Kia's All-New Ceed reviewed - The most significant change is the smallest. For the latest third version of its popular C-segment family hatchback, Kia have at last seen sense and done away with the silly apostrophe that made its name a complete nonsense.
Neil Lyndon from Slovakia for his first drive of the All-New Kia Ceed Hatchback
Now they are content simply to call the car Ceed. As car names go, it’s still far from a knockout, but at least we can say that progress is being made.
What does CEED mean? = 'Community of Europe with European Design'
The car is designed , engineered and built in Europe
The same is true of the car as a whole. The Cee’d was always an ordinary car whose major strengths were in its build quality and value for money. Those qualities continue in the new Ceed, which is better – though more expensive – than ever.
The launch was in Slovakia, where Kia make most of their European cars in a factory of serene cleanliness and order not far from the High Tatras where we stayed overnight. We drove up into those glorious mountains, very reminiscent of Switzerland, in the new 114 bhp 1.6 diesel version. Next day, we came down in the new 138 bhp 1.4 petrol version. Both had six-speed manual gearboxes and both engines were smooth and quiet. On the way up in the diesel, we averaged 54 mpg. On the way down in the petrol, the figure was 52 mpg. Considering the terrain, those numbers aren’t too far away from the manufacturer’s official claims.
The new car damps down any excitement over design that the Ceed might previously have offered. The new body is lower and wider while the windows are more shallow and the nose is higher. The overall effect is to place this car firmly in the school of family dumplings. It is unlikely to keep you awake at night marvelling over its beauty.
On the other hand, you might be nodding off into sweet dreams with comforting thoughts about the Ceed’s excellent value for money. Starting prices are actually higher than equivalent Ford Focus, but the Ceed rapidly accelerates past that excellent piece of work by offering valuable built-in extras. On top of the irresistible seven-year Kia warranty comes a lot of kit in all four of the trim levels on offer. The grade 2 hatchback with lane-keeping and front-collision mitigation starts at £18295. It also has cruise control, reversing camera, power windows and smartphone connection. The even better-equipped Blue Edition, with fitted satnav, starts at only £21095.
Driving is a sweet and refined experience. Handling was developed on the Nurburgring and is positively reassuring. The gearchange has a lovely, snicky feeling and the positioning of the pedals even invited heel-and-toeing.
The Ceed is far from a racer, of course, but it can give a respectable account of itself on mountain roads whenever the driver has a chance to get away from the family for which it was designed. Those lucky people can expect many years of faithful service from a car to which they will never have to give a moment’s critical thought - not even, now, to have to answer questions about the significance of that silly apostrophe.
Car reviewed: Kia Ceed 1.4 T-GDi ‘First Edition’ - Price with 'First Edition' spec On the road £25,750 - Kia Ceed prices start at £18,295 0-62mph 8.9 secs Top speed 130mph Fuel Economy combined 48.7mpg CO2 emissions 132g/km Engine 1353cc T-GDi unleaded 4-cylinder EU6 Max Power 138bhp@6000rpm Torque 242Nm@1500-3200rpm Transmission 6-speed manual
Value for money
Spacious and well equipped
Sweet and refined
Popular but slightly ordinary with more models to come
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