Review: Kia Ceed Sportswagon (2018)

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Very comfortable and easy to drive. Feels well built and long lasting. Impressive bootspace of 625 litres. Available with excellent 1.4 T-GDi engine. Handles tidily.

Ride can be firm on larger wheels.

Kia Ceed Sportswagon (2018): At A Glance

Kia may have dropped the apostrophe for the 2018 Ceed but this model continues many of the strengths that have made the previous generations so popular. It's well built, good value and has affordable running costs.

But Kia is not a company to rest on its laurels - it continues to improve its cars with every new model. Compare this car to the first generation Cee'd and the improvements in quality, style and finish are huge. The Ceed Sportswagon shows just how far the brand has come in a relatively short time.

The interior quality is really good with lots of soft touch materials and precise controls giving it an upmarket feel, yet there's still that underlying sense of robustness about it. It feels like a car that's built to last. This is not a case of all fur coat and no knickers.

Being a small(ish) estate, the boot is all important here and the Ceed has a wide and easy to load cargo area that's low to the ground. With 625 litres of carrying space it can swallow more than a Volkswagen Golf Estate.

There's plenty of room in the rest of the car too with decent legroom in the back, thanks to lower seats, and a generally spacious and comfortable feeling throughout, helped by a wider body than the old model.

As you'd expect from a Kia, there's plenty of standard kit and with no entry-level 1 model, the range starts with the 2 which has air con, 16-inch alloys, a seven-inch touchscreen with DAB plus Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a reversing camera. 

What you may not expect is how good the Ceed Sportswagon is to drive. Okay, so it's not going to set the world alight, but thanks to precise steering and little body roll, it feels very stable and accomplished in corners. 

There is a downside - and that's a slightly firm ride. It's generally more than acceptable but something like a Ford Focus feels more compliant and settled at higher speeds. Road noise is noticeable to, especially from the back of the car.

However, the Ceed Sportswagon still has plenty to recommend it, not least Kia's seven-year warranty and a strong reputation for reliability and good customer service. Compared to the competition, it's not as cheap as you may expect, but Kia often has very good finance deals available if you're looking at leasing or a PCP.

Looking for a Kia Ceed Sportswagon (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a Kia Ceed Sportswagon (2018) cost?

List Price from £18,850
Buy new from £15,017
Contract hire from £167.10 per month

Kia Ceed Sportswagon (2018): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4600 mm
Width -
Height 1465 mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm

Full specifications

As small estates go, the Ceed Sportswagon is one of the bigger ones with 625 litres of space. As a comparison, the Golf Estate has 605 litres while a Ford Focus Estate is considerably smaller with 575 litres.

It's not just the size that's useful either. The opening is usefully wide and the low load lip means lugging heavy things in isn't too backbreaking.

All models get an underfloor box to secure or hide smaller items, as well as a tonneau cover and a bag hook so your balsamic vinegar won't roll around the boot floor. The rear seats fold down (almost flat) to create a usefully big load area too while 3 models get handles in the boot that let you fold down the seats instead of having to lean in from the doors. 

It's the quality of the Ceed Sportswagon that impresses. There's lots of soft touch materials and it's all well finished with a feeling that it's a car designed to last. Standard 2 models are a little drab to look at but go up the range and you get more visually appealing piano black trim as shown in our pictures here. All models get a leather steering wheel and gear lever too.

There's decent space in the back with better headroom and legroom than the previous model, helped by the lower positioned rear seats, although there's not as much space here as in a Skoda Octavia Estate.

The front seats are comfortable and reasonably supportive with 3 trim models getting electrically adjustable lumbar support. The driving position is good too with lots of adjustment in the seat and steering column.

The Ceed Sportswagon gets a clear 7-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dash as standard which comes with a reversing camera along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It's a very easy to use system and one of the best we've come across in terms of clarity. If you go for a 3 model or above you get a larger 8-inch screen that includes TomTom navigation.

A wireless smartphone charger, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outer rear seats and keyless entry all come on First Edition models.

Standard equipment from launch:

Grade 2 models are fitted with cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, an alarm system, front wiper de-icer, electric windows all-round and automatic headlight control. Other features include 16-inch alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts, front fog lights, projection headlights and cornering lights, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors in body colour, a high gloss black front grille, chrome window surrounds and LED rear lights. Inside, there’s black premium cloth seat trim, a leather trimmed steering wheel, gearshift and hand brake and a rear centre armrest. A seven-inch touchscreen audio display is provided, along with a reversing camera system with dynamic guidelines, DAB radio, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility with voice control. Safety includes Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA).

