Kia have launched another Ceed, the XCeed, so there’s now four on offer within the range. Whilst the standard Ceed Hatch is good if unexciting, ditto the Ceed Sportswagon, the ProCeed looks fantastic & brings with it sharper driving dynamics to make a compelling case to choose it. The new XCeed also looks tasty & comes with an all-new KIA infotainment systems that’s their best yet. But, pound for pound, it’s always a couple of grand more to buy than the standard Ceed Hatch so is it really worth the extra cash ?
Only the front door panels are the same in the XCeed & Ceed Hatch. Inside, the cabin is better quality in the XCeed, finished in good quality soft touch plastics, with some nice matt silver & black plastic trim. The seat covering, roof lining & door finishes are also tasteful in black & the sloping roofline gives the cabin a sportier stance over the Ceed Hatch. To give it a more aggressive stance, the XCeed’s ground clearance has been increased by up to 42mm. Despite the extra height, it’s really only a soft-roader.
To enhance the overall looks, the XCeed features hydraulic bump stops for its MacPherson strut front & multi-link rear axle. This help’s to smooth out bump absorption as the suspension gets towards the end of its travel & we found the ride firm, but pliable. The steering is nicely weighted & the car hugs the road with aplomb. It will sit happily in slow moving traffic or offer more fun on an open B road.
Where we & sadly many company car drivers live most our daily lives, is on the motorway & here our 1.6 CRDi 3 six-speed manual test car really shone. Costing £25,345, this version offers 134bhp & 280Nm of torque from just 1,500rpm & a Euro6 compliant diesel engine, which should remind diesel hater’s that new, cleaner, diesels, are not actually that bad. To ram that point home, a claimed 64.2mpg in WLTP tests is at least 10 mpg more than any of the XCeed petrols being offered & whilst 116g/km of CO2 emissions, may not look that great, it’s actually lower than all of the petrol models as well.
Undoubtedly the highlight inside the XCeed, is the new 10.25″ touchscreen, that sits proudly in the centre of the dash. Not only is it larger than the one found in the Ceed Hatch, the graphics are sharper & responses to your inputs feel quicker. The larger size allows Kia to add extra space to display more functions & of course these include SatNav, Apple Car Play & Android Auto. We connected our iPhone simply & easily via the USB input in the front & it all worked seamlessly.
The XCeed finished in Grade 3 spec is generous, with 18″ alloys, privacy glass, power lumbar supported front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an electric parking brake, a reversing camera, parking sensors, 4.2″ supervision colour cluster display & useful USB fast charger in the front centre console.
Despite the sweeping roofline, the boot on board is actually larger than the one on offer in the Ceed Hatch with 426 litres of useful space. The rear load space is nicely finished, with good quality fabric lining all three sides. As the owner’s of a VW T-Roc, we’d go as far to say that the overall fit, finish & quality across XCeed is superior to the German car. And ,of course Kia’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty smashes most other’s out of the ball park as well.
In conclusion, we feel that if given a choice in the company car list between the Ceed Hatch & XCeed, we’d plump for the latter. On looks alone it’s a winner. In diesel guise it’s frugal & a very good motorway runner . The boot is larger than the Ceed Hatch too. Perhaps it loses out on rear passenger headroom, but that’s not enough to put us off. And, as for petrol v diesel. The 1.0 litre petrol does offer a lower BIK of 28%, but at 31%, the diesel’s not far away, especially when it’s for the 1.6 in 134bhp guise, which offers decent performance & a gutsy drive.
Sex in the city 4/5.
1.o T-GDi 118bhp 6-speed manual ISG £20,795
1.6CRDi 114bhp 6-speed manual ISG £22,045
1.0 GDi 118bhp 6-speed manual ISG £23,295
1.4 GDi 138bhp 6-speed manual ISG £24,095
1.4 GDi 138bhp 7-speed auto BCT ISG £25,195
1.6CRDi 134bhp 6-speed manual ISG £ £25,345 OUR CHOICE
1.4 GDi 138bhp 6-speed manual ISG £28,095
1.4 GDi 138bhp 7-speed auto BCT ISG £29,195