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KIA cee'd 2010 Road Test

Sat, 26 Sep 2009

With scrappage prices from £8,000, the KIA cee’d and Hyundai i30 have been selling 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.

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.

All very positive, so what about the rest of the range?
Well, 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.

For prices, specifications, engines, transmissions, dimensions and performance figures, please click the tabs.

More at www.kia.co.uk

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