Grade 3 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and rain sensing front wipers, in addition to black cloth seat trim with black faux leather bolsters and power lumbar support for the front seats. An eight-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with European mapping and traffic messaging channel is provided alongside Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom Live. Other equipment includes dual-zone automatic air conditioning, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and rear parking sensors, in addition to a 4.2-inch supervision colour cluster display, a USB fast charger in the front centre console and a dual-tone horn. The central fascia is in high gloss black, while the interior door handles have a satin chrome finish. Manual gearbox variants have the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system (FCA) upgraded to include pedestrian detection.

First Edition gets the Smart Park Assist System (SPAS) which integrates front and rear parking sensors with the ability to automatically park in parallel or perpendicular spaces, while smart cruise control with stop and go functionality and a Drive Mode Selector are featured when the seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) is chosen. There’s black leather seats with contrast grey stitching, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outer rear seats and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory. A wide electric tilt and slide sunroof with automatic roll blind also comes fitted along with LED bi-function headlights and cornering lights, an electronic parking brake, heated steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, smart entry system with engine start/stop button and an eight-speaker JBL premium sound system with wireless mobile phone charger. Extra safety systems include Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with Pedestrian Detection.

Child seats that fit a Kia Ceed Sportswagon (2018)

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.

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What's the Kia Ceed Sportswagon (2018) like to drive?

On the surface you'd expect the Ceed Sportswagon to be comfortable at the expense of handling prowess, but strangely, the opposite is true.

It deals with corners better than you'd expect of an estate of this ilk and while it may not have the outright grip of something like a Ford Focus, for the vast majority of drivers, the Ceed will be more than capable in everyday driving.

The steering is quick and responsive too, although perhaps lacks some of the weight of competitors. But perhaps what's most surprising is the ride. It's not overly firm but it does tend to feel a little busy at times. Go for a model on 16-inch alloys and you'll get the most comfort. There's also a fair bit of road noise from the rear, especially on rough motorways, but wind noise is minimal.

If you're not covering huge mileages, then the petrol engines in the Ceed Sportswagon are ideal. There's a 1.4 T-GDi (yes it's a petrol even though there's confusingly a D in the name) which is new to the Ceed. With 140PS it's the quickest engine in the range and the only option on the high spec trims such as the First Edition. You should see around 40mpg in real world driving.

The smaller petrol is a 1.0 T-GDi with 120PS - and engine carried over from the previous model. With 172Nm of torque it's not the last words in low down pulling power, but for around town use it's more than adequate and will happily keep up with fast flowing traffic if required, it just requires working a little harder.

The sole diesel is a 1.6 CRDi - again from the previous generation Cee'd (when it had an apostrophe...) - which promises to be the most economical version with claimed economy of more than 70mpg. It's not the quietest diesel around but is smooth enough and there's little vibration through the pedals or steering wheel.

While the standard six-speed manual has a positive shift, there's also a seven-speed dual clutch DCT automatic that's available on the CRDi and the 1.4 T-GDi.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 T-GDI 50–55 mpg - 115–122 g/km
1.4 T-GDI 49 mpg - 132 g/km
1.4 T-GDI DCT 50 mpg - 127 g/km
1.6 CRDi 67–71 mpg - 99–104 g/km
1.6 CRDi DCT 69 mpg - 99 g/km

What have we been asked about the Kia Ceed Sportswagon (2018)?

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

Should I run my 2014 Focus into the ground or sell it while it's still got some value?

My 2014 Ford Focus already has about 61,000 miles and I'm considering whether I should sell and buy a used or new car, or run the Focus into the ground instead. Fuel efficiency hasn't been great as it's an automatic petrol (40mpg). I go about 120 miles on the motorway on normal working days and, for a family with two little ones, it's starting to feel a little tight with space with the kid's car seats. I'm not a keen on a manual or diesel car, but would consider either automatic petrol or petrol/hybrid. Any suggestions?
It sounds like your family's outgrowing the Focus. I'd be tempted to upgrade while it's still got some value. Don't dismiss diesels - they make a lot of sense for 120 motorway miles a day. I'd be looking for a diesel crossover SUV like a Skoda Karoq - it'll be very practical, efficient and comfortable for motorway driving. Also consider a Peugeot 3008 or, if you'd prefer an estate, perhaps a Ford Focus Estate or Kia Ceed Sportswagon.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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