Review: Kia Cee'd (2010 – 2012)

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Facelifted Cee'd with a sharper look. Improvements in economy and reductions in CO2. Seven year warranty as standard. All engines chain cam.

1.6 petrol model remains a bit low geared. Some interior plastics feel a little cheap.

Kia Cee'd (2010 – 2012): At A Glance

With scrappage prices from £8,000, the Kia Cee'd and Hyundai i30 sold like fans in a heat wave. Now, there's a new, refreshed cee'd with a more upmarket look, lower emission engines and tax rates from just £20 from April next year.

The EcoDynamics diesel manages that by virtue of its very simple ‘Intelligent Stop Go system' that turns off the power when the car is stationary, then starts it again as soon as the driver presses the clutch. It's foolproof, despite the disconcerting feeling of sitting at the traffic lights in silence, unsure you'll be able to get off smartly enough as soon as they turn green.

To force us to test it out, Kia sent us on a circuitous route through Liverpool's revamped town centre that happens to have more traffic lights per mile than anywhere else I've ever driven. And, of course, the car was absolutely fine.

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What does a Kia Cee'd (2010 – 2012) cost?

Kia Cee'd (2010 – 2012): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4260–4490 mm
Width 1790 mm
Height 1480–1525 mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm

Full specifications

It's fully equipped, with split folding rear seats (carpeted underneath), driver and passenger height adjustable seats, aircon, CD player, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, alloy wheels, everything you need, including a 7 year-bumper-to-bumper warranty. And all for a list price of £14,195 before you get involved in scrappage, which is a cool £4,000 less than a 90PS Focus ECOnetic.

Makes you think, doesn't it? About the only shortcoming was a space-saver spare, but these days manufacturers like Skoda don't even give you a space-saver, and there wasn't one under the boot floor of my long-tern Focus ECOnetic either.

Child seats that fit a Kia Cee'd (2010 – 2012)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Kia Cee'd (2010 – 2012) like to drive?

Kia has dumped the old tech 2.0 litre belt-cam petrol and diesel, leaving only the excellent new tech 1.4 and 1.6 chain-cam engines. They've also simplified the levels of trim, calling them 1, 2 or 3. (You can see what you get in each level in the specs section.)

And, as you well know, the cee'd is built at Zilina in Slovakia, where the standards are so high that KIA has even extended the ten-year body warranty to twelve years.

The 1.6 petrol engine is so silent at idle you think they've fitted that with Intelligent Stop Go. The downside is the quietness can lead to clumsy get-aways using too many or two few revs. And it's also a bit low geared for the motorway at just 21mph per 1,000rpm, or so. It doesn't drone at 70, though, so cruising isn't unpleasant. It's just a bit busy. No such problems in the automatic version that KIA wisely starts off as a Grade 1 trim at a very sensible £12,895 for Motability customers.

We also tried the ‘high power' 113bhp 1.6 diesel SW, and somehow that felt like an altogether bigger, more luxurious car. Quick, smooth and quiet, still under 121g/km CO2 so cheap £35/£30 VED this year and next year and not that much thirstier than the EcoDynamics except in towns full of traffic lights. But starting to get a bit pricey at £16,495 for trim level 3 (still £4k less than the equivalent Focus, though, and you can have a diesel automatic).

If you're looking for this size of car then I don't have to try to persuade you to go for a Kia cee'd. It's more a matter of you trying to find a sensible reason not to.


Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 49 mpg - 139 g/km
1.6 45–46 mpg - 146–151 g/km
1.6 Automatic 43 mpg - 158 g/km
1.6 CRDi 60–66 mpg - 113–124 g/km
1.6 CRDi 126 60 mpg - 119–124 g/km
1.6 CRDi 126 Automatic 49 mpg - 154 g/km
1.6 CRDi Automatic 49–50 mpg - 150–154 g/km
1.6 CRDi EcoDynamics 63–67 mpg - 103–119 g/km

Real MPG average for a Kia Cee'd (2010 – 2012)

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

28–67 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 (2010 – 2012)?

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

Can you reccomend a reliable, £8000 car to do 20,000 miles a year?

Can you recommend a comfortable, reliable car to do approximately 20,000 miles a year on windy B-roads. My budget is £8000 and I was thinking a 2011 onwards Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI or a newer Ford Mondeo. I will be importing to Ireland so reliability is important as I won't have much comeback on a dealer.
Check them out in the Good/Bad sections of The Mondeo only just escaped the top 10 most complained about cars. While Mercedes C-Class are fairly solid they don't come away with a completely clean sheet. Always worth considering a KIA Cee'd or Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi.
Answered by Honest John
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What Cars Are Similar To The Kia Cee'd (2010 – 2012)?

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

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What do owners think?

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  • 3 star 33%
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