No car maker is complete without a plethora of SUV models and Korean manufacturer Kia is no exception.
Sitting in the KIA Ceed family, alongside a 5-door hatchback, of which there is an estate version, as well as the super sleek shooting brake styled model, the XCeed is a welcomed addition to the fleet.
Not quite an SUV, as many people call it, rather a crossover a model, with Kia preferring to brand it as a ‘sporty compact crossover’.
Sporty isn’t a word I would use, but with stiff competition from the likes of the Toyota C-HR and sister company Hyundai’s Kona, such branding might catch the eye of potential buyers.
The XCeed joins its siblings with a slightly limited range of engines and also with less trim levels being available. This doesn’t look to be an issue however, as the Korean manufacturer packs plenty of tech and spec into even the base model, as standard.
Priced from £20,840 an ‘XCeed 2’ offers 16-inch alloy wheels, LED bi-function headlights, 8-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity with Bluetooth, reversing camera, LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights and rear fog lights, forward collision avoidance assist for city driving, front projection of fog lights, and cruise control with speed limiter.
For not a great deal more money, an ‘XCeed Edition’ and seems like outstanding value-for-money as, priced from £20,995 you get 18-inch alloy wheels, premium paint, rear privacy glass, half faux leather upholstery, electric parking brake, centre console with storage box and sliding armrest, electrically folding and adjustable heated door mirrors with integrated LED indicators, and electric lumbar support on the front seats.
Priced from £23,340 is an ‘XCeed 3’ which receives 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10.25-inch navigation screen with telematics, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, smart key entry with engine start/stop button, and electric parking brake.
A top of the range ‘XCeed First Edition’ is a little less affordable from £28,425 but receives a 12.3-inch speedometer cluster, panoramic sunroof with tilt/slide function and automatic electric roll blind, 8-speaker JBL premium sound system, smart power tailgate, wireless phone charger, aluminium pedals, heated outer rear seats, and Smart Park assist.
When it comes to powering the XCeed, there is a choice of two petrol engines, one diesel engine with two power outputs and a plug-in hybrid model.
The latter, available only in the top two trim levels, is priced from £30,695 and £34,695 respectively. Available only with a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, the PHEV which is based upon a 1.6-litre petrol engine accompanied by an 8.9kWh Li-ion battery, provides a combined output of 139bhp.
Seeing 0-60mph in 10.6 seconds, a combined return of just over 200mpg could be expected, with an electric range just shy of 30 miles.
The entry level petrol engine is a 1.0-litre T-GDi turbocharged unit which produces 118bhp seeing 0-60mph in 10.9 seconds with a combined return of around 44mpg and is available only with a 6-speed manual ‘box.
A more potent turbocharged petrol engine is the 1.4-litre T-GDi which, producing 138bhp, will see 0-60mph in 9.1 seconds when paired with the six-speed manual ‘box, whilst a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic option will achieve the same sprint in 9.2 seconds, with both options returning around 40mpg.
A more frugal option would be the 1.6-litre CRDi turbocharged diesel unit which produces either 114bhp or 134bhp, seeing 0-60mph in 11 seconds and 10.2 seconds respectively with a combined returned for both of just over 50mpg. With no option of an automatic transmission the diesel engine is available with a 6-speed manual ‘box only.
Servicing of the petrol and hybrid models is recommended annually or at 10,000 miles, whichever comes first, whilst the diesel can stretch to 20,000 miles or annually, if you don’t do huge mileage.
With dwindling numbers of diesels being purchased I can see the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol being the choice of many. It is this engine, combined with the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission in First Edition trim that was tested and photographed during a week of custody, for this article.
The paintwork, finished in this instance in a deeply rich, yet incredibly vibrant ‘Quantom Yellow’ means you’re sure to stand out from the crowd and never lose your car in the supermarket car park. Contrasting perfectly against the black roof, mirrors and rugged black plastic arch trim and lower level protection, I do think the XCeed looks great.
Practical load-space in the XCeed isn’t as good as it’s siblings, however, it offers much more practicality then it’s exterior shape would lead you to believe, and is better than some rivals. The cabin is a little more spacious from its siblings thanks to extra headroom, and with all Kia models, it’s incredibly well screwed together.
A pair of ISOFIX swivel child seats fit without issue, so long as you don’t mind getting kicked on the back of your seat when driving. A comfortable driving position is easily achieved with very supportive front seating.
Unlike many brands who now digitise all cabin controls via a large touchscreen hub, the XCeed remains somewhat analogue, with push buttons for the heating controls, heated seating, and various driver safety and convenience buttons.
This is far from criticism as I for one much prefer this layout and wish many more would stick to it.
The range of engines is never going to excite, at least on paper anyway. Though the higher powered petrol engine is more than enough for any road user, with plenty of usable grunt. Kia’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, as tested, is smooth and precise and enables an effortless driving experience.
Despite its SUV styling the XCeed handles every bit as well as its siblings and, if you happen to have read any of my articles on those, you will know that I was very impressed with not only there agility, but comfort, too.
You won’t get much change from £30,000 for the model tested but you do get Kia’s staggering 7-year, 100,000 mile warranty (whichever comes first).
Fact File for model tested
Make : Kia
Model : XCeed
Trim : First Edition
Engine : 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol
Gearbox : 7-speed DCT automatic
Cost : £29,525
Words & Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
images must not be used in any way without prior written consent of the photographer