Kia Ceed Review 2024

Kia Ceed At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Kia Ceed is a dependable family hatch that offers strong value for money and a long warranty. Only a lack of engines holds it back.

+Good value for money. Generous standard specification. Practical boot and lots of rear-seat space. Industry-leading warranty.

-Only one turbocharged petrol engine, with no hybrid or diesel alternatives. Not all versions get the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

New prices start from £19,545, brokers can source from £19,485
Insurance Groups are between 9–20
On average it achieves 85% of the official MPG figure

The Kia Ceed has carved out its own niche since the first-generation model was launched in 2007 as an excellent-value family hatchback with a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. The third generation of the Kia Ceed arrived in 2018 and it faces tough competition from some of the best family cars around, including the Ford Focus, stylish SEAT Leon and ever-popular Vauxhall Astra. Read on for our full Kia Ceed review.

The Kia Ceed is more than just an impressive warranty. It boasts plentiful appeal in its own right, thanks to competitive prices and considerable levels of standard equipment.

Over time, the range of engines offered has been reduced, as we will explain in our Kia Ceed review, with just one option now available.

The 1.5-litre T-GDI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol has 158PS, delivering a reasonable blend of performance and economy. Previously, buyers had a choice of engines ranging from a diminutive 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit through to a 1.6-litre GT turbo hot hatch. However, there is a choice between manual and automatic transmissions for the Kia Ceed customer.

Compared to its closest rivals, including the Volkswagen Golf, this limited powertrain line-up puts the Kia Ceed on the back foot. There is no hybrid option, or plug-in hybrid, placing the car out of step with market trends.

Where the Kia Ceed may surprise you is with its handling and ride quality. The steering is quick, adding a layer of agility that pushes it closer to the class best in this regard. Its suspension manages to strike a pleasing balance between comfort and body control.

Against some newer rivals, the interior of the Kia Ceed does look a little dated. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. There are no frustrating touchscreen controls for the air conditioning, for example, and the infotainment system is quick and easy to understand.

Everything is made with quality materials, and there is a sense the Kia Ceed will easily outlast that seven-year warranty period. The cabin is packed with plenty of equipment, again illustrating Kia’s quest to deliver value for money.

Even the entry-level Kia Ceed 2 benefits from 16-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch multimedia touchscreen, air-conditioning and smartphone compatibility.

Boot capacity in the Kia Ceed manages to better that found in the Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus, with overall interior space that is more than sufficient for families.

When the Kia Ceed was first introduced, it delivered incredible value for money. With the passage of time, the car is no longer quite the bargain it once was, but it still proves to be an affordable option in the mid-size hatchback segment.

Prices start from less than £23,000, with even the fanciest GT-Line S model coming in at around £31,000. By comparison, the cheapest Ford Focus costs at least £27,000.

It may not be the most exciting to drive, or offer the most interior space, but the Kia Ceed is an impressive all-rounder that does very little wrong.

Looking for a second opinion? Read heycar's Kia Ceed review.

Ask Honest John

Do daytime running lights mean I don't need dipped headlights in low visbility?

"I now have a 65-plate Kia Ceed, my first car with daytime running lights. Does this replace the requirement to use dipped headlights during times of low visibility in daylight?"
Daytime running lights do not replace the need to use dipped headlights in low visibility, so you should continue to use dipped headlights when conditions require them.
Answered by David Ross

I'm having problems claiming on my warranty - what can I do?

"My Kia Ceed 1.4 petrol 2019 is at my nearest Kia dealer due to a fault where the car was juddering and sputtering over 30mph. The dealer diagnosed a faulty coil pack which caused a spark plug to fail. The car is under warranty and was last serviced by Kia in January 2023. The dealer wants to charge me £19 for the spark plug they need to replace because the faulty coil pack damaged the spark plug. Everything else is covered under warranty. Is this normal? It seems unusual that the dealer would charge me for an item which was only a month old and was rendered faulty because of a faulty part which falls under the warranty."
Assuming you have raised this with the dealer and they have said they need to charge you for the spark plug, it may simply be that the plugs are not covered under the terms of the warranty as they could be considered a consumable part. It seems a little ungracious to charge for this part alone, but if you look at it another way you've had an expensive repair completed for just £19.
Answered by David Ross

What car would be suitable for myself and my wife, who is five feet tall?

"My wife is approximately five feet tall and has difficulty with visibility and reaching the controls in many cars. We currently have two cars, a Ford Kuga for me and the caravan and a Vauxhall Corsa for my wife, which is generally used for short journeys. We are planning to lose the caravan and go down to one car that serves for local journeys and long hauls, such as the 250 miles to our daughter. I am thinking about a medium-size petrol car that would be suitable for both of us. Can you recommend anything? We would prefer a manual. "
It can be difficult to find a car that will suit two drivers of differing heights, so if possible the best approach would be to ensure both you and your wife have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of any prospective purchase and go for a test drive, ensuring both of you can get comfortable and control the car easily. We would suggest looking at the Kia Ceed, which has a relatively high-set driving position for a hatchback and is available with a petrol engine and manual gearbox, or the Hyundai Kona. The Kona also has a high driving position, but is available in petrol, hybrid and electric forms. Although you say you would prefer a manual, an automatic may prove easier for your wife to drive if there is no clutch pedal to operate. The hybrid version would would give you better fuel consumption on short journeys than the pure petrol engine too.
Answered by David Ross

Best used medium hatchback?

"I'm looking to buy a used medium sized hatchback and wondering what you would recommend for £6,000? Or do I need to spend more like £8,000? I recently bought a 2009 Volkswagen Golf S TSI DSG 1.4 turbo petrol but the DSG had numerous faults so it's gone back to the dealer for a refund. I'm now back to square one and feeling a bit overwhelmed with the choice. Maybe there's also something different I haven't thought of. Maybe I need to think about spending more/getting a newer car. I mostly do short runs around the city (though try to walk mostly) and then away a few times on the motorway. I have one child with kit so need space and we often go camping in the summer, etc. I do need something safe, sturdy, reliable and efficient but which ideally also looks good. It doesn't have to be automatic."
Have you looked at the Kia Ceed or Hyundai i30? around £7,000-8,000 will get you a 2013 1.6 petrol version of either with a decent specification. They are reliable, well-made and nice to drive. Other cars we'd look at include the Mazda 3 2.0-litre petrol on a 2014 reg, plus the later generation of Ford Focus. Also consider a manual version of the Golf if you liked it - the DSG gearboxes can be prone to expensive problems but the manuals are less complex.
Answered by Lawrence Allan
More Questions

What does a Kia Ceed cost?

Buy new from £19,485(list price from £23,095)