Kia Cee'd hatchback

Price  £14,905 - £24,295

Kia Cee'd hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Comfy ride
  • Very spacious
  • Excellent value
  • Slightly dour interior design
  • Rivals are better to drive
  • Poor used values

At a glance

“If you’re after a good-value small family hatchback, then the Kia Cee’d is definitely worth a look. It’s stylish, spacious, practical and cheap to run, too.”

It's not long ago that Kia was deemed something of a ‘budget’ brand; focusing on value and low purchase price above all else. That's no longer the case, however.

Granted, the Kia Cee’d is still good value – with a relatively low purchase price and good standard equipment, but in terms of style, substance and quality, it's taken a huge leap forward.

It sits in an exceptionally competitive class and it needs to be truly excellent to take on the likes of the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane and Peugeot 308. Luckily, however, the Cee’d is right up there and worthy of consideration if you’re looking for a car of this type.

Unlike many of its rivals, the Kia Cee’d has a pretty simple trim level structure. There are just the six available, with very few options on top of those. The entry-level 1 model comes pretty well equipped, with DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, air-conditioning and even a cooled glove box. Our favourite, however, is the mid-range 3, which gets a touchscreen sat-nav system, dual-zone climate control, alloy wheels and cruise control as well.

Inside the Cee’d everything feels reasonably high quality – although not quite on par with the Volkswagen Golf – and it's well built, too. It lacks a little design flair, however, with very dark plastics dominating everything the dashboard. Everything is very well laid out, though, and easy to use.

In terms of the engines on offer, there are three petrols and two diesels, all of which come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. There's a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol to start the range off, plus a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol – both of which manage 98bhp. The most powerful petrol engine in the ‘standard’ range is a 133bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder.

If you’d prefer a diesel, there's an 89bhp 1.4 litre and a 134bhp 1.6-litre. Our favourites in the range are the 1.0-litre petrol (if you do most of your driving in town) while the 1.6-litre diesel offers the best combination of performance and efficiency if you’re going to be doing higher mileages.

There's also a high-performance GT version, which uses a 201bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine. For the amount of money Kia is asking, however, there are some more powerful rivals available, while the Cee’d GT's fuel economy isn’t fantastic, either. This means that it doesn’t do particularly well for either performance or running costs, leaving it in something of a no-man's-land.

In general, Kia has a good reputation for reliability – something backed up by the company's generous seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. Kia was also voted as the 14th-most popular manufacturer in the UK in our 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, while the Kia Cee’d itself came an impressive 34th out of 150 cars overall and was ranked 48th for reliability.

You’ll stay pretty safe, too, thanks to a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating and a host of standard safety equipment. This includes loads of airbags, a tyre-pressure monitoring system as well as the obligatory anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.4 / 5

Efficient diesels are a highlight of the Kia Cee’d range, while good-value pricing and servicing costs won’t break the bank

Engines, drive & performance

4 / 5

The Kia Cee’d is a safe and secure hatchback that handles reasonably well, although it can’t match rivals for driving fun

Interior & comfort

4.4 / 5

The Kia Cee'd interior is well made and organised

Practicality & boot space

4.8 / 5

The Kia Cee’d is a match for rivals when it comes to passenger and boot space, with plenty of cabin storage and a generous load area

Reliability & safety

4.4 / 5

Seven-year warranty demonstrates confidence that the Kia Cee’d will run like clockwork

What the others say

3.9 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"The Kia Cee'd is a well built and practical family hatchback. It's a shame it's let down by a dull drive."
4 / 5
"The Kia Ceed can compete with the best hatchbacks in a number of areas, so it should definitely feature on your shortlist."
4 / 5
"The Cee'd boasts a practical boot, as well as frugal engines with low CO2 emissions. However, the steering lacks feel, and rivals offer better handling."
7 / 10
"Despite some very good rivals, it wouldn’t be too difficult to justify choosing a Kia Cee’d, particularly with that unbeatable seven-year warranty."
What owners say 
4.3 /5 based on 17 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend

Owner rating:

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Last updated 
27 Apr 2016
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