Kia XCeed Review & Prices
The Kia XCeed has a higher ride height, a range of cheap-to-run engines and lots of kit as standard. There are more comfortable SUVs with better rear space, though
Find out more about the Kia XCeed
The Kia XCeed is to small SUVs what an all-inclusive holiday in Bali is to backpacking through rainforests and sleeping in a tent. It’s a taste of what it’s like to own a high-riding off-roader, but something you can experience without leaving the hatchback comfort zone.
Unlike the Volkswagen T-Cross and Skoda Karoq, the XCeed looks like a conventional family car that’s put on a pair of hiking boots and bought a practical backpack. It comes with some chunky black bumper protectors, raised suspension and contrasting trims that mimic the skid plates on full-blown off-roaders. But, like the Ford Focus Active, its rounded, hatchback-based body bucks the SUV trend for hard edges and square silhouettes.
Step inside and the theme continues. Despite the slightly raised view out, the XCeed’s interior looks and feels almost identical to that of the Ceed hatchback. It’s not as colourful as the T-Cross’s interior can be, but all the XCeed’s buttons are laid out sensibly, the plastic trims feel pretty solid and you get a decent infotainment system with smartphone connectivity as standard.
At first glance, the XCeed doesn’t really look like an SUV. However, it’s actually wider, longer and taller than the Ceed hatchback on which it’s based. Honest
Practicality is a strong suit for the XCeed. There’s a decent amount of space in the front with a useful range of seat adjustment, but adults will find the back seats pretty cramped. Another plus point, though, is that the boot is bigger than just about anything else you might consider.
There are two engines to choose from: a 1.5-litre with 160hp and a 1.6-litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid. The petrol engine will probably be your first choice if you do longer journeys, but if your typical journey is fairly short and you can keep the batteries charged, the hybrid will offer better economy.
Sadly, neither of these engines makes the Kia XCeed particularly exciting to drive. Sure, it doesn’t lean a great deal in sharp corners and it has plenty of grip – despite not having four-wheel drive – but it can’t match the agility or comfort of the Ford Focus Active.
That said, the Kia XCeed’s light controls make it pretty easy to drive in town and it comes with a good range of standard safety features.
If you’re looking for a small SUV that prioritises safety over sportiness, the Kia XCeed is well worth considering. But bear in mind that there are plenty of comfier and roomier alternatives out there that are worth test driving too.
See how much you can save on your next new car by visiting our Kia XCeed deals page or check out some great used Kia XCeed models. You can also browse other used Kias and if you need to sell your current car, carwow can help with that, too.
The Kia XCeed has a RRP range of £23,770 to £33,495. However, with carwow you can save on average £2,275. Prices start at £21,587 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £216. The price of a used Kia XCeed on carwow starts at £10,390.
Our most popular versions of the Kia XCeed are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.5T GDi ISG 2 5dr||£21,587||Compare offers|
The XCeed is an unusual proposition – a mid-size hatchback with SUV-alike styling. The Citroen C4, Fiat Tipo Cross and Ford Focus Active are the only direct alternatives and they all cost more than the Kia. The Dacia Sandero Stepway applies the same concept to a smaller hatchback and costs considerably less.
There are four trim levels (2, 3, GT-Line and GT-Line S) to go with the petrol, while the plug-in hybrid is only offered in the '3' trim. All petrol engines have a manual option, but GT-Line S models can be specified with an auto and the plug-in hybrid is automatic only.
The XCeed offers quite sprightly performance and a comfortable ride, but be aware that thick pillars and a fairly small rear window don’t help visibility
The XCeed’s raised suspension (44mm taller than a Ceed hatchback) means it’s great at soaking up the potholes and speed humps that pepper urban roads. So the ride is really comfortable. Sharp-edged ridges and bumps can thump through the car, but it’s never unsettled.
You also sit a bit higher than in the Ceed, so you get a better view out. The driving position is good, too – the seat and steering adjust forwards and backwards, and up and down, to position them exactly where you want them. Thick rear pillars and a smallish back window restrict the view out of the back, but you get a reversing camera as standard to help with manoeuvring. The 3 trim level also has rear parking sensors, while the top-spec GT-Line S adds front sensors.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain is best for driving around town – it has a zero-emissions range of up to 30 miles. Of the petrol-engined models covered here, the 1.0-litre engine is the better bet. It feels quite nippy and uses less fuel.
On the motorway
The 1.5-litre petrol has enough grunt to get you up to motorway speeds comfortably, even if you have some luggage and passengers on board.
Both petrol and hybrid engines are smooth and quiet. The car feels really safe and solid at 70mph, the suspension is soft and the seats give good support. Long journeys can be quite enjoyable. It’s certainly more relaxing than the Fiat Tipo Cross and Dacia Sandero Stepway, if not the Citroen C4 or Ford Focus Active.
On a twisty road
The XCeed feels much like the regular Ceed hatchback on a twisty road. It feels agile, the steering’s light and responsive, and there’s plenty of grip. You trust it’s going to get you along the road safely and securely. Comfortably, too. Again, the suspension soaks up holes and bumps well, so the car always feels stable, even if you hit a really big one mid-corner. The suspension’s extra height does mean the XCeed leans over a bit more than the Ceed hatchback, but it’s well controlled.
