Kia Ceed moving shot
Kia Ceed: neat handling hatchback to take on Golf and Focus
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  • P11D Value: £25,490
  • Company car tax band: 27%
  • Five-door Compact hatchback
  • 138ps/242Nm, 1.4-litre 4-cylinder T-GDi/6-spd manual box
  • Economy (comb)/CO2: 48.7mpg/132g/km
  • Performance: 8.9sec/128mph

What is it?

THE Ceed is Kia’s answer to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. A family sized five door hatchback.

The Ceed is the model that launched the South Korean brand’s factory in Slovakia back in 2006.

The latest generation is notable by the fact that it has dropped its ridiculous apostrophe (as in cee’d). More importantly, the Ceed has upped its game with new levels of refinement, specification and equipment levels.

Last year this hatchback segment accounted for 22% of all European sales and is consistently one of the two largest segments by volume. The outgoing model accounted for 16% of Kia’s total European sales and has more than doubled its sales from 225,000 in 2006 to 472,000 in 2017. Kia’s aim is to hit half a million with the new model.

Lower, wider and with a longer rear overhang than the car it replaces, The Ceed’s cab-rearward silhouette is more athletic.

The car is constructed on Kia’s new K2 platform and now boasts a larger 395-litre boot as well as greater shoulder room for rear passengers along with more headroom in the front.

Kia Ceed centre console
Floating touchscreen infotainment system

From launch the Ceed five-door hatchback will be available in the UK with a choice of seven paint finishes plus 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels.

There are 11 versions based on four trim levels – two Blue Edition and two First Edition. The five door hatch is the first of a whole new family of Ceed models to be launched over the next two years.

How does the new Kia Ceed measure up as a company car?

Looking at the 1.4 petrol model we have driven here, the new Ceed 1.4 petrol falls short against Focus and Golf equivalents.

CO2 emissions put the Ceed some three company car tax band percentage places higher than current Golf and Focus equivalents.

What’s our verdict on the new Kia Ceed?

As we’ve said, it’s up against the Ford Focus and VW Golf, so does it cut the mustard?

In many respects yes, certainly in equipment levels and refinement although it lags a little in terms of ride and handling.

The instrument panel takes its cues from Kia’s sporty new Stinger although this is not necessarily all good. It’s clear enough but some may find the lower level controls a little too low and difficult to focus on.

The upper area of the instrument panel features a floating touchscreen infotainment system and the lower level houses controls for audio and heating/ventilation.

Surfaces are finished with satin or metallic chrome trim with a range of cloth and leather upholstery.

As for the drive, a new fully independent suspension provides a more agile and immediate handling response. Spring and damper rates have also been revised while the steering rack is faster giving greater cornering stability.

Kia Ceed rear view cornering
Kia Ceed: more athletic visual appearance on new car

Petrol versions include an updated version of Kia’s 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol direct injection and an all-new 1.4-litre unit which replaces the previous 1.6 to reduce emissions.

There is a new 1.6-litre diesel designed to go beyond the Euro 6 requirements. All engines are paired to a six-speed manual transmission while the 1.4 petrol and 1.6 diesel are also available with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

The infotainment system is available as a 7-inch touchscreen audio system or an 8-inch navigation system. Standard technologies include Bluetooth smartphone integration, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and a wireless smartphone charger is available on First Edition models.

Standard driver assist and safety features available include Lane Following Assist – standard on First Edition – which tracks vehicles in front in traffic and identifies appropriate spaces in other lanes to move into to help gain more ground in heavy congestion.

First Edition models also get cruise control, stop and go, blind spot warning, smart parking assist and pedestrian recognition with haptic steering wheel warnings.

The Ceed was Kia’s first model to offer a seven year or 100,000 mile warranty and this remains the case while Kia’s service plans have been developed to provide a wide range of service options.


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Chris Wright
Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com

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