The new Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback is stylish, entertaining on the road, and boasts a classy interior.
Kia have come a long way over the years as a brand, and the Cee’d represents just how far. It’s a confident, assured car that’s a solid rival to the established names in this sector. Whereas in previous years buyers would have snapped up a Focus without giving the Cee’d a second glance, things are now a lot different.
Indeed, it’s even hard to tell the Cee’d apart from a Golf in terms of quality.
Kia started manufacturing cars in South Korea in 1974, but they got their start making parts for bicycles. Read more about Kia’s history in our summary.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback review.
Overview of the Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback
On the Road
The new Cee’d is a lot more engaging than it ever has been, with Kia quickening up its steering and fine-tuning its chassis so that it’s sharper.
There are two driver’s settings to choose from – Normal and Sport. They each adjust the sensitivity of the throttle and the feel of the steering so that the car is either as relaxed or as sporty as you prefer.
The steering is overall well-weighted and nice and direct, and body lean has been minimised. However, ride comfort continues to be a problem. Even on 17” alloys, the Cee’d offers a firm ride that struggles to soften up.
In terms of its engines, there’s just the one diesel available. This is a brand new 1.6-litre CRDi engine that’s available in two separate guises. The smaller of the pair develops 113bhp and has a 0-62 time of 10.9 seconds when paired up with the standard manual gearbox.
The bigger variant, meanwhile, develops 134bhp, comes paired up with an automatic ‘box as standard, and has a 0-62 time of 9.9 seconds.
Our top pick is the 113bhp. It’s got all the power, pace and performance that a car like this needs, and it’s smooth, quiet and clean. Moreover, it offers just as much torque as the bigger variant – or, at least, there or thereabouts.
That said, if you’ll be spending most of your time on A roads or the motorway, the bigger 134bhp variant is probably a better shout.
By 2019, a Kia Cee’d hybrid model will also be available.
Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback Interior, Design and Build
The Cee’d has never looked classier inside. Interior quality is now on par with what its rivals are offering, while refinement is excellent.
Now in its third generation, the latest Cee’d is worlds apart from the first generation model. The tactile surfaces are attractive, as is the touchscreen, while all the buttons and switches work perfectly and look great.
The touchscreen is a very modern affair, while Kia have slimmed down the fascia. This means more room for the driver and better visibility.
Button clutter has been reduced, but there are still some physical buttons on hand – just as they should be.
Is the Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback practical? Kia have redesigned the car’s shape and this has increased passenger space. It’s a clever move on Kia’s part because it isn’t much bigger than last time, which means it’s still just as easy to park.
Rear seated passengers benefit from 34mm more shoulder room, while headroom has increased by 16mm thanks to the rear bench sitting lower than last time.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 395-litres. It’s one of the biggest in this class, and when you fold the rear seats you can extend it to 1,291-litres. The boot lip is smaller than last time, while a split-level boot floor has improved its user-friendliness.
Is Kia a reliable manufacturer? Read our honest and unbiased assessment of the brand.
Equipment and Safety of the Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback
We don’t have access to what exactly will be offered with each trim just yet, while Kia are still to confirm the exact trims that will be available on these shores.
What we do know is that the entry-level trim will come with real and synthetic leather seats as optional extras, and cloth seats as standard. It’s expected that most trims will come with a 7” infotainment touchscreen, although the more expensive trims will get an 8” screen that comes complete with sat-nav.
Optional extras will include a neat JBL Premium sounds system, wireless charging and heated front and rear seats. The front seats will also be ventilated.
In terms of how safe the car is, Euro NCAP is still to crash test the new model but both the first and second generation Cee’d’s scored 5/5 for their crash tests.
Kia have added more safety kit since then, including autonomous emergency braking, auto-dipping headlights, lane-keeping assistance, lane-following assistance and driver attention warning.
Costs of the Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback
Prices for the new car start at £14,515. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the smallest variant of the 1.0-litre diesel engine can return as much as 74.3mpg economy on a good day and emits less than 100g/km of CO2. This qualifies it for a BiK rating of 20%.
The bigger diesel, meanwhile, manages returns of 65.6mpg, emits 111g/km and has a BiK rating of 27%.
Pros and Cons of the Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback
It’s so slick that it’s hard to believe it’s a Kia.
Famous 7-year warranty
The warranty is a major part of any Kia car’s appeal.
It isn’t quite a premium car but there is definitely an upmarket feel inside the cabin.
Lacks badge appeal
Kia is still not an established name.
