10 AUGUST 2020


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Article from BTNews 10 AUGUST 2020

AUGUST ROAD TEST: Kia Ceed Sportswagon 1.4 T-GDi 3

Looking for a spacious five-seat shooting brake? Malcolm Ginsberg reports

Yes, the up-market term is not in favour at the present time but that is the best description of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon,  roomy family car with plenty of space for luggage.  It comes with a pair of very smart roof rails.  I just wonder if anyone ever uses them?

Press car loans have been curtailed since the outbreak of the pandemic but as soon as the restrictions were lifted, Kia, one of the best when it comes PR, was back in the seven-day demo business.  This aggressiveness is perhaps reflected by UK car registrations for July at 174,887, increasing by 11.3% on a year-on-year basis according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In case you are in a muddle with the mid-range Kia cars currently available in the UK (with the start-price shown) here is the list.

All-New XCeed Plug-in Hybrid (£30,695),
Ceed Sportwagon Plug-in Hybrid (£29,995)
All-New XCeed (£20,840), Ceed (£18,855)
ProCeed and variants (£24,335)

And Ceed Sportswagon (£19,855), the subject of this road test priced on the road at £24,405.

At a length of 4600mm (15ft 1in) the Sportswagon is big car, but does not feel like it. It handles as well as its equally comfortable five-seater sister hatchback which comes in at 4310mm (14ft 2in).  Where it does win is its enormous capacity put at 1694ltr of space, plus some very well thought out additional storage space beneath the commodious boot.  The turning radius is 5.3 metre and the cornering is best described as ‘nimble’.  The rear passenger seats split and lay flat and can be used for luggage storage.  

A 0-60 in 9.1sec is not a class leader, but as they say ‘sufficient’.  A top speed of 120mph plus is academic.  Plan on 45mpg for this model and there is available a six-speed manual and a more frugal 1ltr version but only with the manual box.  A diesel version is available too, both auto and manual. 

There is tinted glass all round and the Kia sits smartly on 17in alloy wheels. The cruise control and speed limiter switches are beginning to become fairly standard in the way they work.  They are not for everyone but it is worth persevering until you get the hang of it.

The Ceed Sportswagon comes with the usual Kia seven-year 100,000mi warranty.  Forget it is a Korean company.  It is a true European motor, designed in Germany and built in Slovakia.  The initials CEED means 'Community of Europe, with European Design'. Someone must have taken home a medal for coming up with that name. 

Is this 1.4ltr seven-speed petrol driven very smooth automatic the ultimate development of the traditional car we were all brought up with? 

At what point does the electric automobile take over? 

Let’s just say the Ceed Sportswagon it is not perfect but is pretty good.  Why no USB point for the second row of seats?  A 12-volt point in the boot will be seldom used, if at all.  And no repeater of the navigation in the driver’s consul.  Its plus points are what makes the car so user friendly. A traditional handbrake, a really clear ‘door unlock’ plus pair of cupholders for those in the front, and another pair for the rear passengers.

The passenger doors light up when entering, a nice safety feature and once in the diving position you feel as if you are in a quality car with a black cloth seat trim and black faux leather bolsters and a leather trimmed steering wheel. There is power lumbar support for both driver and front passenger.  The central 10.25in touchscreen satellite navigation system has a telematic information arrangement with warning indicators for such things a low fuel, brake problems, and oil requirements.  It features a comprehensive Tom-Tom navigation system and includes a reversing camera system and bleeper.  You don’t need the two, but I was unable to switch the bleeper off.  Dual automatic air conditioning. A nice but simple extra (free) is a sunglasses case mounted within the front cabin map light. 

The car comes complete with many items, an extra with other manufacturers, including electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, but no electronic key for start and stop.  You have to put a key in the slot on the right-hand side of the steering wheel. 

The Kia has lane keeping assist (which I switched off – too many bleeps), driver attention warning (again disposed of), hill-start control (very useful) and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

With just a week’s loan, and other things to do, it was impossible to learn how to use all the ‘extras’ fitted as standard particularly the Apple facilities and voice control.  Android is fitted too. Kia certainly offers value. 

BTN has road tested two other earlier versions of the Ceed family, the GT Line and invigorating GT ProCeed 1.6lt. Perhaps it is the change from manual to automatic, and also diesel to petrol but all three cars feel different.  

If it is a large shooting brake you want at a reasonable price the Kia Ceed Sportswagon might be just the answer. 

Performance 8
Handling 8
Transmission 8
Noise 8
Economy 8
Ride and Comfort 8
Accommodation 8
Styling 7
Brakes 7
Finish 8
TOTAL  78%


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John SMITH, Burgess Hill

Presumably if it is made in the EU they will have to add 10% to the price after January