An ideal ‘first step’ into plug-in transportation, the Kia’s Xceed, a coupe-SUV crossover is somewhat of an anomaly within their range.
While their other vehicles, such as the Sportage, Ceed, Rio and Stinger all sit very much within their own ‘niche’ of the automotive world, the XCEED sits somewhere between the Ceed and the Stonic/Sportage and feels a little confused.
The space for example is comparable to that of the ‘ordinary’ CEED hatch, but the styling is beefed up and designed to look more like an SUV/Crossover-type vehicle.
That’s not to say it doesn’t look good, however. I think it’s one of the best looking vehicles currently in the Kia range, especially the ‘first edition’ cars in their unique Quantum Yellow paint colour. The crossover styling works very well on the XCEED, and the result is a rugged-looking car that doesn’t appear over-the-top or awkward in its attempts to look more utilitarian than it actually is.
Inside, the interior is typically Kia. More soft-touch materials and high-quality finishes than you may expect at this price point, and the ‘3’ grade tested here has everything you could ever need: Heated Seats/steering wheel, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Adaptive Cruise, and a whole plethora of other safety features.
The rear seat room is ample enough, and the headroom is impressive given the slicked-back coupe- inspired styling. Boot space is limited, however, especially on PHEV versions since this is also where the batteries are stored, resulting in a capacity of only 291-litres. Under the floor in the boot, you can even see the batteries themselves, along with a convenient storage slot for the 3-pin charging cable for those at-home trickle charges.
The traditional type 2 charger cable is kept neatly in a pouch supplied by Kia, which can be hung on the hooks in the boot. Charging the XCEED PHEV is simple enough, and a real-world electric range of just over 30 miles is enough for plenty of around-town and urban pottering about.
Charging times aren’t too shabby either. From empty to 100%, charging will take you around 2hrs 15 from a 3.3kw charger. Alternatively, you could leave the XCEED plugged into a domestic 3-pin socket overnight.
MPGs are quoted as being around 200mpg with a fully-charged battery(!) But I only briefly saw over 100mpg on a mixed-road run (mostly motorways) even when starting with a full battery.
Driving characteristics of the XCEED PHEV aren’t particularly exciting, but they will get the job done. In eco mode (which the vehicle defaults to upon startup) the steering and throttle feel can be somewhat disconnected, requiring a real ‘mash’ to get the car moving with any real haste and only a vague notion of where the wheels are pointing.
‘Sport’ mode, by contrast, is surprisingly responsive, with a more natural pedal feel and less washy steering. Sport mode also has the benefit of only using the EV mode in a way similar to an HEV, meaning the batteries are actually charged a lot through recuperating energy through braking. This proved to be the most effective means of charging the XCEED PHEV on-the-go, but at the cost of lower fuel consumption – around 50mpg in my experience.
All-told, the XCEED PHEV is a great way of getting into the world of EV living for those who aren’t quite ready (or are unable to) commit to full EV life. If you can get around the slightly confused nature of the XCEED and its lack of boot capacity, there are several benefits the PHEV offers over the traditional ICE version.
The electric range is enough for ‘last mile’ journeys, avoiding clean air zones, or just for short trips to the shops. Charging is easy and fast enough, while the styling is up-to-date with the Kia range – turns out you can do your part to save the planet AND look good at the same time!
Car reviewed: Kia XCeed ‘3’ PHEV, on the road price as tested £30,695 0-62mph 10.6secs Top speed 99mph Engine/Motor 1580cc 4 cylinder unleaded Fuel Economy WLTP Combined 167.6mpg All-Electric Range 36.6miles CO2 emissions 32g/km Max Power Engine/Motor 139bhp@4000rpm / 125bhp Torque Engine/Motor 147Nm@4000rpm / 125Nm Transmission 6-speed DCT automatic front-wheel-drive Warranty 7-Years, 100,000k miles
Kieran Bicknell offers his fresh take on car reviews by making the most of his dynamic, yet detailed approach to writing. Having graduated from university with a BA (Hons) in Photography and spending a number of years as a freelance automotive photographer. Kieran is now putting his knowledge and writing skills to use, with the ability to supply both written articles and imagery. Kieran feels at home in anything from small superminis to the latest SUVs, and relishes the opportunity to drive, photograph and write about anything with four wheels.
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