Kia Cee'd (2012 – 2018) Review
Kia Cee'd (2012 – 2018) At A Glance
Introduced in 2012, the five-door Kia Ceed helped propel the Korean brand from boring dependability to genuine desirability. By the time it was replaced in 2018, the Ceed had proven itself a family hatchback that still offers value for money, but with an added degree of style. A range of economical engines, a spacious interior and strong equipment levels all mean it makes a compelling case for itself. Rivals like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf cannot come close to matching Kia’s seven-year warranty. Only the Kia badge itself is likely to be a problem for some.
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Making a successful stand in the family hatchback sector requires a car to deliver on a range of different criteria. Kia established itself as a maker of reliable cars fit for the European market with the original Ceed. But this second-generation version moved the brand into the mainstream from 2012.
Sharper looks were a major part in the plan to ensure the new Ceed stood out from rivals. Without getting too carried away, the trademark ‘Tiger Nose’ front grille and rakish headlights do mean the Ceed is more handsome than humdrum. It’s also much more of a looker than the mechanically similar Hyundai i30.
Where the Ceed also scores big is on interior space. It almost matches the Volkswagen Golf for boot capacity, and delivers impressive legroom both front and back. The five-door body means no problems unloading children on the school run, and even adults should feel well accommodated in the rear of the Ceed.
Despite the sportier looks on the outside, the Kia Ceed is still very much a car suited for normal commuting and family life. Other than the separate Ceed GT hot hatch, the regular model is refined and relaxing on the road. Accurate and light steering makes for an easy life when parking, and the Ceed is nimble enough to navigate tight city streets.
The Ceed will also happily hold its own on the motorway, with an overall feeling of stability. It’s an effective all-rounder, just as buyers would expect from class favourites like the Golf or Focus. All it lacks is an outright degree of excitement, but most will be more than happy with what it offers on the road.
This is backed by a wide range of engine options, from diminutive petrol units through to larger diesels. Some of the early 1.4-litre and 1.6 petrol engines can feel lacklustre outside of urban driving, although the later turbocharged 1.0 T-GDI petrol is far more effective. Kia also offers two diesel engines, with the 1.6-litre CRDi notable for offering strong fuel economy and respectable performance.
Affordable running costs are one of the Ceed’s major strengths. Insurance ratings are lower than key rivals, while VED (road tax) is also unlikely to break the bank. However, the biggest selling point for the Kia is still that seven-year warranty. That it can transfer to new owners makes it a real boon for those looking at used models, adding extra reassurance to the buying process.
Equipment levels are also strong across the range, with every Ceed featuring air conditioning and electric windows. Cruise control, rear parking sensors and alloy wheels were available on the well-priced ‘2’ specification model.
Generous levels of standard equipment, combined with a spacious cabin and boot, tick off the important considerations for a family hatchback. Low running costs and a seven-year warranty add to the overall package of dependable transport, with just a hint of style.