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Kia Ceed 1.4 T-GDi First Edition

Click to view picture gallery“If youre in the market for a five-
  door family hatchback and have
  pencilled in the likes of a Ford Focus
  or VW Golf then here
s another
  name for you
Kias new-from-the-
  ground-up Ceed

SINCE ARRIVING IN THE UK in August 2018 it has made a lot of new friends, and is set to eclipse its predecessor's popularity as one of the South Korean brand's best-selling models alongside their Sportage SUV. And if you need more load space, this all-new Ceed also comes in Sportswagon estate guise.

It's a sharp and nicely proportioned looker, this new Ceed, fronted as it is by a wider 'tiger-nose' high-gloss black grille flanked by elegant wraparound LED headlights with integrated 'ice cube' style daytime running lights cut into the sculptured bonnet and front wings. The flanks are interspersed by subtly profiled wheelarches wrapped around attractive two-tone diamond-cut aluminium alloy wheels, all topped off by a cab-rearward glasshouse flowing into the well-groomed tailgate.

The rev-happy turboed
four-pot is eager to
please; acceleration is
all that you really need
with strong handy urge
in the low to middle
of the powerband allied
to decent refinement —
and a week’s hard
driving saw a healthy
real-world test average
of 44.9mpg...”
With prices running from 18K through to 26K there's a Ceed for most budgets. And an engine to match: petrol choices are 118bhp 1.0-litre and a new 138bhp direct-injection turbocharged 1.4. Diesel gets a look in too with Kia's all-new 114bhp 1.6-litre CRDi turbodiesel.

We've just spent a week tooling around in the 138bhp 1.4 T-GDi.
This engine replaces the earlier 1.6 T-GDi and delivers a tad more bhp plus, more importantly, 178lb ft spread over a wider torque band. With a top speed of 130mph and zero to 60mph done and dusted in 8.6 seconds, the rev-happy four-pot is eager to please; acceleration is all that you really need, with strong handy urge in the low to middle of the powerband allied to decent refinement that ensures relaxed high speed cruising.

While the ample poke makes the Ceed an 'easy driver', switching between the well-judged ratios is no hardship thanks to the light and accurate change action of the six-speed 'stick'.

However, if at heart you're a two-pedal person then this T-GDi can be partnered with a seven-speed twin-clutch autobox with benefits in economy — the Combined Cycle figure even goes up a bit, to 50.4mpg, plus the CO2 drops by 5g/km with knock-on savings on road tax.

Officially good for 48.7mpg in the Combined Cycle, a week's hard driving saw a healthy real-world test average of 44.9mpg recorded. So no complaints come fill-up time. And, as is the norm with every Kia, peace of mind is solidly underpinned by the brand's unbeatable 7-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Swing open the driver's door and you're welcomed by a smartly finished cabin with black leather upholstery with contrast piping and a well orchestrated dash with a 'floating' eight-inch touchscreen at its heart. The seats themselves are shapely and comfortably bolstered. Both offer 3-stage cooling and heating and come with powered lumbar support as well as being adjustable for height; the driver is further cosseted with a ten-way power-adjustable memory seat and restful left-foot rest. Enhanced by a fine driving position capped by a fist of headroom, visibility out is excellent — made better by decent side window sizes and a clear view down the bonnet.

Swing open the driver’s
door and you’re
welcomed by a smartly
finished cabin with black
leather upholstery with
contrast piping and
a well orchestrated dash
with a ‘floating’ eight-
inch touchscreen at its
heart. Both the shapely
and comfortably
bolstered seats offer
three-stage cooling and
The trim is nice to touch 'soft-feel' with satin chrome and piano black used tastefully. The thorough fit and finish is underscored by the well-engineered 'thunk' you hear every time a door shuts. Personal space is good with the ambiance brightened considerably by a wide glass sunroof with powered tilt-and-slide operation — all one-shot, as too is the blackout sunblind and all four electric windows.

Directly ahead of the driver is a trad-look instrument panel with crisp white-on-black main dials sited either side of a digital multimode driver's information display. The iPad-style touchscreen, angled slightly towards the driver, is as straightforward as they come and easy to use whether its navigation or infotainment you're after.

The SatNav is courtesy of TomTom Live and comes with 3D mapping and traffic messaging. Full postcode destination input and timely spoken directions along with foolproof displays of motorway exits and super-easy zooming make this a no-brainer system to use.

Bluetooth with voice recognition and audio streaming, a DAB radio, and an 8-speaker JBL premium sound system that should please audiophiles are all standard-kit items, as is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (both with voice control) and wireless mobile phone charging. The posted speed limit is shown on the maps while your road speed is displayed in large digits between the main dials.

