The new Kia Ceed is aiming to do something very daring – it’s aiming to take on the top-selling family hatchbacks at their own game. Where the 2012 Kia Ceed disappointed, the new Kia Ceed looks to succeed. But how do you rival the Focus-class hatchbacks? By being sharper, possessing more high quality, oodles of up-to-date technology, as well as a dash of eye-catching innovation that presents something different for the punter. Not much to ask then.
Still, we should all have little reason to doubt the new Kia Ceed when we look back at the phenomenal rise of the Korean motor industry in general. Anyone with a passing interest in automobiles will be all too aware that the rise of Kia to an industry giant is similar to the rise of, say, Facebook in social media circles. Kia are now no longer the budget guys we all poke fun at. They’re now major players, and the new Kia Ceed may just by their star player. Let’s take a closer look at what the Kia Ceed offers.
Kia must have charged someone with finding out what made the best family hatchbacks work. And whoever was charged with this particular job clearly did it well. Kia, formerly a budget brand, copied the family hatchback blueprint and emulated it to a tee – before advancing it.
The 2012 Kia Ceed made use of the multi-link rear suspension that was used by class leaders, the Focus and the VW Golf. It still isn’t universally used by the rest. But where the first generation new Kia Ceed displayed all the youthful naiveté of the young man who wants in with the big boys, poking his nose around, listening in for snatches of conversation, mimicking behaviours and adopting the mutual swagger shared by everyone else, this second generation new Kia Ceed has started to carve its own destiny. It’s taken what it’s learned and thought, ‘hang on a minute. I can do even better than those guys.’ It’s left the crowd behind.
This means the adoption of Flex Steer system so that drivers can choose their own level of feedback. It means an adoption of a state-of-the-art direct injection unit to replace boring petrol and Kia Ceed diesel engines. It means the adoption of a hi-tech double-clutch gear box to replace the dated Kia Ceed automatic gearbox. These additions don’t add up to the ultimate in driving dynamics, but they generate enough power to satisfy most family hatchback consumers. The 1.6-litre Kia Ceed diesel accelerates to 60mph in 11.5 seconds, whilst the top-of-the-range Kia Ceed GT generates 210bhp.
Kia claim that the new Kia Ceed is their most practical offering yet in the family hatchback sector, but anyone who takes a look at the new Kia Ceed would be forgiven for being a little sceptical regarding this assertion. It has a dynamic, edgy shape that all too often comes at a cost to practicality. But rear space is good, with tall people easily able to sit comfortably through long journeys, largely owing to an increase in roof space of 12mm. Body length has also been extended by 50mm, which creates more room for legs.
This length adjustment also sees the boot giving 40-litres of extra space, which at 380-litres makes it bigger than both a Focus and a Golf – 20% and 10% bigger respectively. Pretty good. Up front, any driver will have to get their head around a rather dizzying amount of buttons on the steering wheel. Still, if button clutter doesn’t bother you, the cabin itself oozes quality, with improvements implemented right across the board.
The Kia Ceed price range starts at £15,000 and rises to about £25,000, which pretty much sees a 30% rise in prices since 2007. Used Kia Ceed’s will invariably be a little cheaper. But that doesn’t take into account the amount of improvements that have since taken place, which have seen the new Kia Ceed Estate evolve from a mere follower to an out and out leader in its own right. Moreover, the Kia Ceed price range finds itself comfortably in line with those offered by the mainstream family hatchbacks. Kia Ceed deals include Kia Ceed GT and the Kia Ceed Sport.
Kia Ceed ecodynamics are worth mentioning. This five-seat family hatchback returns emissions of 100g/km of CO2, whilst running costs stand at 80mpg. To take advantage of Kia Ceed ecodynamics, you’d need to invest in the 126PS 1.6-litre CRDi diesel, which comes with an ISG start/stop system that automatically kills your engine when it’s not needed. Say, for example, when you’re stuck in traffic.
The new Kia Ceed is designed to challenge the duopoly of the Focus and the Golf. Some consumers will continue to ignore the kia Ceed, perhaps still prejudiced by the brand’s earlier reputation for being decidedly ‘budget.’ But things have changed, and the Kia Ceed is now a very viable alternative to the powerhouses of this segment. More and more customers are coming round to the idea of looking more closely at this Korean family hatchback, and all we can ask is: are you one of them?
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