SW 2 1.6 CRDi EcoDynamics
becoming too complicated,
you say? Everything we
do today involves a mind-boggling
number of choices, be it TV channels
or seating combinations in MPVs.
A big thank you, then, to Kia for
making buying an economical family
estate 100% straightforward...
BECAUSE IF AN ECONOMICAL FAMILY ESTATE is what you want, then Kia's cee'd
SW could be just what you're looking for. Kia has followed the old KISS
adage: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Although in this case it could stand for Kia
Is Satisfyingly Straightforward.
Whatever, there's just one ultra-economical model in the seven-car, mid-size
cee'd estate (SW) line-up the appropriately named EcoDynamics
version. Not that the other six could be considered gas-guzzlers by any stretch
of the imagination, but the EcoDynamics model is the most miserly of them all.
Again, keeping choosing easy, it's available in just one trim level: the well-specced,
So what does EcoDynamics give you? For a start, it's a low-emission turbodiesel
with Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) that during our week-long test returned 57.5mpg
in real-life driving conditions taking in a mix of town centres, highways and
byways. Officially and no doubt achievable by more easygoing drivers
than us it can return 62.8mpg in the combined cycle, 54.3 in urban
landscapes and 68.9mpg on the extra-urban cycle. If you're a business user you'll
benefit further from this greenest cee'd's low 13% BIK tax liability.
addition to its camel-like ability to go a long way on a little juice, the SW
is a nice looker from its slim, pinched-in-the-middle, chrome-edged,
black-cored grille all the way back to the distinctive Z-shaped rear pillars
and LED-effect lamp clusters wrapping up the tail.
addition to its
camel-like ability to
go a long way on
a little juice, the SW
is a nice looker...
Inside the cabin it's all very smartly done, with good quality fixtures and
fittings. A four-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with built-in
remote audio, trip computer and Bluetooth buttons looks and feels
good to use. Switchgear and dash controls are sited logically on the high-level
centre stack and are all easy to reach and use; dials are grouped together under
a single cowl; and the AirCon is operated by large, easy-to-grasp rotary knobs
and blasts out good quantities of hot and cold air from the four large central
and four outer vents without disturbing the cabin's quietness.
The wide, bolstered seats, upholstered in a pleasant-feeling, two-tone black
fabric with silver weave centre panels, are comfy and supportive with adjustable
lumbar for both driver and passenger. A key requirement for sitting comfortably
is under-thigh support and the cee'd's is good. Plus there's generous
space in all directions. Ensuring a first class driving position can be easily
set is seat height adjustment and a good range of rake and reach adjustability
for the wheel.
It's certainly a pleasant cabin; one you won't mind spending journey time in.
On a practical level, it's strongly family-orientated with a decent amount of
storage and cubby-holes including desirable 'premium' items such as a cooled
In fact, even at this mid-range level, Kia are pretty big-hearted with their
kit standard items include AirCon, six-speaker audio system with
radio/CD-player with full MP3 compatibility (plus Aux/USB ports, iPod and Bluetooth
connectivity), electric front windows (auto one-shot up/down), drive-off automatic
door locking, rear seatbelt reminder, tinted glass, electric power steering,
heated and electrically-operated door mirrors, trip computer, multifunction
steering wheel, deadlocks, front foglights, silver roof rails and alloy wheels
with low rolling resistance Michelin tyres.
kit is equally good with twin front and front-side airbags as well as full-length
curtain airbags, height-adjustable front seatbelts, active front headrests plus
electronic stability control. Also standard are Isofix child seat mounting points,
key-operated passenger airbag deactivation and the usual external temperature
gauge and rear wash/wipe.
the move the
is responsive and
the SW nippy enough,
aware of its diesel nature
by the torque
and not by any telltale
'green' no longer means snail-slow. While other cee'd SW diesel models use a
four-cylinder 1.6-litre 113bhp unit, the fuel-saving Stop & Go, environment-friendly
powerplant makes do with 89bhp from the same 1,582 cubic centimetres. Backing
up the power is 173lb ft of torque, peaking between 1,750 and 2,500rpm. Tailpipe
CO2 emissions are a healthy 119g/km.
On the move the EcoDynamics-spec powerplant is responsive and the SW nippy enough,
and you're really only aware of its diesel nature by the torque and not by any
telltale 'rattles'. Town and country progress is smooth and made even smoother
by the six-speed manual box's precise and very polished change action.
A quick word about the Stop & Go. It's foolproof, and it can be switched off
whenever you want. But, believe me, you won't bother. Once you've stopped, put
the gear lever into neutral and taken your foot of the clutch, off goes the
engine. The moment the clutch pedal is partially pushed, it instantly restarts.
Just like that!
Even so, it's a nice touch that Kia has fitted an 'Auto Stop' indicator in the
dash this lights up whenever the engine is turned off by the Stop
& Go system so you don't think the engine's stalled on you. Another useful aid
to matching those official fuel consumption figures is a gearshift indicator
advising when it's the most fuel-efficient time to change up or down. Nice to
know that whatever colour your cee'd SW is on the outside, its heart is green.
Rear seat passengers are well catered for the rear seating is
comfortable and all the better for the nicely reclined backrest angle. Legroom
is very good with plenty of room for feet under the front seats. A six-footer
can stretch out behind a six-footer sitting up front and still have a hand's-width
of air between his knees and the front seat. Head and shoulder room are equally
generous. The triangular-shaped third side windows add that extra bit of welcome
airiness to the rear passenger compartment and while there isn't a centre armrest,
the door pulls on the rear doors are just right for parking elbows.
is well-considered, starting with the tailgate its top hinges
are set well back into the roofline for a tighter up- and out-swing so you can
stand closer and not have to step back when opening the tailgate; it also means
easier access in restricted parking situations.
is good and combined
with honest road
manners and accurate
enables you to press on
the 60:40 split/fold rear seats in position there's an accommodating 534 litres
for luggage; fold them down and this increases to a pretty large 1,664 litres.
Lift the boot floor and you'll find more room: a neat, multi-section tray provides
a further 55 litres of storage space for the never-ending amount of 'stuff'
that's part and parcel of family life. A luggage net and 12-volt power socket
continue the practicality theme.
From a carrying point of view, the SW's 173lb ft of torque provides enough 'lugging'
power to manage large loads without dulling the cee'd's ability to keep up with
the traffic. If you need to pull a trailer, the braked towing weight is a useful
These latest cee'd models have been 'tuned' to improve handling and ride characteristics
for our not so smooth British roads. The all-independent suspension's springs
have been softened, and the shock absorbers and anti-roll bars firmed-up. Body
control is now sharper, body lean well controlled and the cee'd SW rides flat
and level, taking all but the biggest potholes in its stride.
All-round visibility is good and combined with honest road manners and accurate
speed-sensitive electric power steering, enables you to press on safely. When
you need to rein in the speed, the cee'd does it without protest; the brakes,
discs all round and vented at the front, deliver reassuring stopping power.
All in all the cee'd is a very agreeable drive both in town and on the motorways
where its relaxing gait eats up the miles whether you're travelling solo or
So not only has Kia made it as simple as possible to pick an economical mid-size
family estate, but they've made it good enough so that a visit to a Kia showroom
could be both the first and last visit you make before pulling out your cheque
book. And we haven't even mentioned its no-catch, seven-year / 100,000-mile,
bumper-to-bumper warranty. MotorBar
Kia cee'd SW 2 1.6 CRDi EcoDynamics | £16,485
Maximum speed: 107mph | 0-62mph: 13.5 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 89bhp | Torque: 173lb ft | CO2 119g/km