WITH Brexit dominating the headlines for what seems like forever and a day, Kia’s annoyingly named cee’d has become the Ceed, a car “for the Community of Europe, with European Design”.

So whereas that rogue apostrophe might have irked in the past, the Ceed is looking to capitalise on its European foundations.

Not just in name, either. The new Ceed was designed, engineered and built in Europe – Frankfurt, Germany, for the most part and Zilina, Slovakia for the manufacture.

This third generation of what is Kia’s biggest seller is totally new, exuding a sportier feel through its longer and wider stance, those cute ice cube LED daytime running lights that have become a Kia trademark and straight lines that have replaced the rounded-off edges of its predecessor.

You really are spoilt for choice, too, with 11 variants based on three engines, manual and auto offerings and four trim levels.

In profile, the sharp, straight lines visually lengthen the bonnet. It’s a clever trick, but despite the visual enhancements the Ceed is more about offering even better value. It’s hard to think of a family car that provides more bang for your bucks.

Built on Kia’s new K2’platform, the Ceed is 20mm wider and 23mm lower than the outgoing model. Its wheelbase remains the same at 2,650mm, with the front overhang shortened by 20mm, and rear overhang extended by 20mm. The effects are that there’s a larger, 395-litre boot, as well as more shoulder room for rear passengers, extra headroom in the front row and a lower driving position.

The 11 versions are based on four trim levels – 2, Blue Edition, 3 and First Edition, all of them being front-wheel drive and five-door.

Compared with its predecessor, this Ceed is a whole lot smarter inside. The infotainment system is top notch, the dashboard is laid out horizontally, soft-touch materials abound and there’s a sense of space in the posh ambience of the cabin.

Surfaces are finished with metallic or satin chrome trim. Cloth, cloth with faux leather bolsters or genuine leather upholstery is available depending on trim. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear stick are also available as standard.

Tested on UK roads, the Ceed achieves its stated aim to provide relaxed and safe family motoring in both urban environments and on motorways.

But that does not mean the fun side of motoring has been overlooked. The new fully-independent suspension system provides for more agility and you will certainly appreciate the tighter body control under cornering and stability at higher speeds.

I suspect the most popular engine choice will be the updated version of Kia’s 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine, producing 118bhp.

But there’s a new star in town, an all-new 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit. Replacing the earlier 1.6-litre GDi engine, the 1.4-litre T-GDi engine produces 138bhp, four per cent more than its predecessor despite its lower displacement. The engine’s turbocharger ensures a wider torque band than the earlier 1.6-litre engine, making it more responsive in a wider range of driving conditions, while also reducing emissions.

For those seeking a more engaging drive, this is the one to go for.

Every engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while the 1.4-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi engines are also available with Kia’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The ‘floating’ infotainment system is available as a seven-inch touchscreen audio system, or an eight-inch touchscreen navigation system. Standard technologies include Bluetooth smartphone integration, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility. A premium sound system and a wireless smartphone charger are standard fits on the First Edition.

A Drive Mode Select system with Normal and Sport modes will enable owners to tailor their driving experience on Blue Edition, and First Edition grades with DCT transmission. Drivers can use Drive Mode Select to alter the level of effort required to steer the car, while each mode subtly changes the character of the engine.

Standard safety technologies include high beam assist, driver attention warning, lane keeping assist and forward collision warning with city forward collision-avoidance assist. First Edition DCT models also get a Kia “first” – lane following assist – which uses external sensors to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, operating between 0 and 81mph. Additional technologies on First Edition grades include smart cruise control with stop and go, blind spot collision warning and smart parking assist system.

All versions of the Ceed are comprehensively equipped and feature a package of comfort, convenience and safety items which becomes progressively more luxurious with every step up the range.

Grade 2 are fitted with many features that are usually a cost option on rivals, including cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, an alarm system, front wiper de-icer, electric windows all-round and automatic headlight control. Other features include 16-inch alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts, front fog lights, projection headlights and cornering lights, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors in body colour, a high gloss black front grille, chrome window surrounds and LED rear lights. Moving inside, there’s black premium cloth seat trim, a leather trimmed steering wheel, gearshift and hand brake, seven-inch touchscreen audio display and reversing camera system, DAB radio, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility with voice control.

Grade 3 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, rain-sensing front wipers, black cloth seat trim with black faux leather bolsters and power lumbar support for the front seats. An eight-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with European mapping and traffic messaging channel is provided, plus dual-zone automatic air conditioning, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and rear parking sensors, in addition to a 4.2-inch supervision colour cluster display, a USB fast charger in the front centre console and a dual-tone horn.

The First Edition grade has black leather seats with contrast grey stitching, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outer rear seats and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory. A wide electric tilt and slide sunroof with automatic roll blind also comes fitted, along with LED bi-function headlights and cornering lights, an electronic parking brake, heated steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and a smart entry system with engine start/stop button.

And yes, you still get Kia’s unique seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty.


Kia Ceed 1.4 T-GDi First Edition

Price: £25,750 (Ceed range from £18,295)

Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol, producing 138bhp

Transmission: Six-speed manual driving front wheels

Performance: 0 to 60mph in 8.6 seconds; top speed 130mph

Economy: 48.7mpg combined

CO2 emissions: 132g/km


Performance: ****

Economy: ****

Ride/Handling: ****

Space/Practicality: ****

Equipment: ****

Security/Safety: ****

Value For Money: ****