Kia Ceed


Kia has taken a further step forward in the family hatchback sector with the third generation Ceed. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.

Ten Second Review

In this third generation guise, Kia's Ceed further sharpens its proposition in the Focus-class family hatchback segment, with smarter looks, extra technology and the option of clever 'level 2' camera safety technology. As before, value continues as a strong suit and there's an industry-leading warranty. Potentially then, there's a lot to like here.


If you want to better appreciate just why Kia is one of the world's fastest growing automotive brands, you've only to look at this car, the Ceed family hatchback. The Slovakian factory that builds it only opened its doors in 2006 yet already, well over a million cee'd models have been built.

Automotive historians will look back at the original cee'd as a landmark design, the first to take on the European and Japanese market leaders on their own terms in the volume Focus and Golf-dominated Family Hatchback sector. Built in the heart of Europe, it was targeted at the heart of the European motor industry, hence the unusual 'cee'd' name, a combination of the French abbreviation for European Community (CE) and this car's project title (ED). It shamed the established players by matching their quality while massively undercutting their prices and offering an astonishingly long 7-year warranty. But times change - and so do market segments. So Kia has re-designed this car with a more athletic look and added more efficient engines and extra technology.

Driving Experience

You can't fault the way that Kia has gone about this. Clearly, someone in Seoul has looked at just what makes the best family hatchbacks great and gone to much trouble to try and emulate them. The ride has been developed on Europe's wide variety of road surfaces, remaining comfortable while giving drivers the confidence of tighter body control under cornering and stability at higher speeds. Some of this tuning happened in the UK to ensure the Ceed performs well on our unique roads.

Under the bonnet, petrol options include an updated version of Kia's popular 1.0-litre T-GDi engine, producing 120PS, as well as a new 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit. Replacing the earlier 1.6-litre GDI engine, the new 'Kappa' 1.4-litre T-GDi engine produces 140PS. A price-leading old-tech 100PS 1.4-litre MPi petrol engine is also available. In addition, this Ceed gets Kia's latest 'U3' diesel engine. Available with a choice of power outputs (115 and 136PS), the new 1.6-litre diesel produces 280 Nm of torque. Every engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while the 1.4-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi engines are also available with Kia's seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

Design and Build

This MK3 model is constructed on Kia's latest 'K2' platform and is lower, wider and has a longer rear overhang than the car it replaces, plus there's a 'cab-rearward' silhouette that's supposed to exhibit 'a more mature sense of athleticism'.

Inside the cabin, there's more headroom in the front row and a lower driving position. Higher-quality materials have been used throughout and surfaces are finished with metallic or satin chrome trim, with buyers able to choose from a range of cloth, synthetic leather or genuine leather upholstery. The dash is split into an upper area - for the 'floating' touchscreen infotainment system - and a lower area, housing controls for audio and heating and ventilation. Driver-centric in its layout, the centre console is angled slightly towards the driver's seat for ease of use on the move. Out back, there's a larger, 395-litre boot, as well as greater shoulder room for rear passengers.

Market and Model

Expect pricing to sit in much the same £16,000 to £25,000 bracket as the previous model with most buyers choosing either the five-door hatchback body shape or the alternative estate. Whichever Ceed you choose, you'd expect to find it decently equipped - it is - but the key change this time round is the addition of much more safety technology. In addition to the car's seven standard airbags, included kit runs to High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Warning autonomous braking with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist.

Plus Kia's now moving into the realm of 'Level Two' autonomous driving technology. This MK3 Ceed is available with Lane Following Assist, which tracks vehicles in front of the vehicle in traffic, and identifies appropriate spaces in other lanes to move into safely to gain more ground in heavy congestion. It detects road markings to keep the Ceed in its lane on the motorway, and controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the convoy of vehicles in front. Additional available technologies include Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Smart Parking Assist, and pedestrian recognition with haptic steering wheel warnings for the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system.

Cost of Ownership

No car in this sector can afford to go to market with second-rate economy and emissions figures. So how does this one fare? The 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol engine delivers emissions from 125g/km - or 122g/km with the optional ECO Pack fitted. See 'Technologies and Features' for additional information on the ECO Pack. For the 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit, emissions are rated at 125g/km when fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Manual models emit 130g/km - or 128g/km with the ECO Pack. For the older-tech 100PS 1.4-litre MPi normally aspirated petrol engine, you're looking at 142g/km carbon dioxide - or 137g/km when equipped with the ECO Pack

The big news with this third generation model is Kia's latest 'U3' diesel engine. Designed to go beyond the stricter limits laid down by the latest Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard, this 1.6-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) unit uses Selective Catalytic Reduction active emissions control technology to significantly reduce emissions. Hence a reduction in particulate matter and NOx compared to earlier Kia diesel engines. And improved CO2 readings of course. With a six-speed manual transmission, the 115PS version emits 101g/km or 99g/km with the ECO Pack fitted. Models fitted with a dual-clutch transmission produce 105 g/km for the low-powered engine. Emissions for the higher-powered 136PS version of this engine are rated at 106g/km (104g/km with ECO Pack) for manual models - and 109g/km when paired with Kia's dual-clutch transmission. As usual, there's also Kia's lengthy 7-year warranty as part of the deal.


And in summary? Well the asking prices may be a little higher than you might expect from a South Korean brand, but don't judge them until you've tried the product, a confident design from a very confident brand. We think you might like it.


CAR: Kia Ceed

PRICES: £15,175 - £24,785


CO2 EMISSIONS: 94 - 170 g/km

PERFORMANCE: [1.0 T-GDI] 0-62mph 10s / Top Speed 118mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: [1.6 CRDi] 72.4 mpg (combined)

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: ESP, ABS with EBA, hill assist control, emergency stop signal, six airbags

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height 4310/1780/1470 mm