Kia, the Korean company whose head of design is French and based in Germany and whose facelifted XCeed is built in Slovakia, is now making this pleasant SUV available in Britain in its newest guise
Car Reviewed: New Kia XCeed ‘GT-Line’ S 1.5 T-GDi 6-speed manual
Outwardly: little obvious change, even though, Kia tells us, the only left-over parts are the front doors …new colours and design for the front lights and rear cluster are perhaps the most noticeable to owners of the superceeded model (spelling intended!).
It’s the usual motor industry process of developing, refining and adding value. Prices start at £23,345.
Included in the range are a straightforward 1.5-litre ICE-powered and a plug-in hybrid.
The range of trim and equipment levels should be enough to suit anyone who fancies a Kia, whether or not they’ve had experience with the brand or, indeed, this particular model.
As ever, part of the attraction will be the Kia 7-year/100,000-mile transferable warranty.
My drive of the latest XCeed was in the 1.5 T-GDi ‘GT-Line S’, which is near the top of the range at £30,345.
For this money, you get a complete list of safety, comfort, convenience and connectivity features: and Kia describes it as a car that aims to appeal visually to drivers who appreciate some sportiness on tap.
Why is it that so many car-makers give us suspension and seats that can be just a bit too hard, making long journeys less comfortable than they might be? Kia has taken this into account and therefore softened the suspension in the new Xceed by just a few percent. If so, well done!
My drive started along some very narrow country lanes with moss thriving in the middle of the track, then some wider, winding country roads, dual carriageway, motorway and town driving. At 70 mph on the motorway, the engine revs comfortably at around 2500 rpm.
The ride was very comfortable throughout, which made for an excellent first impression; the car uses a new hydraulic system fitted to its front end.
The indicated fuel consumption after sixty miles was 52.2 mpg, a very pleasing figure that compared well with the official WLTP combined 44.8 mpg. At this, the 50-litre fuel tank would allow a range of more than 550 miles (by which time, the price of petrol might have come down a bit!).
I felt the engine to be a bit ‘buzzy’ at first and, with a light clutch, needed to be revved a bit to take off from a standstill; however, it does develop 158 bhp and can accelerate well if you floor it, with maximum torque kicking in from 1500 rpm. The six-speed manual gearbox felt relatively light to operate. The brakes (the front discs are ventilated) were excellent — very powerful, even before ABS kicked in — and no tyre squeal whatsoever from the Continental Premium Contact 6s.
The PHEV XCeed, an automatic, is more staid in performance, taking 10.6 seconds to 62 mph, but of course, with lower emissions.
Kia is on a success wave as we head towards 2023. They have an almost bewildering range on offer, appealing to newcomers or existing customers who might want to step up a level, need more space, and so on.
Well, the new Kia XCeed could be the one to start the trend.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.
The Kia XCeed has been a big reason why Kia has become one of the most popular car ranges in the UK …