Reviewed – the more premium 2023 Kia XCeed GT-Line S

In Car Reviews, Kia by Jonathan Humphrey

The Kia XCeed has been a big reason why Kia has become one of the most popular car ranges in the UK


Car Reviewed: Kia XCeed GT-Line S’ 1.5 T-GDi 158bhp 6-speed Manual


Kia had a record breaking 100k registrations in the UK last year and with a superb range, this year looks even better. The Ceed, available as a coupe (ProCeed), a hatchback (XCeed), a Sportwagen (semi-estate), or an SUV (XCeed), is Kia’s third best-selling vehicle (after the Sportage and the Niro) and accounts for around 10% of sales.

Prices range from around £23,770 to £32,465, and all four models—Grades 2, 3, GT-Line, and GT-Line S—come standard with the same unleaded petrol engine and 6-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed DCT automatic is also available on the top-of-the-range model.

The Ceed family, which has been designed in Germany and manufactured in Slovakia, would be a good fit for many drivers. Kia has been steadily upgrading the range, picking up a number of national awards in the process.

The XCeed’s performance has been improved on the latest versions, and the attractive front and rear LED lights have been redesigned to improve aerodynamics. The vehicle also received a new rear diffuser to improve airflow, and the fascia and instruments have been updated to a more premium feel incorporating design cues from the ever popular, All-New Sportage and Niro models.

All instruments are easy and intuitive in their functionality; when it comes to the audio volume, heating, and ventilation, Kia has placed sensitive touch buttons on the lower fascia, which is where they are most likely to be utilized by the driver or passenger. It is a smart step and more convenient than using a touch screen.

The redesigned dashboard’s uncluttered design makes the cabin feel more expansive and more roomy than it is, making it suitable as a five-person family vehicle. The rear was easy to get into, and the rear seats folded down easily with the push of a button, tripling the car’s storage space behind the powered rear hatch.

The seat height has been raised to enhance visibility for all passengers, and the plush, well-shaped seats within the car are very comfortable for all occupants.

More storage space can be found around the interior, which is excellent for families that need to bring a lot of stuff and for teens who may come along begrudgingly and use the power outlets in the back to do whatever is necessary on their phones.

Everything is at hand for the driver; the standard column stalks work well, the spoke buttons are light but small, and the pedals are adequately located. However, I did not particularly enjoy the long and not very progressive clutch travel. In contrast, the gearshifts were swift and smooth, and the steering was well-weighted between aid and feedback, with a tight turning circle to boot.

The compact SUV’s road-holding was above average, with very little pitching or rolling; the crisp handling made driving more enjoyable.

Although it looks fine on paper and is entirely composed at motorway speeds, the nearly 1.5-litre engine lacks some get-up-and-go when loaded, and you find that more frequent changes are required to make good progress through the country.

The performance of the front struts and the rear trailing links are highlighted on poor surfaces, but the noises from the suspension and the tyres can be distracting. The sounds of the wind and engine were hardly audible.

Parking or navigating around obstacles is a breeze because of the car’s large windows, elevated seating position, and abundance of sensors and cameras.

Kia has done an excellent job with the latest iteration of the XCeed – the XCeed has now been elevated to a more upscale category than you might anticipate.

Author Rating 4/5

Car reviewed: Kia XCeed GT-Line S’ 1.5 T-GDi

on the road price as tested £30,770

  • 0-62mph 8.9secs
  • Top speed 129mph
  • Mechanical 1482cc, 4cyl unleaded
  • Fuel Economy WLTP Combined 45mpg
  • Power 158hp@5500rpm
  • Torque 253Nm
  • Dimensions MM 4400 L / 1830 W / 1500 H
  • CO2 emissions WLTP 143g/km
  • Transmission 6-speed manual front-wheel-drive
  • Bootspace 426 | 1378 litres seats down

Jonathan Humphrey

The man from Drive.co.uk

After many, many years of being passionate about cars, spending too much money on cars and too much time driving. I now spend my time running and developing Drive.co.uk a fun expressive motoring lifestyle website along with some very good writers.

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