Kia Xceed 2021 review

The Xceed is a crossover-inspired version of Kia’s popular Ceed hatchback

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Out of 5


  • Stylish looks
  • Well-equipped
  • Plug-in hybrid available


  • Doesn’t offer much over a standard Ceed
  • Not especially roomy
  • Automatic gearbox could be smoother
Model review

The Ceed was Kia’s first true European model and the car that signalled the start of something new for this South Korean manufacturer. It was a move away from the brand’s budget roots and broke out into the more mainstream segment, with the Ceed (or Cee’d as it was originally known) capable of rivalling the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra at the time of its launch in 2007. 

Since then it’s only continued to get better and better, and given its success it’s not hard to see why Kia has looked to broaden its model range. So alongside the familiar five-door hatchback and estate body styles, you can now have the Proceed as a sleek shooting brake-esque tourer, and this – the XCeed, a crossover-style version. You’ll have spotted Kia likes a play on words with the Ceed name...

Latest model

The XCeed is Kia’s latest model to wear this nameplate, launching towards the end of 2019 to appeal to the growing range of buyers wanting a model with SUV looks over a more conventional hatchback. 

The XCeed is a slightly odd option, though, as despite its chunky plastic cladding, it still offers a low seating position and doesn’t sit much higher off the ground than the standard Ceed either. Kia says it did this to help offer a sportier driving experience, while it does add a larger boot than the standard hatchback. 

More recently, Kia has broadened the line-up with a plug-in hybrid model as part of its growing electrified line-up. Able to travel for up to 35 miles when fully charged, it’s an ideal option for those that are looking to cut their running costs and that are able to plug their car in regularly.

Value for money

Prices for the XCeed kicks off from £21,305, which makes it more affordable than the majority of crossovers in this class like the Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai, though admittedly these are far larger cars. You’re better off thinking of the XCeed as a rival to more rugged-looking family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus Active and Citroen C4, which are closer aligned on price. It’s also worth noting the XCeed commands around a £1,600 price increase over the standard five-door hatchback. Plug-in hybrid versions are also very expensive, with a starting price of £31,805.

On the plus side, standard equipment is generous, including kit like an eight-inch touchscreen, reversing camera and cruise control.

When it comes to used XCeeds, prices start from around £15,000 for a two-year old car with around 20,000 miles on the clock. This will get a model in ‘2’ grade, but if your budget will stretch we’d recommend a higher-spec car that not only gets more kit, but looks better as well thanks to larger alloy wheels and tinted windows, and would add around £2,000 to the price. That said, it still represents a significant saving off the list price. 

Looks and image

Though it shares the name with the standard Ceed, much of this crossover is actually new – in fact it’s only the front doors that are carried over. It’ll all be down to whether or not you like SUV styling as to whether or not you’ll like the XCeed, though we reckon it certainly looks more eye-catching than the regular car. As we’ve mentioned, it’s worth skipping the entry-level trim if you want the most in style, though.

Inside, the XCeed’s cabin will be very familiar to the owner of a modern Kia, with clear displays and good build quality throughout. The large 10.25-inch touchscreen fitted to all but the entry-level ‘2’ trim is great to use and gives the cabin a modern feel, helped by versions fitted with the great digital dials system too. The XCeed does lack that high-riding driving position that many look for when it comes to a crossover vehicle, though. 

However, on the plus side, that relatively low ride height means the XCeed handles well by class standards, and is more involving to drive than a bulky SUV – including Kia’s own Sportage. The ride is also very comfortable and compliant, and arguably more so than the standard Ceed hatchback. 

Space and practicality

With slightly larger dimensions than the standard Kia Ceed, it means this crossover is slightly more roomier inside than its sibling. On standard petrol and diesel versions the boot measures 426 litres, which is 31 litres than the standard car. It’s worth noting that the plug-in hybrid’s boot is quite significantly smaller, though, with the batteries taking up a good chunk of room and reducing the boot to 291 litres, which is the same as a Ford Fiesta. 

There’s a decent amount of rear headroom and legroom too, though a more conventional crossover will offer far greater room for both passengers and luggage space. 


Kia launched the XCeed with a choice of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, with a 118bhp 1.0-litre petrol kicking off the line-up, combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. Though it might not sound a lot, a 10.9-second 0-60mph time will prove plentiful for most drivers.

A turbocharged 138bhp 1.4-litre came next, with this being available with both a manual and automatic gearbox, though it has recently been replaced by a new 158bhp 1.5-litre petrol unit that is both quicker (0-60mph takes 8.7 seconds) and also more efficient. 

Though Kia has now discontinued it, the firm also offered a 114bhp 1.6-litre diesel initially for those drivers covering lots of miles, with this coming solely attached to a manual gearbox.

Then there’s the plug-in hybrid model, which combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 44.5kW electric motor and 8.9kWh battery for a combined 139bhp. 

Running costs

If you’re looking for the lowest running costs, the plug-in hybrid is likely your best port of call. Thanks to its large battery, it allows for a claimed 35 miles of electric driving, and if you charge it regularly, Kia says it could return 201.8mpg, with 32g/km CO2 emissions, though you will need to spend the majority of time driving it on electricity to achieve those figures. 

Long-distance drivers could be best off finding a used diesel model, with this said to return a claimed 52.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 141g/km. That said, neither petrol models should be especially thirsty to run. 

Things to look out for

Kia models generally have a fantastic reliability reputation, and though the XCeed is still a relatively new model, there’s nothing so far to suggest that this won’t be the case. You also get a fantastic seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty included, which should give you plenty of ownership confidence for the years to come. 


The Kia XCeed sits in a slightly muddled patch between a regular hatchback and a full-blown SUV, though there are an increasing number of rivals that also occupy a similar space. Key alternatives include the Ford Focus Active, Mazda CX-30 and Citroen C4. If you’re looking for a more conventional crossover, take a look at Kia’s own Sportage, along with the Nissan Qashqai, Toyota C-HR and Volkswagen T-Roc


Though the Kia Xceed is a model that’s proving popular with buyers, there’s nothing stopping you getting a good saving on a used or nearly-new example. If you’re looking at a one-year-old model, a £5,000 saving off the original list price is something that certainly isn’t out of the question. 

Trims explained

Four main trim levels are available on the Kia XCeed. Equipment highlights and pricing are as follows.


Standard equipment on the XCeed includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED rear lights, a leather steering wheel, air conditioning and cruise control. You also get an eight-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a reversing camera, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist and a driver attention warning system.

From £21,205


Upgrade to the Connect to get more stylish 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, electric folding mirrors and premium paint. You also get part faux leather upholstery, electric lumbar support for the front seats, an electric parking brake and a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and UVO Connect services.

From £21,775


Building on the Connect, the 3 brings automatic wipers, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and dual-zone climate control. Models with an automatic gearbox also feature adaptive cruise control, while the full line-up benefits from an auto-dimming rear view mirror, keyless start and entry and rear parking sensors,

From £24,705


At the top of the range is the 4, which gains luxuries like a panoramic sunroof, black leather upholstery, an electric driver’s seat, heated rear seats and an electric boot. You also get individually folding rear seats, along with LED interior lighting, an eight-speaker JBL sound system, park assist, a digital instrument cluster and blind spot monitoring.

From £29,030


  1. Crossover-inspired version of Kia Ceed hatchback
  2. Roomier and chunkier styling than a standard car…
  3. If not a ‘full’ crossover
  4. Good range of trim and engine options…
  5. As well as a plug-in hybrid
  6. Long warranty
  7. Generous equipment levels
  8. Good to drive
  9. Pleasant interior
  10. Not a bad car, but offers little over a standard Ceed

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