What's the used Kia Ceed hatchback like?
The Kia Cee’d family hatchback is cheap to buy and comes with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Those points alone will be enough for some to make it an ideal used car purchase.
However, there are a few other important boxes the Cee'd needs to tick if it is to genuinely be considered a rival to the likes of the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf. That’s why, compared with its predecessor, this second-generation Cee’d is so much more stylish inside and out, as well as available with variable steering system in an (admittedly failed) attempt to make it fun to drive.
Just as importantly, seeing as this is a car aimed at families, the Cee’d has a boot that is larger than a you’ll find in the Focus and a match for the Golf's. You can extend the space by folding the rear backrests in a 60/40 split, although to get them to go completely flat requires you to first lift the seat base out of the way.
In terms of seating, up to three passengers won’t have much to complain about in the Cee'd, because there’s a good amount of room in the front and the back seats, as well as doors that open nice and wide. You can also get a third person on the rear bench with a modicum more space than in rivals, although it’s still far from ideal for longer journeys.
The Cee'd’s engine range is solid rather than spectacular. It's available with 1.4 (99bhp) and 1.6-litre (133bhp) GDI petrols, and 1.4 (89bhp) and 1.6-litre (126bhp) CRDi diesels. The pick of the petrols is the 1.4, which is cheaper to buy and a little smoother, if ultimately slower. If you’re after a diesel it’s worth spending the extra on the more powerful 1.6.
As for gearboxes, a decent dual-clutch automatic gearbox was available with the larger petrol engine, while early diesels came with a torque converter automatic.
Whichever Cee’d you choose, don’t expect a thrilling driving experience. The Golf, Focus and Seat Leon are all much more satisfying in terms of steering response and agility (that even applies to sportier GT versions of the Cee’d from 2014 with their 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine). Having said that, if you simply want a car that is undemanding to drive, has a soft ride and isn’t too noisy, the Cee’d gives little cause for complaint.
The Cee’d range was given a facelift in 2016 that included the introduction of a 1.0-litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine with either 99bhp or 118bhp. At the same time, Kia added extra sound deadening to make the Cee’d quieter to drive, and introduced a more powerful 134bhp version of its 1.6-litre diesel, which was also offered with a seven-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic.
The Cee'd scored a maximum five stars when crash tested by Euro NCAP.