Kia Cee'd Sportswagon

9 Oct, 2012 11:15am Tom Phillips

We give our verdict on the new Kia Cee'd Sportswagon estate as it arrives on British roads


The Cee’d Sportswagon offers just about everything its rivals do, including a smart cabin, loads of space and a refined, comfortable drive. The issue is that value was Kia’s selling point up to now, and while the new estate equals its peers in most key areas, it costs the same as they do, too.

Kia’s naming policy can be confusing at the best of times, and the new Cee’d Sportswagon is no different. It’s far from sporty to drive – although you can fit plenty of sports gear in its 528-litre boot.

The swept-back headlights and ‘tiger snout’ grille give the Sportswagon a smart, upmarket look, although the dumpy rear doesn’t quite live up to the front end’s visual promise.

It’s a comfortable car – the suspension absorbs speed bumps and potholes well, and the feeling is not unlike a big old Citroen. So it does a good job of discouraging spirited driving, but compensates by being relaxing around town and on longer motorway trips.

The interior is nicely built from a wide mix of soft-touch and glossy black plastics, plus a smattering of chrome.

Comfy seats and a decent driving position help to justify the Cee’d’s price – which is about the same as its Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra rivals.

Although closely related to the hatch, the estate boasts an extra 21mm front and 2mm rear headroom, plus a boot that holds 528 litres of luggage with the seats up, or 1,642 litres when they’re lowered.

The 1.6-litre diesel engine sounds gruff, especially when cold, although the noise calms down at higher speeds. There’s a decent 260Nm of torque from 2,000rpm, the six-speed box is slick and the steering light.

Optional FlexSteer lets you choose from three levels of steering feel: Sport, Normal or Comfort. You’ll probably try them all once, decide there’s no real difference between them and leave it on the default Comfort setting.

Key specs

  • Price: £21,095
  • Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 126bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph/Top speed: 10.8 secs/120mph
  • Economy/CO2: 64.2mpg/116g/km
  • Equipment: 16-inch alloys, air-con, cruise control, touchscreen sat-nav
  • On sale: Now