It’s not too bad on smaller alloys, but ride quality will be compromised if you specify the bigger alloys.
Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback vs Ford Focus vs Vauxhall Astra
Let’s see how the car compares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback review.
Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback vs Ford Focus
The Ford Focus has been the most popular car in this sector of the market for years and years. But has the slick and modern Kia finally caught it up?
Ford must have seen the Cee’d coming and have restyled their beloved Focus so that it has a dynamism and edge to it not seen before.
On the road, it’s pretty much as you were; the Focus has always been the best handling car in this market and it remains so in 2018. Although Ford watered things down last time around, they’ve started from scratch for the new model and it’s as sporty as ever.
To that end, they’ve used their brand new C2 platform for the first time. As a result, the car is more rigid than before, as well as stiffer and lighter.
In other words, it’s never handled this well.
In terms of its engines, there are a couple of diesels available. Kicking things off is a 1.5-litre EcoBlue engine that develops 94bhp, and which has a 0-62 time of 11.4 seconds.
A 118bhp variant of the same engine is also available, and it can whizz you from rest to 62mph in 10.2 seconds if you specify the automatic ‘box. Stick to the manual and it completes the same sprint in 10.0 seconds flat.
Rounding off the range is a bigger 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel power plant that develops 148bhp.
Running costs? Both the 94 and 118bhp variants of the 1.5-litre engine are able to return as much as 80.7mpg on a good day, and they emit just 94g/km of CO2. This gives them a BiK rating of 23%.
The bigger diesel, meanwhile, is good for returns of 64.2mpg, while emissions stand at 114g/km.
Inside, there’s a lot to love about the latest Focus. There’s never been this much quality, while the design is slicker than ever, too. The materials are soft to the touch and easy on the eye, while various trims get the likes of carbon-effect, wood grain and smart metallic materials.
We wouldn’t say it’s the plushest cabin in this market, but it’s definitely the plushest Focus yet.
Is the Ford Focus practical? Ford have redesigned the car’s layout so that rear seated passengers are treated better. Those upfront benefit from multi-adjustable seats, while the brand have made an effort to clear up a lot of the clutter that was getting in the way last time around.
The boot, meanwhile, measures a competitive 375-litres. That’s smaller than the Kia but good for this class. Moreover, it’s some 50-litres bigger than its predecessor.
Kia – £14,515
Ford – £17,705
Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback vs Vauxhall Astra
The new Vauxhall Astra is – just like the Focus – the best version so far. It’s efficient and looks great.
It’s also really fun to drive. One of the reasons for this is that Vauxhall have shaved so much weight off its body, with the result being better handling and faster acceleration.
Ride quality is good, there’s plenty of grip available and the controls are user-friendly. Add the precise and light steering, and you’ve got a car that – while it’s not quite on par with the Focus – is one of the best to drive in this class.
In terms of its engines, there’s just the one diesel available but it comes with three separate power outputs. The smallest of the three develops 109bhp, the mid-range variant develops 134bhp, and the biggest variant produces 158bhp.
All versions are fairly quiet, but the 134bhp engine is our top pick. It has a 0-62 time of 9.0 seconds, which should satisfy most buyers.
Running costs? The Astra actually uses what are known as “whisper” diesel engines, which boost efficiency. The 109bhp engine is super economical and can return as much as 85.6mpg on a good day, while emissions are as low as 88g/km of CO2.
Even the biggest diesel can manage returns of 64.2mpg, which is still impressive.
Inside, the Astra is smart, stylish and covered with lots of soft-touch materials. It’s a top-notch cabin that’s comfortable and easy to access.
A big touchscreen dominates the dashboard and reduces the need for button clutter. If you opt for the most expensive trim, your screen will be as large as 8”. It’s really easy to operate, too.
Is the Vauxhall Astra practical? There’s plenty of space for four adults to sit comfortably, even on longer trips. Five could probably sit in comfort on shorter journeys, too.
Rear-seated passengers now enjoy 35mm extra knee room than last time, headroom is excellent and getting in and out is easy.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 370-litres, which is par for the course in this class.
Vauxhall – £17,795 – £27,415
Verdict of our 2018 Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback Review
There’s a lot that’s new for the 2018 Cee’d – new engines, a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission and a new look. Thanks to all of this, the car should gain some new fans, and rightly so. The Kia Cee’d Diesel Hatchback sparkles with a dynamism that now makes it a very viable alternative to the established players in this sector.
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