Well it’s the latest member of the Ceed C-segment family that until recently comprised the Ceed five door hatchback, Ceed Sportswagon estate and the newer ProCeed Shooting brake models, making it Kia’s third best-selling model range after the Sportage mid-sized SUV and the Picanto city car.
They account for around 10% of Kia’s total annual new car sales and the extensive range of models reached another record in 2019 with 97,323 new car sales, an increase of 1.63% in a new car market down by an overall 2.37%. That’s individually more than Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, SEAT, Skoda, Hyundai, Honda, MINI, Nissan and Volvo, to name just a few of the popular mid-volume selling brands.
In short the XCeed, which like other Ceeds is designed, engineered and built in Europe, is a family hatchback with a steeply forward raked tailgate combined with Crossover/SUV styling, a raised 42mm ride height but it is only a front wheel drive model with no 4WD options.
It is currently available with an eight model range based on four engines, two transmissions and three trim and equipment levels. On-the-road prices start from £20,795 and run up to £29,195.
The four engines on offer so far are turbo petrol 1.0-litre T-GDi 118bhp and 1.4 T-GDi 138bhp and turbodiesel units are both 1.6-litre CRDi with either 114 or 134bhp power outputs.
All manual gearbox models have a 6-speed unit and the auto option is a 7-speed DCT dual clutch unit. The auto option is available with the 1.4 T-GDi petrol engine and all engines have Kia’s ISG stop/start function.
The trim and equipment levels are Grade ‘2’, Grade ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ but their availability is dependent on the engine chosen.
The XCeed shares the same platform and wheelbase as the Ceed hatchback but the front and rear overhangs are extended over the hatchback versions by 25mm at the front and 60mm at the rear and the ride height is raised by approximately 42mm, depending on the spec. The only body panels carried over from the five door hatchback are the front doors.
Kia New Year Event
|Kia has announced its New Year range of offers for the first quarter of 2020 throughout its dealership network.
Kia opens the new decade with the 2020 Event that delivers the first two services free, 0 per cent PCP finance – subject to 20 per cent minimum customer deposit – and two years’ roadside assistance on all orders placed on a Sportage or All-New XCeed before February 29and registered between January 1 and March 31. During this event, the top-of-the-range Sportage ‘GT-Line S’ is available for £229 a month while customers can also drive away a XCeed ‘First Edition’ for £199 a month.
Both models feature a panoramic roof, JBL sound system, wireless phone charging, blind-spot warning, a smart power tailgate and many more comfort, technology and safety features.
The new 2020 scrappage scheme offers buyers the opportunity to get up to £2,500 off a new Picanto, Rio, Stonic, Niro self-charging hybrid and Niro PHEV or Sportage when scrapping a vehicle more than seven years old.
Finally, owners of now-discontinued Venga, Soul or Carens models are being offered an additional £500 on top of any other retail offer when trading in their old car for a new Kia.
It’s most noticeable styling change is the steeply-angled fastback tailgate and the spoiler from the roof’s trailing edge which sits 60mm higher than the hatch version, with black plastic wheelarch and side sill protection strips.
At the front is a more prominent version of the familiar Kia family face with the XCeed having a bolder grille, larger lower air intake, new shape headlights with the Ceeds signature ‘ice-cube’ LED lights. These are topped by slim indicators lights that flow back over the wheelarches and it’s the same at the rear with the taillights and slim indicator LED spearing towards the rear shoulders of the vehicle.
There are sculptured styling lines running across the tailgate giving a wider and more pronounced appearance and the sculptured panels continue along the sides as well. Front and rear skid plates complete the Crossover/SUV look which is mostly cosmetic.
Inside it’s very much the same as other Ceed family members with a sculptured fascia and centre console all aimed at making it a driver focussed cabin. There is ample use of seemingly high quality soft touch trim materials, all well put together and the layout is simple and easy to live with. There is an 8.0-inch or 10.25-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen, depending on the spec level, mounted high up on the dashboard.
