Kia Cee'd Sportswagon review

Our Rating: 
2012 model
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Kia Cee'd Sportswagon offers more space than the Focus Estate, but lacks the sporty drive its name suggests

Big boot, decent cabin space, good quality
Awkward to fold rear seats, higher prices than you’d expect, firm ride

With sleek looks, a classy cabin and generous standard equipment, the latest Cee’d is another stylish addition to the Kia line-up . It’s even more desirable in Sportswagon form, which adds versatility to the hatch’s style. There’s a range of smooth petrol and frugal diesel engines to choose from, while a seven-year warranty provides real peace of mind.

Our choice: 1.6 CRDi 3

Engines, performance and drive


Despite its power advantage, the Cee’d isn't that much faster than a VW Golf Estate or Skoda Octavia Estate. Even so, its 1.6-litre engine is smooth and eager on the road and the gearbox has a light, precise action. Kia’s Flex Steer system lets you change the car’s steering weight to suit your driving style and the conditions, but you’ll struggle to notice the difference, so it’s best left in Normal mode. Still, the steering is direct, allowing you to place the Cee’d with confidence. And while it runs out of grip sooner than its rivals, it always feels planted and the firm low-speed ride softens up once you hit the motorway.

MPG, CO2 and running costs


At £21,095, the Sportswagon is one of the cheapest in its class. In 3 form, it’s crammed with kit, including touchscreen sat-nav (for which you’ll pay £750 extra on the Golf). Yet despite its low list price, high 116g/km CO2 emissions mean it’s the most costly company car, while private buyers won’t like predicted residual values of 36.3 per cent. When we tested the Kia Cee'd Sportswagon personally, we recorded a very respectable 47.4mpg economy on test, plus Kia’s Care-3 servicing plan covers all scheduled mechanical maintenance over three years for £329, or five years for £609.

Interior, design and technology


It's getting old, but the Cee’d still turns plenty of heads. Soft curves and a rising waistline give it a sportier appearance than more upright rivals, while 2 models and above get alloy wheels and eye-catching LED running lights as standard. Inside, a wraparound dashboard, some slick switchgear and decent materials give a quality feel, although the cabin isn’t as upmarket as that of the VW Golf. There’s plenty of equipment, too: our 3 test car came with satellite navigation, climate control and power mirrors as standard.

Practicality, comfort and boot space


In isolation, the Kia is a roomy family car. Yet at 528 litres, its boot is 82 litres smaller than the one in the Skoda Octavia Estate. On the plus side, folding the seats flat frees up 1,660 litres – that’s 40 litres more than in the Golf. There’s also a level boot floor, a low loading lip and some useful underfloor storage space.

Reliability and Safety


The seven-year manufacturer warranty suggests Kia is confident that its cars will be durable and trouble-free. The Cee’d didn’t feature in our  Driver Power 2013 survey, although Kia finished seventh in the manufacturer chart. All Cee’ds get six airbags and stability control, but only the £24,795 4 Tech has lane departure warning.

Disqus - noscript

Please, Kia, give us in the USA this great (Forte) wagon. The 5-door hatchback Forte GT just doesn't have enough boot space. There's virtually no competition in the USA in this class (really, only the Jetta wagon) so you can get a huge leg up on Focus, Elantra, Cruze, Mazda, etc., by offering a true wagon. Contrary to popular opinion, there are LOTS of potential buyers of smallish wagons in the US. PLEASE!!

hey ho..i have never owned a brand new car..but was looking to the 1.4 sw. very.attracted 55 and im a semi retired prof driver,former test driver &..driven everything u c on the uk roads and more..56 in may time to give up my hgv 1 offically bin doing it since i was 18(army and raf vet).like the look of this especially the o2 emms.and low tax in the uk..when they say the warranty covers bumper 2 bumper..what is or more importantly in plain speak what isnt covered..dont want tech talk just plain speaking!! one other thing..i wish i could configure my own interior on a new 1.4 sw as there is gubbins i DONT WANT and gubbins THAT I DO WANT,but without going to a higher spec model increasing costs and co2 etcetc that would really convince me and prob a few thousand other potential purchasers. like. good solid family estate i place it above griffin and blue oval eqiuvs.low emms.low rfl..good mpg(on mway i could do even higher mpg than kias best figures no probs easy peasy) like the other mpg returns too like service pack for 5 isg,cruise control,swc for audio, easy to maintain checks (oil etc) i REALLY DO PLACE THIS ABOVE THE OTHER TWO MENTIONED.i just need it to get to work,and do the family visits,shopping and of course i can get all my fishing stuff in here i cant in a grif/blue o WHAT DO I NOT LIKE?? the main fact that i cannot configure the 1.4 interior to WHAT I NEED both front seats with adjust lumber support /heated..quick clear demist ..and NO RUDDY ASHTRAYS!! free no smoking stickers for the other gubbins i do not need or want and a few mods i DO NEED.thats why kia should allow custom fits for the owners NOW THAT really would do the trick and put the icing on the cake for me and prob a few thousand other customers who want the base model refined to their own needs. of course too much and you would have to upgrade to a higher factory be sensible about kia how about it?? are you big enough to take the lead on base models from the major car makers??

Last updated: 28 Nov, 2012
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