Bosses at Kia are planting the Cee’ds of change! This is the first model to wear the new EcoDynamics badge – a green sub-brand that will eventually include hybrids, electric cars and even fuel cell vehicles.
The EcoDynamics hatch is powered by the 1.6-litre diesel, and for the first time gets ISG stop-start – technology Kia hopes to have fitted to 85 per cent of its cars by 2014. Low-rolling-resistance tyres and a new six-speed manual gearbox complete the modifications.
As a result, CO2 emissions fall from 119g/km in the standard 1.6 CRDi to 110g/km. Economy rises from 62.8mpg to 67.3mpg.
Besides the EcoDynamics bootlid badge, the newcomer looks identical to the rest of the revised range. So it gets the fresh nose and LED-effect tail-lights. Inside, a new centre console and aluminium trim improve things.
The 89bhp oil-burner feels flexible, and the stop-start cuts in unobtrusively in town and fires the diesel when you touch the clutch. Plus, the steering is weighty and the gearbox slick.
Kia offers the EcoDynamics in mid-range Cee’d 2 spec only, and charges more than for the regular car – the £14,195 price is the same as for the higher-powered 113bhp diesel. But the big fuel savings mean you’ll soon recoup that extra outlay.
Rival: Focus ECOnetic
Due for replacement at the end of 2010, the Ford leads the way with its sparkling handling and sharp styling. It’s pricier than the equivalent Cee’d, though.
* Price: £14,195
* Engine: 1.6-litre turbodiesel
* Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
* Power/torque: 89bhp/235Nm
* 0-62/top spd: 13.5s/107mph
* Econ/CO2: 67.3mpg/110g/km
* Equipment: iPod and Bluetooth connections, electric heated mirrors, 16-inch alloys, split-fold seats, six-speaker stereo
* On sale: Now