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Kia Cee'd Sportswagon estate (2012-2018) - Engines, drive & performance

The Kia Cee’d SW is effortless and comfortable to drive

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.5 out of 5

As we said earlier, the Kia Cee’d Sportswagon might look sporty, but it doesn’t feel it. Instead, ‘Comfortwagon’ would be a more accurate name, because that’s exactly what this estate is: comfortable, relaxing and easy to drive.

The diesels are not the most powerful engines in the class (you’ll need to change down a gear if you want to get your fully laden Sportswagon up a steep hill) but they are at least smooth and quiet.

The car’s steering is more relaxed than responsive, too. The 2 model and above have Kia’s adjustable FlexSteer system, offering three different weights. The heaviest makes the car feel a little more controllable on twisty roads. The ride is on the firm side, but softens up at speed. All in all, if you want a more engaging drive, you’d be better off with a Ford Focus Estate.

Kia Cee’d Sportswagon petrol engines

The 1.4-litre petrol is very slow (0-62mph takes 12.6 seconds and top speed is 112mph), but it’s the cheapest model in the range. For drivers who just potter about lightly laden, it may be ideal. Our pick of the petrols, though, is the 1.0-litre turbo. Available with 118bhp, it makes a pleasing noise and is pretty smooth, taking 11 seconds to reach 62mph from rest. But, thanks to their low-down power, the diesel engines make more sense in an estate car that could frequently carry a full load.

Diesel engines

The 1.4-litre CRDI diesel takes the crown as the slowest engine in the Cee’d SW range, and it doesn't even have the best fuel economy figure to compensate. Instead, the best all-rounder is the 1.6-litre CRDI. It does 0-62mph in 10.1 seconds and has a top speed of 121mph. There’s just enough pulling power for a fully laden Sportswagon, but little in reserve. The 116bhp Ford Focus 1.5-litre TDCi gets from 0-62mph in 10.7 seconds and it produces its maximum pulling power at much lower revs, so feels the more sprightly and capable of the two.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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