Quarter final 3
Kia Cee'd vs Volkswagen Golf
EntrantsWINNER: Volkswagen Golf (£14,850-£31,980) Our choice: 1.4 TSI (122PS) SE
RUNNER-UP: Kia Cee’d (£10,995-£16,850) Our choice: 1.6 CRDi 2 EcoDynamics
You have to feel sorry for the Kia Cee’d – when the draw was made for the quarter finals, it got one of the toughest names out of the hat. The Volkswagen Golf is the car that sets the standard in the small family car class, and has a history stretching back 36 years.
The past counts for nothing here, though, and while the Cee’d only arrived in 2007, it has already been facelifted. It now features stop/start technology on some models, and comes with the backing of the longest new car warranty in the business.
If the VW thought it only had to turn up to clinch a routine victory, it was in for a shock. The Kia is every bit as good to drive as it is to look at, and with its affordable prices and a lively 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine, it raced into an early lead. Was a shock on the cards?
The VW was never going to lie down easily and while the two cars are evenly matched on size, the shorter Golf provides marginally more load space – 350 litres versus 340. Where it really scores is on quality, though, because the sensibly laid out cabin is good enough to rival a compact executive model. It feels like a premium machine from behind the wheel and delivers a sharper driving experience, too, with brilliant handling and class-leading comfort and refinement.
The Golf line-up is also huge. It starts with the brilliant entry-level 1.4-litre TSI petrol and includes torquey diesels, an economical BlueMotion model (tested on Page 88) and hot GTI and GTD variants. There isn’t a weak powerplant in the line-up and the brand’s excellent DSG gearboxes help put it back on level terms.
When it comes to desirability there really is no contest. Few, if any, of cars in our 40-strong field can hold a candle to the VW where image is concerned. So after a slow start, the classy Golf overwhelmed the Cee’d with its breadth of ability to move into the semis.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe name best family car on sale in 2010’s biggest road test.
- 2Final: Skoda Superb vs Renault ScenicMPV champ meets our top hatch in epic battle. Will it go to penalties?
- 3Semi final 2VW Group duo have put in polished performances so far in our showdown. Now, they come together for a chance to take overall glory
- 4Semi final 1We’re only one round away from the final, and the nerves are jangling as French people carriers come face-to-face. So, which one gets the nod?
- 5Quarter final 4Skoda Superb vs Skoda Yeti
- 6Quarter final 3 - currently readingKia Cee'd vs Volkswagen Golf
- 7Quarter final 2Renault Scenic vs Volkswagen Golf Estate
- 8Quarter final 1Citroen C3 Picasso vs Renault Clio Sport Tourer
- 9Group 8: Family hatchbacksPracticality, affordability, styling and driving fun... Buyers demand a lot from modern family cars. So which large five-door scores across the board?
- 10Group 7: Compact MPVsEuropean models dominate this sector of the market. Now, we reveal which flexible five-seater takes the glory on the global stage
- 11Group 6: Compact SUVsPractical, stylish and fun to drive, the latest small, road-biased 4x4s are ideal if you don’t plan to venture far off the tarmac. But which will qualify?
- 12Group 5: Compact family estatesGet a load of five of the most practical carriers on the market. One of these luggage-swallowing big hitters could go all the way!
- 13Group 4: Compact familyTo get through to the quarter finals from this keenly contested sector, our class winner needs to be an all-round star.
- 14Group 3: Budget family carsWhich models make the most financial sense? We bring together four of the best value buys in UK showrooms to name our winner
- 15Group 2: Supermini-MPVsThese cars combine the driving dynamics of a supermini with the versatility of a people carrier – and competition to reach the quarter finals is fierce.