- We like...seven-year warranty
- We don't...noisy engine
Latest small hatch from Kia marks a real leap ahead. And its warranty lasts seven yearsA little sticker, low in the rear window, marks this car as special. As stickers go, it’s an unassuming little thing. But its message is a glad one if you’re buying, and also one that’ll send shivers down the spines of rival car makers. It confirms that the Cee’d comes with a bumper-to-bumper, 100,000-mile warranty backed by Kia for...wait for it... SEVEN years. Buy a Cee’d today and you’ve no worries about unexpected repairs until 2015.
So the warranty is a wonder, but mid-size Kia cars have, in the past, been pretty rubbish. And the Cee’d continues Kia’s fondness for giving its products soppy names. The company ds explain why it’s so called and what they say ds almost make sense. But knowing why dsn’t improve things so we won’t bore you with the whys and wherefores.
But the car is good. It’s not outstanding in any one department: it’s not as nice to drive as a Ford Focus, or as classy to sit in as a Volkswagen Golf. But Kia has played catch-up with its main European rivals so that the Cee’d looks right and feels as built-to-last as the best. And, as you’d expect, the prices model-for-model undercut Ford’s and Volkswagen’s by at least £1000.
The cabin on our top-of-the-range LS is smart and packed with kit: digital air conditioning, good stereo with iPod connector and half-leather seats. It dsn’t have the parking sensors or auto-on wipers and lights you’ll find on similar Fords and VWs, though. What’s more, some of the plastics used for the door pockets and lower dash looks and feels a touch hard and cheap. Safety is good, though: it cops the five-star maximum for occupant safety and has six airbags as standard, including head-protecting curtains. The 115bhp 1.6 diesel we tried pulls hard, is super-economical at up to 60.1mpg and has low CO2 emissions. But it’s noisier than some and isn’t that obliging at low revs. The suspension smothers bumps well and, apart from some engine racket, the Cee’d bowls along quietly. It’s easy to drive, thanks to well weighted steering and a smooth gearshift. The only thing that’ll probably have you cursing is that the indicator stalk is on the ‘wrong’ (right-hand) side. During our week with the car, we lost count of the times we meant to indicate left but ended up wiping the screen instead. Kia tell us that, on the Cee’d you’ll buy now, it’s moved to the ‘normal’ (left) side.
The cheapest Cee’d is the 1.4 S at £10,995 and that’s the one we’d buy: it delivers most of what’s good about the car, but at a winning price. Spending £14,295 on the top-line car is less of a clear-cut decision. But it’s one we’d still agree to.
- Engines1.6 CRDi
- 0-60 mph11.5sec
- Insurance groups6E
Motors.co.uk value verdict: