Used Kia Ceed 2018-present review

Category: Family car

Section: What is it like?

Star rating
Kia Ceed
  • Kia Ceed
  • Kia Ceed interior
  • Kia Ceed boot
  • Kia Ceed
  • Kia Ceed
  • Kia Ceed
  • Kia Ceed interior
  • Kia Ceed boot
  • Kia Ceed
  • Kia Ceed
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What's the used Kia Ceed hatchback like?

The third-generation Kia Ceed (yes, it's now sans apostrophe) competes in the family car sector against the likes of the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia. It matches the vast majority of its rivals by offering plenty of room for a young family, a decent-size boot and lots of equipment for the money.

But it has a much longer warranty than anything else in the class, which could be the deciding factor for many used car buyers. In fact, any example that’s less than two years old and bought through Kia’s approved used programme gets a similar seven-year warranty to a brand new model. So, it could be argued that a nearly new Ceed is actually a better buy than a factory-fresh one.  

There’s a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines, and all offerings are turbocharged. The petrol range kicks off with a 118bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, while 138bhp 1.4-litre and 201bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinders are available in higher-spec models. The two 1.6-litre diesels make 114bhp and 134bhp

We reckon there’s no need to go higher than 2 trim because this comes with all the equipment you really need, such as 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, a 7in touchscreen infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring capabilities, plus a rear-view camera. Stepping up to 2 Nav gets you sat-nav with the larger (8.0in) infotainment touchscreen; 3 trim brings dual-zone climate control, automatic wipers and larger 17in alloys. 

GT-Line gets heated front seats while GT-Line S adds heated rear seats, and electrically adjustable driver's seat and LED headlights. Range-topping GT and First Edition models come with additional safety aids.

To drive, the Ceed is very competent but hardly exciting. This won’t be a major concern for most buyers, though; it finds plenty of cornering grip and is a quiet cruiser at higher speeds, it’s just that rivals such as the Focus are noticeably more polished. The Ceed's brakes can be a bit grabby until you get used to them, the gearbox could do with being a touch slicker and the steering, while perfectly precise, isn’t as progressively weighted as the best around. Road noise is a little louder than in some rivals, too, but it never becomes intrusive, and wind rush is kept in check well.

The Ceed is nowhere near as practical as the cavernous Skoda Octavia, and the Ford Focus has a lot more rear leg room, but it's on par with most rivals. Taller rear passengers might find their head brushing the ceiling in GT-Line S models, due to the sunroof. The boot may not be as capacious as the Octavia (few are!) but you can still fit five carry-on suitcases into it, and there's a relatively low loading lip to ease loading. An adjustable boot floor is standard and means you can create a mostly flat floor when the rear seats are folded down.

The Ceed received some updates in 2020, mostly to its infotainment system. All cars came with a bigger 8in, with 2 Nav and above getting a 10.25in screen. It is also worth remembering that the standard Ceed is carries only a four-star EuroNCAP car safety rating; many rivals score maximum points. To get a Ceed with a five-star safety rating, you'll need to find one with the advanced driving assistance pack, which adds traffic sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and a more sophisticated automatic emergency braking system (AEB) that recognises pedestrians and cyclists.

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