Kia XCeed 2019 Review
Kia is a motoring industry success story, having
built its name on sensible products along with its reassuring seven year
manufacturer’s warranty. Styling-wise, it upped its game with the Peter Shreyer
(ex-Audi) designed Sportage in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. Its cars are
genuinely good to drive and UK models are well equipped. Now, perhaps
questioning whether we have reached peak SUV, Kia has brought us the XCeed, a
Unlike the Ford Focus Active - its closest and
only real rival - the XCeed has a new and different body to the regular Ceed.
It is 26mm wider, 85mm longer and 44mm taller. It’s a looker too, with smooth
lines and athletic stance. There are some other notable visual differences to
the regular Ceed, with a softer grille shape, daintier headlights and
particularly neat tail with very raked rear glass.
The XCeed delivers good ground clearance
(172-184mm, depending on wheel size); aided by deep tyre walls, it makes sense
for rough tracks and of course the dreaded speed bumps. The XCeed is not full
all-terrain model, being front-wheel-drive only, but the mix of style and
promise give it much kerb appeal.
Soft-touch matte finishes dominate the cabin and
while not as roomy as an SUV, the extra dimensions do make it spacious right
through. Seating is comfortable and ergonomics are good. We like the sensible
number of physical buttons on the facia for quick and easy access to media and
climate functions. The wide 10.25-inch infotainment display is simple to
operate and offers a handy spit screen mode.
On our test car, we have the yellow colour pack,
with cheery facia inserts and seat detailing, unique to the First Edition
XCeed buyers have a choice of 1.0 or 1.4-litre
T-GDi petrol engines (delivering 118 and 138hp respectively) and a 1.6 CRDi
diesel (with either 114 or 134 bhp). The seven-speed auto ‘box is available on
1.4 petrol (‘3’ and First Edition trims only). A plug-in hybrid version of
XCeed and Ceed models is due early 2020.
Trim-wise. there is a choice of ‘2’, ‘3’ and
First Edition and drivers won’t find any of them lacking in equipment. The ‘2’
trim has 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, LED headlamps and
heated door mirrors. All models have a good set of safety kit, including driver
attention warning and forward collision avoidance assist. We are also pleased
to see they come with a space saver spare wheel instead of the less useful tyre
foam and compressor kit.
‘3’ adds larger (18-inch) alloy wheels, auto
wipers, navigation and rear parking sensors. Inside, there are heated seats and
steering wheel, electronic parking brake as well as upholstery upgrades to
include faux leather sections.
With a top end First Edition model on test, we
are treated to all the luxuries, from JBL Premium audio to fully 12.3-inch
digital driver display. Also included are front parking sensors, smart park
assist, tilting/sliding panoramic roof, faux leather seats with bold yellow
detail stitching, power tailgate and blind spot warning.
On the road
Fitted with the larger petrol engine, the XCeed
feels lively enough and the software controlling the automatic gearbox makes
sensible choices for change points. There are no steering wheel paddles but the
gear lever can be used to override the gear should the driver desire.
Refinement-wise, there’s a little road noise
transmitted into the cabin but otherwise it is composed and rides well. We
found around 30 mpg was typical over journeys with a more heavily urban bias.
The XCeed isn’t ground-breaking but is an
attractive and practical take on the C-segment hatchback. It is well-equipped
(the UK won’t receive a lowly ‘1’ specification) and of course being a Kia, it
all feels well put together.
Any negatives? Only with the PR blurb referring
to an ‘SUV-sized cabin’ which is a tad optimistic but the XCeed is still more
than capacious enough for most families’ needs.
About the Author
Andrew is a freelance motoring journalist with a background in IT and the vehicle leasing industry. With a lifetime’s passion for all things automotive, he can be found behind the wheel of everything from vans to supercars. In addition to reviewing the latest vehicles and technology, Andrew also runs a couple of classic British motors. He lives at the edge of the Peak District with his son and cat.
Andrew Wright @theMotorWriter