Do you remember the 1980s, and the craze for applying stone cladding to houses? Well it’s back, sort of. Except it’s not cladding houses anymore, but cars; and it's not stone, but black plastic, with a bit of underpinning work thrown in.
Yes, this is the Kia Xceed, and like the Ford Focus Active it’s another merry mash-up involving a popular hatchback clad with funky SUV styling cues. So, while based on the Kia Ceed hatchback, the Xceed gets some smart plastic wheel arches, chunkier bumpers and a stout set of roof rails. Oh, and we forgot the underpinning: the suspension has been raised by 44mm, just in case you fancy travelling to the outback in search of some other rare sightings from the 80s: the long-lost mullet, perhaps?
What else is different? Well, the distance between the front and rear wheels (the wheelbase) remains the same as that of the regular Ceed, so it provides identical passenger space. But the Xceed is longer overall, which means a bigger boot than the hatchback, but not the Ceed Sportswagon estate.
The suspension has also been revised with softer settings and some clever dampers. Together these aim to provide a pleasurable ride, while maintaining the sportier handling characteristics of a regular hatchback.
Read on to find out, and also check out our New Car Buying page for great, hassle-free deals on most new cars.