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Kia XCeed 1.6 CRDi ‘3’ iMT a sporty alternative to traditional SUVs

Kia XCeed 1.6 CRDi ‘3’ iMT

Kia has recently celebrated 30 years of UK sales, and the XCeed, a compact urban crossover utility vehicle (CUV), forms part of the South Korean company’s impressive line-up of motors. The car follows the hatchback, Sportswagon and ProCeed Shooting Brake as part of the enlarged Ceed family of models.

A sporty alternative to traditional SUVs, the new CUV nevertheless offers comparable levels of space for occupants and luggage.

Style file

The five-door family hatchback scores in the looks department, with a steeply-angled fastback tailgate, and a rear ‘deck’ trailing edge which sits 60mm higher than that of the Ceed five-door hatchback. The only body panels carried over from its five-door hatchback sibling are the front doors. The XCeed presents a more assertive face, with a more prominent grille and larger lower air intake, while new tail-lights emit a slim, highly technical LED light signature which appears to spear forward into the shoulders of the car. The heavily creased lines running horizontally across the tailgate and rear bumper give the car a wider, more stable posture.

Inside story

An appealing interior features a sculptured centre console orientated towards the driver and a horizontal dashboard layout for a more sculptural, seamless and slimline appearance. The design creates greater space and a sense of openness for front seat passengers, with generous footwell space and a clear view ahead. High-quality materials are used throughout the cabin.

Features

Kia models are always generously equipped and the XCeed has a host of top features.

They include privacy glass for the rear side windows and tailgate, automatic headlight control, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors, heated front seats with power-adjustable lumbar support, heated, leather-trimmed steering wheel, dual automatic air conditioning, cruise control and speed limiter, reversing camera and rear parking sensors. There’s a six-speaker audio system, posh satnav and a connectivity suite.

On the practicality front you will find features including 60/40-split folding rear seats, two 12-volt power sockets in the centre console which also has cup-holders (plus cup-holders in the rear centre armrest) and another socket in the luggage area, front cabin map light with sunglasses case and front seatback pockets and front and rear door storage.

A wealth of safety features includes lane-keeping assist, high beam assist, speed limit information function, hill-start assist control, driver attention warning, and impact-sensing auto door unlocking.

On the road

I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time behind the wheel of the XCeed during a week-long road test, including a couple of motorway hauls and a stint on hilly and twisty Lake District side-roads. The car acquitted itself admirably, with confidence-inspiring ride and handling, while the cabin proved a comfortable place to be – something that was much appreciated on the longer trips.

Tech time

Our car had a 1.6-litre four-cylinder, 134bhp, turbocharged diesel engine with 48-volt mild hybridisation, providing an assured flow of smooth power to the easy-changing six-speed manual gearbox. Performance figures are: 0-60mph in 10 seconds and a top speed of 121mph, with a combined fuel consumption figure of 55.4mpg and 133g/km CO2. The car also features electronic ‘intelligent manual transmission’ which improves fuel efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions.

Verdict

Kia’s sales success (1.2million cars sold in the UK over those 30 years) is well deserved and the XCeed displays the marque’s strengths well – appealing design, a wealth of standard equipment, driving satisfaction, top tech… and not forgetting a seven-year warranty.

Price: £26,015 OTR.

Frank Turner
Frank is a respected journalist who has specialised for many years in writing car reviews and motoring industry news for national and regional newspapers.

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