Also making life simple for the driver are hardwired menu buttons (for direct jumps to your self-appointed favourite function, media, map, navigation, etc) as well as an electric handbrake with auto-hold function and a keyless Start-Stop engine button. Scrolling through the driver's information on the move is straightforward using the clearly marked button on the heated, multifunction leather-wrapped wheel. Beneath the touchscreen runs a control strip for the dual-zone automatic AirCon with knurled knobs and proper buttons — so much easier than jabbing a touchscreen while you're driving.

As usual for a Kia, in-cabin storage is well addressed with door pockets capable of holding litre-size bottles, a sunglasses case, dual-use deep tray (with siamesed cupholders) under a sliding lid, a deep box under the adjustable centre front armrest and a perfectly usable and lit glovebox.

Theres more than
ample room for four in
this mid-sized 4.3-metre
family hatchback;
five with three side-by-
side on the back seat is
eminently doable.
Surprisingly, headroom
is as good in the
back despite seating six
inches higher than that
in front
The First Edition model comes with a well-padded equipment list that, in addition to the many items mentioned elsewhere, includes keyless entry and keyless start, heated and fan-ventilated cooled front seats, reversing camera (with dynamic guidelines), smart parking system (for automatic parking in parallel or perpendicular spaces), front and rear parking sensors, privacy glass, powerfolding (on demand and automatically on leaving) heated door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, cruise control, autodimming rearview mirror, USB fast-charging port, electric windows, rear spoiler, and 17-inch alloys.

Safety items include a full suite of front, side and curtain airbags, pedestrian-recognising forward collision warning and avoidance with autonomous braking function, blind spot warning, lane keeping assist, electronic stability control, hill start assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, full LED headlights with cornering function, LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, windscreen wiper de-icer, rain-sensing wipers, automatic drive-off door locking, tyre pressure monitoring, and speed limit information.

There's more than ample room for four in this efficiently packaged, mid-sized 4.3-metre family hatchback; five with three side-by-side on the back seat is eminently doable. Surprisingly, headroom is easily as good in the back as it is up front especially as the rear seats at set about six inches higher than those in front.

Adults travelling in the rear cabin will also enjoy decent legroom for comfortable journeying; even if they're a six-footer sitting behind another six-footer. A low floor tunnel makes it easier for a third passenger in the middle while just two get to make good use of the padded drop-down centre armrest while enjoying the two-stage heating offered by both outer seats. Dedicated rear air vents, useful netted magazine pouches on the front seatbacks, and Isofix child seat fixings are all equally welcome features.

A decisive plus for many customers will be the Ceed's ride quality. Thanks to its pliant quality allied to well-managed and nicely tied-down body control it does a good job of smoothing out the bumps. Good enough, in fact, to give its predominantly hard-riding family hatch rivals a (comfier) run for the money. We found the easygoing and quiet ride made both long and short journeys in the Ceed very palatable indeed.

Thanks to its pliant
ride quality allied to well-
managed and nicely tied-
down body control the Ceed does a good job of
smoothing out the
bumps. Good enough,
in fact, to give its
predominantly hard-
riding family hatch rivals
a (comfier) run for
the money...”
Kia's engineers have signed-off on a well-judged accommodation between ride comfort and dynamics — this new Ceed handles with confidence, and that's down to the new fully-independent suspension and numerous chassis tweaks made to ensure it delivers on the driving verve front.

Power is put down through the front wheels and the electric power-driven rack-and-pinion steering turns-in nicely and makes it easy to place through corners. Its predictable, stable at speed, feels agreeably chuckable, and the 225/45-profile Michelin tyres further enhance the mechanical grip levels. And when you need to stop there's no drama thanks to discs at each corner, vented at the front.

The new model's slightly larger dimensions also benefit the boot which now measures a family luggage-friendly 395 litres. Fold down the 60:40-split rear seatbacks and you'll open up a practical loadbay with a seamless and level floor; accessed though a large tailgate, it will swallow 1,291 litres of cargo.

A two-level floor makes loading even easier and there's a space saver spare wheel (and extra storage) beneath the boot floor. Naturally, given they're almost as indispensable as cupholders, bag hooks are also provided. Towing is on the menu too: the 1.4 T-GDi will haul a braked 1,000kg.

Overall this easy-to-drive new Ceed is a very well-rounded package with a comprehensive spec and a smart and comfortable cabin and enough ability to make it entertaining to drive — and more than 'just' a very competent family hatchback. ~ MotorBar
Kia Ceed 1.4 T-GDi First Edition | 25,750
Maximum speed: 130mph | 0-60mph: 8.6 seconds | Test Average: 44.9mpg
Power: 138bhp | Torque: 178lb ft | CO2: 132g/km