In the rear the longish wheelbase gives ample rear seat legroom for teenagers and potentially adults and the rear seat backs fold to extend the boot from 426 to 1,378-litres. There is nothing really different or remarkable about the interior design, its typical Kia, well thought out, practical, of good quality and with its 7-year/100,000-mile warranty thoroughly serviceable.
My biggest gripe was the lack of an integrated sat-nav for my Grade ‘2’ spec test model, such a waste of a smart and easy touchscreen. You have to order a Grade ‘3’ or First Edition spec level to get an integrated sat-nav system which uses the 10.25-inch display. Below those levels you have to connect the mapping system via your smartphone, completely non user-friendly but becoming a more common occurrence on some non-premium brands these days.
|Kia XCeed 1.4 Automatic review|
Standard equipment does include High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Warning and Forward Collision Avoidance for town/city driving. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility are standard as is a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines which was most useful given the restricted rear view vision due to the steeply sloping tailgate window. Alloy wheels, electric windows and air-con are all standard equipment.
Under the bonnet of my XCeed test car with its Grade ‘2’ spec level was the 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder, T-GDi petrol engine. This turbocharged EU6 compliant unit uses direct injection petrol technology and produces 118bhp at 6,000rpm and 172Nm of torque from 1,500rpm. It’s a gruff sounding unit, eager to rev but you need to keep the revs in its powerband to keep it moving.
Let the engine revs drop below 1,500rpm and progress is very limited and it takes a while before the turbocharger spins up with enough rpm to get the engine back into action. So get used to plenty of gearchanging to keep this unit in its optimum performance range.
The 6-speed manual gearbox is a delight, light and precise changes were easy but the 4thto 6thgears are overdrive ratios to maximise fuel efficiency and increased the number of gearchanges during open road driving, especially overtaking slow traffic. A one gear drop wasn’t enough at times; a drop of two ratios at least to build up overtaking speed was needed, especially if loaded.
Top speed and acceleration is good enough but not as good or as refined as Ford’s or VW’s 1.0-litre triple-pot turbo petrol units. The WLTP Combined Cycle fuel economy figure is 45.6mpg for the Grade ‘2’ spec and my overall test drive figure for a period of longer and shorter trips was 44.3mpg.
That’s the nuts and bolts of my time with the XCeed, nothing really to fault it, some good bits like the warranty, the Crossover/SUV styling is nothing to get excited about, it’s a hatchback with a sloping rear tailgate and bodywork protection strips around the wheelarches and sills.
The ride is compliant although potholes are too obvious inside the cabin and on poorer road surfaces the rear tended to fidget with the wheels drawn to depressed lines in the tarmac. So the XCeed is good in parts, average in others and at around £1.945 more expensive than the equivalent five-door hatchback Grade ‘2’ spec I’d stick with the more practical load area hatch model.
Kia XCeed Grade ‘2’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp, manual, family Crossover Hatchback £20,795
Engine/transmission: 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbocharged direct injection petrol, 118bhp, 172Nm of torque from 1,500rpm, 6-speed manual, 2WD
Performance: 115mph, 0-06-mph 10.9-secopnds, WLTP Combined Cycle 45.6mpg (44.3mpg on test)
CO2 124g/km, VED £170/£145, BiK company car tax 28%
Insurance group: 15E Warranty: 7-years/100,000-miles
Dimensions/capacities: L 4,395mm, W 1,826mm, H 1,483mm, wheelbase 2,650mm, boot/load space 426 to 1,378-litres, braked towing weight 1,200kg, 5-doors/5-seats
For: Popular for some potential owners who desire the Crossover/SUV styling based on a family hatchback, reasonable running costs, excellent warranty, you could save around £2k and buy the similar Ceed hatchback with the same spec and engine
Against: Styling is rather contrived, limited rear view visibility through the tailgate window, only 2WD versions for this pseudo Crossover model, fidgety ride control, no integrated sat-nav apart from high spec models.
© David Miles