Why we’re working it: To see if the brand new, Europe-designed Ceed is a real Volkswagen Golf rival or nonetheless a little bit of a household hatchback also-ran
Month 1 - Specs
Life with a Kia Ceed: Month 1
Welcoming the Ceed to the fleet - 17th October 2018
Crossovers is likely to be more and more dominant within the household automotive gross sales charts, however hatchbacks stay the bread and butter of many automotive makers’ ranges. Automobiles such because the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf are of significant significance to the trade and consumers alike, as mirrored within the billions of kilos spent on the event and advertising of them.
New entrants to the market usually have a troublesome time establishing themselves and the earlier two generations of the Kia Ceed – regardless of being completely competent – took time to make the required dent within the extra established competitors.
However Kia’s dedication to crack the European hatch market has resulted in a C-segment automotive that's now designed in Europe, inbuilt Europe and can be bought solely in Europe. So we’re working one for a number of months to see, first, if it appears like a real European hatchback and, second, if such a automotive ought to nonetheless have a spot in consumers’ minds alongside the ever-growing menagerie of crossovers and SUVs.
Properly, our esteemed highway testers suppose that the brand new Ceed has “fulfilled its potential” on this era, making it “extra worthy of advice than all however the easiest automobiles in one of many hardest market segments on this planet”. Who am I to disagree?
Exterior impressions, nonetheless, don’t appear to color our Ceed as a very revolutionary automotive. With design head Peter Schreyer’s affect from his time on the Volkswagen Group, the Ceed seems to simply about toe the road between the understated class of a Golf and full anonymity. Regardless of this, it does appear to draw appears to be like from passers-by – though that may very well be largely all the way down to our automotive’s beautiful Blue Flame paint. The refined bodykit and 17in alloy wheels add a contact of visible enchantment too.
We’ve opted for the top-spec First Version mannequin, which appears to be like steep at a smidgen beneath £27,000 however is loaded to the gills with toys. The package tally contains LED headlights, a big electrical sunroof, a JBL sound system, good park help with entrance and rear sensors, an eight.0in touchscreen sat-nav and good cruise management. There’s additionally a powerful array of different driver help aids, which I’ll report on intimately as soon as I’ve used them extra.
What does mark the Ceed out are its fronts seats, which aren't solely electrical and heated (the rears are heated too) but in addition ventilated – one thing normally present in solely high-end fashions. A heated steering wheel also needs to guarantee gloves received’t be wanted when the climate turns bitter.
The inside total stands out not simply due to the package but in addition the standard. That is as near a Golf as Kia has ever been, with shiny or soft-touch plastic that’s pleasing to the eyes and contact, a gorgeous design and neat extras, such because the wi-fi telephone charger beneath the centre stack.
Little contact factors additionally present the trouble Kia has made to enhance perceived match and end, together with the sliding cowl for the USB and 12V factors within the dashboard, which is so properly damped that it wouldn’t be misplaced in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The one factor that’s taking the shine off up to now is the passenger’s seize deal with, which has began to rattle over bumps. I’ve but to hassle the Ceed’s rear-seat room or boot area, however each seem beneficiant sufficient for household life or a lightweight weekend away.
Our Ceed isn’t simply totally loaded by way of trim: it additionally has essentially the most highly effective engine obtainable at launch (earlier than the Ceed GT arrives). The 1.Four-litre turbo petrol four-pot pumps out a modest 138bhp however a wholesome 178lb ft of torque, and is mated to Kia’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
With lower than 1000 miles on the clock, it’s barely run in, however efficiency is little greater than ample. The Zero-62mph sprint takes eight.9sec, which is unremarkable for a top-flight engine, and that’s the way it appears on the highway. It feels punchy and easy after an preliminary throttle deadness, which eggs you on to begin extending it, however above 4000rpm, all you get is a relatively coarse engine be aware with out a lot extra oomph. At the least it’s impressively refined when taking it simple, the place the dual-clutch ’field is healthier at timing and dampening its gearshifts.
It’s a pity the engine is merely common as a result of the Ceed is a surprisingly agile and composed steer, based mostly on first impressions. The taut chassis set-up means physique management is tight and the steering completely balances directness and high-speed stability. One trade-off for that is that the experience is slightly firmer round city than it needs to be, though it’s nonetheless an enchancment on the outgoing Ceed in that respect.
Minor gripes apart, the preliminary outlook is optimistic for our EuroKorean hatch. Even gasoline economic system is healthier than anticipated, as I’m averaging 43mpg on combined city and motorway work with out actually making an attempt. We’ll see over the following few months if the Ceed can provide the possession proposition of the category’s large hitters.
There’s little doubt that the brand new Ceed is among the extra inspiring hatchbacks to drive, however I nonetheless suppose Kia hasn’t obtained the experience fairly proper. There’s a nervous fidget that by no means actually settles – and our automotive’s 17in alloy wheels aren’t precisely outsized.
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Kia Ceed 1.Four T- GDI First Version DCT specification
Specs: Worth New £26,850 Worth as examined £26,850 Choices none
Check Information: Engine 4cyls, 1353cc, turbocharged, petrol Energy 138bhp at 6000rpm Torque 184lb ft at 1500-3200rpm Kerb weight 1315kg Prime velocity 130mph Zero-62mph eight.6sec Claimed gasoline economic system 48.7mpg Check gasoline economic system 42.9mpg CO2 132g/km Faults Seize deal with rattle Bills None
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