Review: Kia Cee'd (2007 – 2010)

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Designed for Europe. Built in Slovakia. Excellent 1.4 and 1.6 petrol and 1.6 diesel engines. Decent quality and handling. Seven year powertrain warranty.

Not quite as well finished as its twin the Hyundai i30, but still a very good car that deserves to be on shopping lists.

Kia Cee'd (2007 – 2010): At A Glance

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What does a Kia Cee'd (2007 – 2010) cost?

What's the Kia Cee'd (2007 – 2010) like to drive?

Like the Focus, Mazda 3 and Volvo S40 (or the A3, Golf, Leon and Octavia), the Cee'd and i30 are, of course, sisters under the skin. Almost identical twins, in fact, sharing not only floorpans but also their entire engine ranges. The companies themselves rate the Ceed as slightly more sporty and the i30 as slightly more refined.

Unlike the i30, the Ceed for European consumption is built in Zilina in Slovakia. The i30 will be built in the neighbouring Czech Republic in a year or so, but is currently assembled in South Korea. Since i'd tested the i30 hatchback range it made best sense to check out the new Ceed SW in this test.

Its a decent sized, practical station wagon, estate car, shooting brake or whatever you want to call this type of car. The back seats split-fold 60/40 creating a long (1,670mm) load bed, 1,035mm wide at its narrowest and a useful 1,395mm at its widest, ideal for golf bags.

Instead of making it like a van Kia has taken the Peugeot 407 approach and styled the rear end with an upswept C pillar and D pillar hidden by the lights. It looks good and works well, with the hatch back opening well into the roofline allowing it to be opened in multi story carparks where there can sometimes be restricted room.

The driving seat is a bit flat and low at the front with no tilt arrangement, and though the steering wheel adjusts for height and reach it wont go as far back as Id like. You also have to compromise between comfort and obscuring the instruments. One early criticism of the back-lighting for them being too bright has been addressed, however. Now it doesnt come on unless you switch the lights on and can be dimmed to obscurity.

The leather steering wheel on my car was a bit slippery and lacked those comfort bumps at ten-to-two that many European cars now have. But the dash itself is very pleasing. There are plenty of cubbies to store things. And, of course, the Ceed and i30s hat trick of USB port, AUX input and MP3 capability as well as 12v power output sockets in the console and in the boot.

The smooth, quiet, German designed chain-cam 115PS diesel engine is as perky as ever with peak torque from 1,900 2,750rpm, but plenty from low revs too. No complaints there at all. And though the 1.4 and 1.6 chain cam petrol engines are even smoother, the diesel is the best choice for an SW that may sometimes be called on to haul heavy loads.

The electric power steering is light, Corolla-like rather than Focus-like, and has a slight over-centre feel to it accentuated by the hard and slippery leather steering wheel. But the car handles neatly and tidily with no irritations, the five forward gear ratios are right and top gear gives a sensible 30mph per 1,000rpm, which means you can leave it in top a lot more than higher geared boxes.

The LS has cruise control that works from steering wheel buttons pretty much like any other cruise control and locks the car on to a steady 70 that can easily be overridden then just as easily settles back. The rides a bit firm, but the right kind of firm as it absorbs speed cushions very well. The Michelin Energy 205/55 R16 tyres are quiet at speed.

The passenger airbag is switchable. An unsurprising omission is the lack of bump strips along the side. But just look at the rest of the spec. Theres no skimping at all. The LS diesel even comes with standard half leather seats.

The clincher is the combination of warranty and list price. All Ceeds come with a 7 year 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. Four years longer than European rivals. And the fully equipped, top spec, car I was driving lists at just £14,995. A similarly equipped Focus would be £5,000 more.

To make the cars even more irresistible, the Ceed SW is now on sale at KIA dealers, at a special launch deal of diesels at the same price as petrol engines. That makes the 90PS Cee'd 1.6CRDI GS SW just £12,995 instead of £13,745, and the 115PS Ceed 1.6CRDI LS just £13,995 instead of £14,995. As part of the launch offer the LS also comes with free rear parking sensors.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 46 mpg 11.6 s 145 g/km
1.6 44–44 mpg 10.8–11.1 s 152–154 g/km
1.6 CRDi 58–63 mpg 11.5–14.1 s 119–128 g/km
2.0 CRDi 49–50 mpg 10.3–10.5 s 148–154 g/km

Real MPG average for a Kia Cee'd (2007 – 2010)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

29–60 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Kia Cee'd (2007 – 2010)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Is replacing a turbo an expensive job?

I have a 10 year old Kia Cee’d and my garage has just identified that the turbo is producing a whistling noise on acceleration. They also gave me the impression that to replace the turbo would be an expensive job. I was hoping to get a few more years out of my car. Could you tell me how much it would be to replace the turbo? Will the car work without it?
£1000 - £1500 to replace the turbo. You would also need to replace the turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes because carbonised oil in them probably led to oil starvation of the turbo bearing. No, the car won't run properly without the turbo.
Answered by Honest John
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What Cars Are Similar To The Kia Cee'd (2007 – 2010)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Diesel engine and Small family.

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