- We like...Price; cabin space; warranty
- We don't...cabin looks cheap in places
This car may only have been around for a couple of years - But Kia's already given it a new look and improved its rideIf you’ve a nose for value, you’ll be drawn to this new Kia Cee’d. Not only ds this Far Easterner outbid its big-name Euro-rivals on price, it offers a seven-year warranty to their three years.
And even though the original launched barely two years ago, Kia has moved fast to facelift this car, giving it a new smiley-mouth grille, reworked bumpers and new rear lamps.
Inside, there’s a new steering wheel lifted from the Kia Soul, a new dash console, and upgraded plastics. The steering and suspension settings are changed, Kia says, better to cope with the UK’s bumpy roads. Finally, the model names have changed: there are now three, running from ‘1’ (entry) to ‘3’ (top-drawer). None is meanly kitted out: all have air conditioning and six airbags.
Here we’re driving the estate version of the car, the SW (for ‘station wagon’). It’s a high-three or a four-figure sum dearer than the equivalent hatchback, depending on which model you buy, but, for us, it’s worth the extra. For starters, it’s bigger inside than the equivalent Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf. It’s also very handy out back because there’s a choice of handy places set into the floor in which you can pack away belongings. One’s even big enough to take a laptop. The seats fold down easily, while the tailgate hinges forward into the roof, so that it can lift clear of your head when open. But if you’re short, don’t worry , because Kia has thoughtfully installed a hang-down strap to help you close it.
The roofline is taller in the rear cabin than it is in the hatchback, creating useful extra headroom, while the back seat is set slightly further back to provide extra leg space. If you’re after an estate, it’s a good ‘un.
That said, the cabin in our mid-trim ‘2’ model shows its low price in the cheapness of the plastics used to cover the doors and some of the mouldings lower down. Oddly, too, there’s no overhead lighting for the driver – the one lamp for the cabin is in the centre of the roof. Still, Kia makes amends by wrapping the wheel rim and gear shift in leather, while most switchgear has a positive, high-quality feel. If you pick the SW model, this is the as basic as you’ll get – the ‘1’ is available only as a hatchback.
To drive? It’s pretty good in most areas. Ours had a 1.6-litre, 113bhp diesel that pulls it along zestily, if making a fair noise when revved. It’s an easy drive, though it’s a pace behind the class leaders such as VW’s Golf, the Vauxhall Astra and Ford’s Focus in the way that it handles bends and eases over rough surfaces. It dsn’t have their finesse but if you’re trading up to this car from an older Ford or VW, you’ll be pleased by the improvement it gives.
Should you buy one? Prices are pitched usefully lower than its key competitors from mainstream makes, while its low insurance group, strong economy and cheap servicing make it effortless to own.
Then there’s seven-year warranty, protecting you against unexpected bills until the car’s well into middle age. There’s plenty sense to buying one new – but snapping up a two-year-old Cee’d that has five years cover still to run is where the real value lies.
To read the motors.co.uk review of the Kia Cee’d hatchback, click here
To read our review of the previous Kia Cee’d SW, click here
To view and buy new and second-hand Kia Cee’ds on motors.co.uk, click here
- Engines1.6 diesel
- 0-60 mph11.1secs
- Insurance groups6
Motors.co.uk value verdict: