Kia Ceed Sportswagon estate review
"The Kia Ceed Sportswagon is a well equipped family estate car with a big boot and reassuring warranty"
- Good passenger and boot space
- Excellent interior quality
- Long warranty
- Only average to drive
- No high-performance model
- Firm ride with larger wheels
It's hard to believe this is only the third generation of Kia Ceed Sportswagon estate, because the practical model has matured into a real contender to the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, SEAT Leon ST and even the venerable Volkswagen Golf Estate. That's not to mention the Skoda Octavia Estate, which could be considered the Ceed Sportswagon's closest rival.
While not exactly daring in its design, the Ceed Sportswagon is rather swoopy compared to the angular Octavia Estate, and its Kia Stinger-inspired nose and 'ice-cube' LED daytime running lights also help it cut a dash. Like the Skoda, a long rear overhang, elongated roofline and roof rails make it hard to believe it's based on a humble hatchback. A 115mm increase in length has allowed engineers to increase the boot volume to 600 litres.
Interior quality has gone in the right direction, too, almost matching the class leaders for soft-touch materials and a sturdy feel. The 'floating' infotainment screen looks good, is intuitive to use and comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard.
In fact, there's lots of desirable kit such as sat nav with TomTom maps and traffic information, a JBL stereo and heated windscreen. The entry-level ‘2’ grade has cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and a seven-inch touchscreen, while ‘2 NAV’ cars get a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen and sat nav. The flagship ‘3’ trim adds larger 17-inch alloy wheels and privacy glass, dual-zone climate control and even a fast charger for portable devices.
Two petrols and a sole diesel form the standard engine range, along with a flagship plug-in hybrid petrol that was introduced in mid-2020. The PHEV is the most to buy, and the most efficient model in the lineup, with a pure-electric range of up to 29 miles and claimed fuel economy of up to 188.3mpg.
Our recommendation is the entry-level 1.0-litre T-GDI with 118bhp, which is smooth for a three-cylinder engine and has plenty of power in urban driving. It can return up to 49.6mpg and is the most affordable option for both business and private buyers. The 1.4-litre T-GDI petrol is probably worthwhile if you plan on filling the Ceed Sportswagon with people and luggage, with 138bhp helping it accelerate up to speed. A 1.6-litre CRDi diesel is also available for high-mileage drivers, averaging up to 60mpg.
It's too early to say how reliable the latest Ceed Sportswagon will be, but a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty is likely to reassure buyers. They should also be unlikely to need it if Kia's second place in our 2020 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey is anything to go by.
Improvements in the Ceed Sportswagon's design could see Kia head further up the manufacturer rankings, because customers should find practicality, design and technology have all gone in the right direction, making it an impressive all-rounder.