2019 – New Kia XCeed – A Surprising Experience
Kia has introduced the new XCeed to the current Ceed family range, to bridge the gap between its hatchback and full SUV cars. The Kia XCeed is, what is commonly know as, a 'crossover' or CUV (crossover utility vehicle). Kia has combined the family hatchback qualities, with a roomier SUV feel, without losing any of the sporty and charismatic design of either. The XCeed is quite a work of art and could prove to be one of the brands most popular models in the coming months and years.
Although at first glance you may think it is just a normal Ceed hatchback on steroids, with all the extra plastic trim pieces and roof rails, but it isn't. Although the XCeed shares the same platform as the smaller hatchback and same wheelbase, every sculptured panel is new, apart from the front doors. The XCeed is over 8cm longer and 4cm taller than the standard Ceed. The height is due to the raised suspension and the extra length due to the increased boot space.
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Engines, Power and Performance
The Kia XCeed is available with a choice of two petrol engines and a diesel engine, with two different power outputs. Kia has suggested there will be a plug-in hybrid version available, during 2020. This may offer up to 36 miles of purely electric travel.
The smaller petrol engine is the 1.0 T-GDI, a 1-litre turbocharged three-cylinder unit which develops 118hp and 172Nm of torque. It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and will get from 0-60mph in 10.5secs and hit a top speed of 115mph. The second petrol engine is the 1.4 T-GDI which is a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit, available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic (DCT) transmission. With a power output of 138hp and 242Nm of torque, it will get from 0-60mph in 9.1secs and climb to a top speed of 124mph.
The diesel is a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine (1.6 CRDi), with two power variations, 114hp and 134hp, both of which develop the same 280Nm of torque. The 114hp version will get from 0-60mph in 11secs and hit a top speed of 118mph, and the 134hp model will hit 0-60mph in 10.2secs and top out at 122mph. The diesel versions are only available with a six-speed manual transmission, no option to upgrade to the seven-speed DCT auto.
For me, the best all-round engine is the 1.4 T-GDI, as it offers the best performance but also a smooth and gentle ride around towns. I would also suggest pairing with the seven-speed automatic DCT, as they work seamlessly together with smooth gear changes.
Interior Quality and Technology
The inside of the Kia XCeed will feel very familiar to other Kia models, with the dashboard following a logical yet modern layout. It feels very well built and has a high-end finish. Not quite as good as those found in Audi's or Volkswagens, but I would say it's above that found in the recent Ford Focus Active.
The XCeed comes in a choice of three trims, the entry-level '2' followed by the '3' and finally the top of the range 'First Edition'. All trim levels offer a vast array of standard features at reasonable prices, making the Kia superb value for money in comparison to some of its rivals.
The base model comes with an 8-inch colour touchscreen to support the Kia infotainment system. It includes standard features such as; Bluetooth connectivity, Smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a reversing camera system. Choose one of the higher-spec models, and you get a larger 10.25-inch colour touchscreen with integrated sat-nav as standard. Other standard features across all models are a leather-trimmed multi-functional steering wheel and cruise control with speed limiter.
There is also an optional 12.3-inch TFT digital display cluster available, to replace the standard analogue dials (standard on First Edition models). It is the first Kia to have this available, and it looks impressive and is relatively simple to set to your preference. The interior is pleasant, fun and doesn't feel too clinical like it does in the more premium family cars.
Space, Practicality and Safety
Inside the XCeed, space is similar to the found in the smaller hatchback model. Climb in the front, and you won't struggle for space. There is plenty of headroom and legroom for even the tallest of occupants and seats which are soft and comfortable. The seats are adjustable as is the steering wheel, so find that great driving position will be a breeze. In the back again there is plenty of space for passengers with good legroom and headroom allowances. The floor is also fairly flat, meaning the centre occupant will have more room for their feet and be able to get comfortable easier than in other vehicles.
The boot in the XCeed gains an extra 31-litres over the hatchback model and now comes in at a 426-litre capacity and up to 1378 with the rear seats folded away. It easily trumps the Focus Active, which only manages 341-litres and 1320-litres, respectively.
The Kia XCeed has not yet been safety tested by the Euro NCAP team, but it should fare well given the number of safety features available. Some of the standard features across all trims are; lane keep assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist System (BAS) to name just a few. Some optional features which come as standard on higher trim models are Blind Spot Monitoring and Lane Following Assist.
Overall the Kia XCeed does what it set out to do and provides a blend of sporty SUV size and style, with family hatchback practicality. The XCeed is a very handsome and stylish car and will undoubtedly prove to be hugely popular amongst families and company car drivers alike, due to its excellent versatility. Go on, have a go! (PS, if you can choose the Quantum Yellow paint job, it looks tremendous and certainly pops.)