In-depth reviews

Kia Ceed review - Interior, design and technology

Sharp looks and good levels of kit help the Ceed remain competitive against close rivals

Kia makes a big point of emphasising how the Ceed was designed at its European HQ in Frankfurt, Germany, for European tastes. A design evolution of the previous car, the Ceed is a pretty handsome, if generic interpretation of the modern compact hatchback.

The latest Ceed is built on Kia’s ‘K2’ platform. That means it's 20mm wider (1,800mm) and 23mm lower (1,447mm) than the previous model. Its wheelbase is the same at 2,650mm, with the front overhang shortened by 20mm (to 880mm), and rear overhang extended by 20mm (now 780mm), helping to make the car look a little more sporty.

The third generation model was facelifted in 2021, with updated exterior styling giving the Ceed a more premium look. There are upgraded materials on show in the cabin, too, while onboard tech has been given a boost with a 12.3-inch digital dash now available.

Buyers with a budget in mind will be pleasantly surpised at the levels of standard kit across the range. Ceed 2 models include 16-inch alloy wheels, electrically-adjustable and heated door mirrors, air-con, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, a reversing camera and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The fit and finish of the dashboard is pretty high – although the infotainment screen looks a bit lost, like it’s just been stuck on the dash top. The Ceed 2 is the only model that gets the most basic eight-inch screen (more expensive versions feature a 10.25-inch display), but the system works well and supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 

The screen’s resolution lags behind those of VW Group cars, but in terms of ease of use and menu layouts, it's among the best in the class. Unlike some carmakers, Kia has elected to keep a large number of core functions separate from the screen, retaining buttons and knobs for things like climate and volume control, which remain easier to use when on the move.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0T GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,875

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 CRDi 48V ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £21,055

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6T GDi ISG GT 5dr DCT
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £26,760

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