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In-depth reviews

Kia Ceed - Interior, design and technology

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

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£22,575 to £31,175
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Kia makes a big point of emphasising how the Ceed is 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 third-generation 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.

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As part of a facelift in 2021, Kia updated the Ceed’s exterior styling to give it a more premium look. Upgraded materials were also introduced in the cabin, while onboard tech was given a boost with a larger 10.25-inch central touchscreen, and updated software.

Buyers with a budget will be pleasantly surprised at the levels of standard kit across the range. Entry-level Ceed 2 models come with 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 smartphone connectivity.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The fit and finish of the dashboard are pretty high – although the infotainment screen looks like it’s just been stuck on top of the dash. The Ceed 2 is the only model with the most basic eight-inch screen, while the more expensive GT-Line, 3 and GT-Line S models feature a 10.25-inch display. The system works well and supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but you'll need to plug in your smartphone to use either system.

The screen’s resolution lags behind those of VW Group cars and the Toyota Corolla, and its loading times aren't exactly lightning fast, 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 the Ceed’s core functions separate from the screen, retaining buttons and knobs for things like climate and volume control. This makes them much easier to use when on the move.

However, we found that some functions take more button presses than necessary; plotting a navigation route, for example, needs to be confirmed on a couple more pages than many rivals’ systems require.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5T GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,575

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5T GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,575

Fastest

  • Name
    1.5T GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,575

Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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