We drove the KIA XCeed in diesel format, last year & came away impressed. With government tax incentives on plug-in & electric cars, it was only a matter of time before KIA added to the XCeed model range & the XCeed PHEV is the result.
With a 1.6-litre petrol engine coupled to a small electric motor for a combined 139bhp, the XCeed PHEV even at £30,000 + is good value compared with plug-in rivals. And for company car drivers & SME fleet managers, the 32g/km of CO2 emissions, make it doubly attractive.
KIA cabins are getter nicer & nicer & the XCeed could well be their best yet. It’s all 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 sporty stance.
The infotainment 10.25″ touchscreen sits proudly in the centre of the dash. This features excellent graphics & sharp responses to your requests. Functions include DAB radio, SatNav, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto. We connected our iPhone simply & easily via the USB input in the front, to access Apple CarPlay & it worked seamlessly.
We were testing the XCeed finished in Grade 3 spec & equipment is generous; 16″ 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 & a USB fast charger in the front centre console. There’s also a heated steering wheel & heated front seats.
The rear load space is nicely finished, with good quality fabric lining all three sides. However, the batteries which are located under this, eat into the litres offered, so the standard XCeed’s 426-litre boot shrinks to just 291 litres in the PHEV model.
The whole point of choosing the XCeed PHEV over its petrol or diesel brethren, is it’s electric range. KIA claims a 30 mile journey in full electric is possible & after we plugged in & topped up the battery, we gave it a try.
The automatic gearbox makes life easy in town & this is where the electric power is at it’s most useful. Once up to speed the electric range drops faster & we found it’s better to let the petrol engine step in. After a 25 mile sojourn including a junction on the motorway, the electric power ran out. At this point, the combined MPG was an impressive 92.4mpg. KIA claim 201.8mpg is possible, but this would depend on how often you plug in & how far & how fast you are travelling.
As a comparison, over the next few days, we drove the car in ECO mode ( SPORT is also offered ) primarily on the motorway for 200 miles & the combined MPG dropped into the low sixties. This also emptied half the petrol tank, which for our driving style, offered 400 miles worth of gas. An overnight top-up at home on our 7kW Rolec home charger – the charging cap is on the left hand side of the car above the front wheel – gave us back a full electric charge & we managed to drive the last two days locally, around 18 miles, all at low speeds on electric only.
On our travels, we found the PHEV quiet & comfortable & up front there’s plenty of head & legroom available. In the rear the sloping roof eats into the head height & it’s a bit of a squeeze for 3 adults. The extra weight due to the batteries feels better spread out in the XCeed PHEV than in the Niro PHEV & this adds a bit more fun to the drive when your’e out on the open road. Even in SPORT mode, acceleration is distinctly average with the XCeed taking 10.6 seconds to reach 60mph.
Whilst the Proceed is still our favourite looking KIA, the XCeed pushes it pretty close on the looks front. The XCeed also features the best interior in a KIA thus far & in 3 Spec offers the excellent 10.25″ touchscreen, again the nicest one yet in a KIA. With that low BIK a company car driver in tax year 2020/21 would be looking at an annual payment of £613 at 20% or £1226 at 40%, not quite a good as an EV, but with a guaranteed 400 mile range.
Although the PHEV XCeed is £4000 more to buy than the diesel in 3 spec, the PHEV version’s BIK starts at just 12%, compared to the diesel’s 31% & petrol’s 28%, making it highly attractive to the end user. Throw in Kia’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, which smashes most other’s out of the ball park & the likelihood of 65-70mpg & KIA are onto a company car winner !