish list and instead look to the Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus, which are two of the most comfortable cars in the class. The Ceed won’t rattle your fillings out, mind, and it's very compliant over large intrusions such as sleeping policemen, but it fails to be quite so masking over rough town roads or indented motorways.

The good news is the Ceed doesn't crash or bang harshly over nasty potholes, and we've found that upgrading from 16in to 17in wheels doesn’t make the ride noticeably less comfortable, as it can in some cars.

Kia Ceed

Kia Ceed hatchback handling

The Ceed’s quick steering gives it a lively turn-in to corners, and that starts you thinking that it's a pretty well-sorted car. And up to a point that's the case, but push harder and you'll find that the steering is nowhere near as feelsome as the Focus’s, nor as progressively weighted as the Octavia’s and Golf's. The upshot is you feel a little less confident in placing the Ceed accurately in bends.

And while the Ceed feels generally nimble and flows nicely along a country road at seven-tenths pace, in fast cornering it’s not particularly well tied down at the rear. As a result, it has to rely quite heavily on its electronic systems, and making an emergency lane change, for example, can feel quite alarming.

There's an easy pick in this class if you want something truly enjoyable to drive: the impressively well-sorted Focus.

 

Kia Ceed hatchback refinement

We certainly wouldn’t call the Ceed noisy, but it isn't as refined as the likes of the Golf and Focus. Our biggest complaint is that the 1.0 petrol sends a fair few vibrations through the controls and sounds a little coarse. The 1.4 transmits less buzzing through to the interior and also needs less of a workout to get the Ceed up to speed, but it's still relatively uncivilised when you gun it.

Speaking of its controls, the slightly hair-trigger accelerator of the 1.4 makes you prone to enacting a more abrupt getaway than you might like, and the Ceed's notchy manual gearbox isn't as slick as the Focus's.

At motorway speeds, the Ceed burdens you with quite a bit of road roar, but it has slightly less wind noise than the Skoda Octavia and its suspension proves much quieter across bumps.

open the gallery4 Images
There are 10 trims available for the Ceed hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
1
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£12,735
Average Saving £2,635
View Trim
OUR PICK
2
Even entry-level 2 trim comes with air-con, cruise control, all-round electric windows, automatic lights, a 7.0in touchscreen with smartphone connectivity, 16in alloy wheels and a reversing camera...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£15,834
Average Saving £2,826
View Trim
2
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£17,246
Average Saving £1,049
View Trim
GT-Line
This range-topping model gets all the kit available with 3 trim plus front parking sensors, automatic parking, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated front seats with electric adjustment fo...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£17,648
Average Saving £2,937
View Trim
3
All the toys of 2 trim plus 17in wheels, automatic wipers, an 8.0in infotainment screen with sat-nav, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and piano black trim. It’s tempting for the mon...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£18,332
Average Saving £2,978
View Trim
GT-Line S
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£19,345
Average Saving £3,040
View Trim
3
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£19,512
Average Saving £1,193
View Trim
Blue Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£19,881
Average Saving £1,214
View Trim
GT
This is a limited-run launch model that’s available only with the 1.4-litre petrol engine and adds fancy metallic paint, 17in alloy wheels, LED headlights, an 8.0in touchscreen with sat-nav and a U...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£20,911
Average Saving £3,114
View Trim
First Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£24,256
Average Saving £1,494
View Trim