The engines aren't particularly exciting, but the XCeed is fine on a country road. You’ll have more fun in a Focus Active, but every other alternative copes with enthusiastic driving less well than the Kia.
The XCeed has plenty of space for family car duties, but back seat headroom is a tight bit for adults
There are no complaints about space in XCeed’s front seats. There’s loads of head, leg and shoulder room. Only if you’re really very tall are you likely to need more. It’s easy to get comfortable and the raised suspension means the XCeed is easier to get into than a regular hatchback. You’ll probably still need to bend down a bit, but not as much.
There’s the usual selection of storage compartments: door bins that can hold a litre bottle, deep cubby hole under the centre armrest, a pair of cupholders in the centre console, phone tray in front of the gear stick and a decent-size glovebox. If you need more places to stash your stuff, check out the Citroen C4, which has a huge drawer in the dashboard.
Space in the back seats
Space in the back of the XCeed is pretty much exactly average. Children have room to stretch out, adults less so. Legroom is fine for anyone under six feet tall. Anyone taller than average might find headroom a bit tight, especially with the sunroof fitted to the GT-Line S model. Though the back is a bit gloomy without it.
Fitting a child seat is straightforward. The back doors open wide and the ISOFIX mounts are easy to find. You may have to adjust the position of the front seats for a rear-facing child seat. The suspension’s extra height means you don’t have to bend down much to help little ones in and out.
For storage, there’s biggish door bins, a pair of cupholders and pockets on the back of the front seats.
The XCeed has enough space for a young family but, if you need lots of passenger space, check out the Skoda Kamiq.
The XCeed is a different, longer shape to the Ceed hatchback, which creates a usefully larger boot. In fact, its 426-litre capacity is bigger than just about every alternative we’ve mentioned.
The Citroen C4 and Ford Focus lag well behind on 380 litres and 390 litres respectively, though the Ford Puma – a somewhat relevant alternative – can beat the Kia with 456 litres.
That XCeed 426-litre figure applies when the height-adjustable boot floor is at its lowest level. At the higher level there’s less space but also less of a loading lip, so lugging stuff in is easier. A couple of big suitcases fit with room to spare, as does a large pushchair.
The back seats fold down in two sections if you need to carry anything big and bulky. Just be careful of the back window. It slopes quite steeply and limits how much stuff you can cram in. Capacity with the rear seats folded is 1,378 litres.
It's all quite pleasant and straightforward inside, but remember that higher trims are the ones that get the full suite of connectivity
The XCeed’s interior is exactly the same as the Ceed hatchback. If you’re switching from one to the other, you’ll instantly feel at home. If you’re not familiar, you soon will be because the dashboard layout is a doddle to get to grips with. The heating and ventilation is controlled by buttons and knobs, bucking the trend for touch-sensitive controls. Further up the dashboard, there’s a row of shortcut buttons (more on the steering wheel). The driver’s dials are easy to read and the digital display gives lots of useful information.
Entry level '2' cars get an 8.0-inch infotainment display, but all others get a crisp, responsive 10.25-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment. It’s a decent system (certainly better than Volkswagen’s) featuring sat nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth, plus all the vehicle settings. Fortunately, even cars with the smaller screen have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Other standard features include air con, cruise control, four electric windows and keyless entry. Upgrading to the 3 adds dual-zone climate control, and heated front seats and steering wheel. The top-spec GT-Line S also has a 12.3-inch digital drivers display, leather seats, wireless charging pad and an opening panoramic sunroof.
The 1.5-litre petrol has official fuel economy of up to 46.3mpg, while the plug-in hybrid suggests 201mpg is possible. However, with the latter, you will only achieve this figure if you can regularly charge the car's batteries and stick to fairly short journeys. If you mostly drive long distances, the petrol will be the better bet.
Regardless, the petrol's numbers aren’t great for this type of car. Pretty much every alternative is more efficient. For comparison the Citroen C4, Skoda Kamiq and Fiat Tipo Cross can all exceed 50mpg, according to the official figures.
Vehicle excise duty costs £165 per year once the car turns a year old but company car drivers should check out the plug-in hybrid XCeed for the lower benefit-in-kind rates.
The safety experts at Euro NCAP haven’t assessed the XCeed, however they have put the Ceed hatchback through its paces. It scored a four-star rating (out of five) in its standard form, or five stars when fitted with some optional safety features.
Safety tech fitted to the XCeed includes automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, driver attention monitor, speed limit recognition and adaptive cruise control, depending on which model you get.
The XCeed has developed a very strong reputation for itself, and has topped owner satisfaction survey, proving that XCeed owners are very happy with their cars. Kias tend to be very reliable and well made, and we’re not aware of any serious Xceed issues. There haven’t been any recalls, either.
Kia’s industry-leading 7-year/100,000-mile warranty gives you the reassurance of long-term, manufacturer-backed support.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.