- We like...Long warranty, prices
- We don't...Gruff 1.6 petrol
Appealing budget-priced hatch gets stronger looks and a smoother ride. And its trump card - a 7yr warranty - remains The game's moved on. Kia’s Cee’d has been around for barely two years – so it’s early days for a mid-life makeover. But since it first pitched up on our shores there’s been a new version of the Volkswagen Golf, the top-selling car in its market sector. And with a new variant of another key rival, Vauxhall’s Astra, just weeks away from the showroom, the company decided that it was time to act.
What they’ve done is to graft a new grille on, plus new lights and bonnet. This dramatically changes it looks. It’s handsome and very ‘now’ though it also makes it a near lookalike to another just launched model, the Chevrolet Cruze.
The rear lamps are changed to feature LEDs, while inside there’s a new centre console, a new four-spoke steering wheel and new struts just to the fore of the gear-shift – just as you’ll find in an Audi A3. The quality of dash plastics has improved to keep pace with rivals and the model grade structure has changed: instead of ‘GS’ and ‘LS’ you now get ‘1’, ‘2’ or ‘3’. All are well equipped, and even the entry-level models get air conditioning, remote locking and six airbags as standard.
The ride has been fiddled with, too, to bring it even closer in tune with European roads. That’s about it for changes, save that there’s now a ‘green’ model in the line-up. Called the EcoDynamic, this teams a 1.6-litre, 89bhp turbodiesel with the Stop-Start technology that umpteen other makes now offer.
This’ll return up to 67.3mpg overall, while pumping out 110g/km of CO2. Those are good figures, although there’ll be versions of Ford’s Focus and the Volkswagen Golf out soon, both same-size cars that crack 70mpg while pumping out 99g/km.
Prices for the Cee’d jump with the changes, typically by £400. But that still keeps it around £1000 cheaper across the line-up than its Euro-brand rivals. And one thing that hasn’t changed is the warranty, which runs for seven years on every car. That’s way longer than any rival and, because it is Kia-backed, you get the same high level of cover throughout.
There are 1.4 and 1.6 petrol models, plus 1.6 diesels offering 89 and 114bhp. We tried the 1.6 petrol and the ‘eco’ 1.6 diesel. As before, the car’s a light and easy drive, though there’s the not the feedback and last finger-touch of response that you find from its best-driving rivals, such as the Ford Focus.
The petrol Cee'd isn’t the quietest or sweetest. It’s fine if driven gently but sounds thrashy as the revs rise and oursa didn’t pull that hard for its 124bhp output. We had a better time with the diesel. The engine suits the car. It’s quick enough when you need to press on but is most at home trickling along at low revs and with a breath of throttle. The Stop-Start system is one of the better ones we’ve tried. It stills the engine reliably and on cue, and re-starts quickly enough once you dip the clutch not to hold you up. And what’s more, the diesel’s motor extra weight ties the nose of the car down to settle the ride. Where the petrol version lets road patches be heard and felt in the cabin, the diesel feels smoother. It's £1000 dearer than the petrol but we think it's worth it.
Should you buy one? Well, that long warranty and those keen prices almost argue a case on their own. And, fortunately, the car’s pretty good, too.
To view and buy new and second-hand Kia Cee’ds on motors.co.uk, click here
To read the motors.co.uk review of the previous Kia Cee'd, click here
- Engines1.6 petrol, 1.6 diesel
- Power124bhp, 89bhp
- 0-60 mph10.4secs, 13.5secs
- Economy46.3mpg, 6
- CO2g/km146, 110
- Insurance groups6
Motors.co.uk value verdict: