Kia Ceed Review & Prices

The Kia Ceed is an affordable family hatchback that’s impressively practical and comes packed with high-tech features as standard, but it's not the most fun to drive

Buy or lease the Kia Ceed at a price you’ll love
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RRP £23,105 - £31,215 Avg. Carwow saving £2,138 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£20,809
Monthly
£229*
Used
£9,500
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wowscore
7/10
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Good-sized boot
  • Lots of standard equipment
  • Very economical diesel engine

What's not so good

  • Unassuming interior
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Headroom's tight in the back

Find out more about the Kia Ceed

Is the Kia Ceed a good car?

The Kia Ceed is an affordable small family hatchback with a spacious interior and an impressively practical boot. Sure, it’s no show-stopper, but its smart looks mean it doesn’t have to rely on gimmick-ey punctuation (like the old Cee’d) to get noticed – a bit like a torturously named indie band who’s finally made the mainstream.

It isn’t just outside where the Kia Ceed has grown up and matured – it feels posher than ever inside, too. You get plenty of standard equipment, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen and smartphone mirroring, and there’s a smattering of metal-effect trims and loads of soft, squidgy plastic trims.

The seats are pretty supportive, too, and there’s more than enough adjustment for tall drivers to get comfy in the Kia Ceed’s front seats. Go for a top-spec car and you even get 10-way electric adjustment and electric lumbar support to prevent backache on long journeys.

Thankfully, back-seat comfort hasn’t been forgotten – space in the rear seats is very nearly as generous as is the front. As a result, there’s enough room for a six-foot passenger to sit behind an equally tall driver and the soft central seat and almost flat floor means there’s space for three adults to sit side-by-side – if not quite as much room as you get in a Golf.

It’s not just passengers the Kia Ceed can carry with ease – its boot is roomy, too. You’ll be able to squeeze more into its 395-litre boot than in almost any other small hatchback and the standard adjustable floor means there’s no load lip to worry about.

Flip the back seats down and there’s enough space to carry a bike with its wheel attached, too. In fact, the only thorn in the side of the impressive practical Kia Ceed is that there isn’t quite enough space under the boot floor to store the parcel shelf.

The latest Kia Ceed might have lost the old version’s oddly placed apostrophe, but it’s gained a bucketload of upmarket features and a seriously stylish new look

There’s only one engine option for the Kia Ceed hatch and it’s a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol motor. Thankfully, it’s a good choice as it has plenty of low-down pull for getting you on the move and out of junctions sharpish.

It’s also smooth and quiet on the motorway, and it works its way through the six-speed manual gearbox easily thanks to a clutch pedal that doesn’t demand you have legs like a champion weightlifter.

This engine is also reasonably easy on fuel economy and emissions, so it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg to run.

The light controls and large windows help make manoeuvring through town as easy as possible and its supple suspension does an excellent job of ironing out large potholes. It’s pretty quiet at speed, too – despite a little door-mirror-induced wind noise – and even entry-level cars get cruise control as standard.

Sure, it’s not as much fun to drive as a Ford Focus – even in its sportiest GT-Line guise. But the Ceed comes with plenty of high-tech features designed to make it as safe as possible. It hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP yet, but the standard automatic emergency braking, cruise control and lane-keeping assist should help make it one of the safest small family cars on sale.

If you’re looking for a safe, well-equipped and comfortable family car and aren’t too fussed about fancy badges or sporty handling, the Kia Ceed makes an excellent choice. To find out how much you could save on a Kia Ceed when buying through carwow, check out the latest new Kia Ceed deals and used Kia listings.

How much is the Kia Ceed?

The Kia Ceed has a RRP range of £23,105 to £31,215. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,138. Prices start at £20,809 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £229. The price of a used Kia Ceed on Carwow starts at £9,500.

Our most popular versions of the Kia Ceed are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.5T GDi ISG 138 2 5dr £20,809 Compare offers

Kia has slimmed down the Ceed hatch’s line-up to a mere two models, which both use the same engine and gearbox. As a result, it’s a pretty simple decision between the entry-point 3 trim and the more opulently fitted out GT-Line.

There’s nothing much missing from the 3 trim, while upgrading to the GT-Line will add £830 to the final bill.

Another way in which Kia keeps it easy is there are only two options for the Ceed, and both are paint finishes. So, you can pay £270 for the optional paint or £580 for the Premium shades.

Performance and drive comfort

The Kia Ceed is comfortable, speedy enough, and easy around town, but there’s too much tyre noise on the motorway

In town

If you spend most of your time taxying the kids between after-school activities or commuting to work through treacly traffic, the Kia Ceed is a great companion. For starters, its turning circle is one of the tightest in this class of family hatchback.

If you don’t think that’s important, wait till you need to turn right at a mini roundabout and you’ll soon find out what a valuable asset this is. It just makes city driving so much easier when you know you’re not going to catch a kerb or scuff one of those expensive-to-fix alloy wheels.

The rest of the Kia’s controls are light and just as much on your side. The clutch pedal doesn’t ask much of your leg muscles, while the six-speed manual gearbox has a simple, undemanding shift. It’s a shame there isn’t an automatic gearbox option for the Ceed hatch, though, as that would make it almost unbeatable in town.

Even so, there’s good all-round vision for the driver and the door mirrors let you see what’s going on without being too big or cumbersome when nipping through tight gaps.

Supple suspension deals with all the usual potholes and speed humps with calm efficiency, while the Ceed’s seats are supportive and comfy. You get seat height adjustment for the driver’s chair, as well as electric lumbar movement in both trims and height and reach movement for the steering wheel. However, only the GT-Line gets a heated steering wheel and front seats.

On the motorway

Getting up to speed in the Kia Ceed is not a problem, as the 1.5-litre turbo petrol revs keenly. It does need a few revs as you pull away to avoid it feeling sluggish, though.

On the move, the six-speed gearbox has a light, accurate action, and the Ceed is very stable and sure-footed in crosswinds or as you pass trucks on the motorway.

The one thing that spoils the Ceed’s overall talents as a long-distance cruiser is the amount of tyre noise kicked up at higher speeds. It means you need to raise your voice to chat to a passenger or turn up the stereo volume a bit more than ever feels good for your ears.

On a twisty road

Kia has come up with a superb balance between comfort and agility with Ceed. It deals with the rat-a-ta-tat of poor roads really well, so the car is comfortable and poised.

Along with the surprisingly quick-acting steering response and decent feel, the Ceed is a lot sportier in its outlook than most cars in this sector.

However, it’s not quite on a par with a Ford Focus when you push harder along twisty roads. Drive like this and the Kia shows it’s happier to drive more moderately.

Still, the 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine likes being used with revs showing on the dial, but also keeps quiet when you just want to get to your destination with minimum fuss.

Space and practicality

Kia has made the Ceed’s cabin plusher and posher, and there’s lots of standard kit. However, some hatchback alternatives still have the edge when it comes to overall design

Kia has upped its game in the Ceed’s cabin, which means it looks and, more importantly, feels a good bit plusher than it did before. This is down to a lot of soft-touch fabrics and plenty of padding in places like the door’s armrests and the centre console lid. You even get a bit of padding on the dashboard’s covering, so it all gives a much more premium impression.

This sensation carries over to the seats, which are trimmed in fabrics that lift the interior ambience above the usual drab grey and black assault on the eyes of most cars in this class.

The driver’s seat comes with height adjustment in all models of Ceed, and you also get electric lumbar adjustment included. However, only the top spec GT-Line model comes with heated front seats and steering wheel.

Taller drivers will appreciate how far the steering wheel can be pulled out towards you, and it also moves for angle, so there are no issues with any driver finding the perfect seating position in the Ceed.

All-round vision is among the best in this class, and every Ceed comes with rear parking sensors and reversing camera. You also get cruise control.

As for storing all your worldly possessions, or at least what you need in the car, the Ceed provides small door bins but they can handle a 1.0-litre water bottle. There are cup holders in between the front seats, with an oddments tray in front of the gear lever. Further back is a lidded cubby, and the glovebox is just about big enough to cope with the owner’s manual and not much more.

Space in the back seats

There’s been a lot of thought gone into the back seats of the Kia Ceed. The result is it all just works without you having to think about it, which is the mark of good design.

There's plentyof room for rear passenger’s knees and heads, and you can fit three adults across the bench, though the styling of the Kia means those in the outer two seats will find their heads brushing the upper door frame where it curves in.

Still, the person in the middle seat gets sufficient space for their feet and the raised cushion doesn’t compromise head room.

There are wide-opening rear doors and enough space for a full-size rear-facing child seat. It’s also a breeze to locate the two ISOFIX mounts on each of the outer rear chairs.

Boot space

There’s a lot to like about the Kia Ceed’s boot, not least the generous 395-litres of load space it dishes up in its usual configuration.

Not having a load lip makes it easy to slide in heavy bags through the large tailgate opening, and you get a couple of bag hooks. There are also tie-down points and a 12-volt power point in here.

Folding the 60-40 split rear seat is one of the easiest operations of its kind in this class of car. Just pull the catch and push them down. This leaves a long, flat load floor with up to 1291 litres of space for those exciting trips to the local dump.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Kia has made the tech inside the Ceed as easy to use and good-looking as the rest of the car, though it does have its quirks

There are lots of soft-touch surfaces now inside the Kia Ceed, which lend it the appearance and ambience of an Audi or BMW. This is more than skin deep, too, as all of the controls have a precise feel, so when you hold the steering wheel or change gear, your hand is resting on leather in any of the Ceed’s trim levels.

The Ceed chooses a different path for its main instrument cluster to the direction most cars in this sector are heading. Where so many now have an all-digital dash display, the Ceed retains two large, round analogue dials for speed and engine revs. OId fashioned? Not when the clocks look this good and show this vital information in a clear, quick to read manner.

In between these two dials sits a 4.2-inch digital info cluster, which you can configure with the steering wheel buttons. You can also use these buttons to operate the main infotainment screen, as well as the cruise control, hands-free phone connection, and various other features.

In the centre of the dash, mounted up high, is the 10.25-inch touchscreen that is standard across the Ceed range for its infotainment.

The touchscreen has been improved a lot over the previous Ceed and it now has a much crisper display and graphics, and it’s much quicker to respond to your finger’s movements.

Kia provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to let you connect your phone to the infotainment system. With an Apple phone, the display uses the full width of the touchscreen, but Android Auto still comes with a blank space on the right-hand side for some reason, which seems a waste of the screen.

Kia could also do with improving the sound quality of the stereo in the Ceed. It has six speakers, but it sounds quite weak and tinny, almost as if the sound is coming from the bottom of a deep, dark well.

Beneath the infotainment screen are the heater controls, which are all very simple and quickly understood. With rotary dials for the temperature, it takes no effort to adjust the heat as you’re driving.

MPG, emissions and tax

The 160hp 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine in the Kia Ceed delivers the same fuel economy and emissions regardless of which trim you choose. Both the 3 and GT-Line ride on 17-inch alloy wheels and offer 49.6mpg average consumption. They also both produce 129g/km of carbon dioxide.

Those figures are decent enough in isolation, but they are not as good as a number of other petrol-powered rivals. If you then look at the economy and emissions from small family hatches like the Ford Focus and Seat Leon that registers closer to 70mpg, the Kia begins to look a bit behind the curve.

However, the Ceed offers 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds according to the official figures. Achieving this in the real world needs careful balancing of the engine’s revs off the line, and nobody drives like this anyway. More relevant is the smooth power delivery of the Ceed’s engine on the move that allows you to leave the car in a higher gear for much of the time to maximise economy.

Safety and security

Whichever Kia Ceed you choose, it will come with six airbags, two ISOFIX child seat mounts, automatic emergency braking, and Lane Follow and Keeping Assist. There’s also a driver attention warning in case you feel drowsy at the wheel, Leading Vehicle Departure Warning, and hill start assistance. Both trims also have Forward Collision Avoidance that can spot people and cyclists.

Reliability and problems

Kia routinely finds itself at or near the top of reliability surveys, and this seems more than justified when talking to owners. The cars are very reliable and Kia is confident in its products, so it offers a superb seven-year/100,000-mile warranty as standard with the Ceed. Only Toyota can better that with its 10-year warranty.

Buy or lease the Kia Ceed at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £23,105 - £31,215 Avg. Carwow saving £2,138 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£20,809
Monthly
£229*
Used
£9,500
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers Compare used deals
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