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In-depth reviews

Kia Ceed Sportswagon review

Does the Kia Ceed SW Estate – or Sportswagon – live up to the promise of the five-door hatch?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£19,030 to £29,345
  • Comfortable and refined
  • Build quality and specs
  • 7-Year warranty
  • Noisier than the hatch
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Less of a bargain than before

The Kia Ceed Sportswagon is a roomy family estate that’s worth considering if you’re in the market for a competent compact family hatchback-based hauler. It has just about as much room in the back as a Ford Focus Estate or Volkswagen Golf Estate, and drives well enough to keep most owners happy with either diesel or three-cylinder petrol power. With good equipment levels on offer too, and a comfortable and high quality interior, there’s not a lot to actively criticise.

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One downside is that more volume in the back means there’s a little more interior noise when the load bay is empty, and the Ceed generally is not an especially thrilling drive. As Kia becomes more mainstream the price gap between it and more traditional choices narrows, too.

The Kia Ceed hatchback arrived in its third generation in 2018 and the SW estate version followed soon afterwards. It’s an important car for Kia in the UK, where typically 40 per cent of Ceeds have been configured as estate models. This is part of the reason why the Proceed (formally the 3-door Ceed) has morphed into a kind of shooting-brake estate for this latest generation, providing another practical option for buyers.

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The Ceed SW shares its front end styling with the hatch – itself obviously inspired by the sporty-looking Kia Stinger – but the back end is considerably altered thanks to a rear overhang increased by 115mm and a roofline that’s elongated as a result.

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Best estate cars on sale

Standard fit roofrails and plastic fake vents behind the rear wheels are designed to disguise the extra length, and the rear end looks reasonably sharp with LED lights and a body-coloured spoiler on top of the tailgate. It’s also worth noting the new Ceed script, which has lost the old model’s unusual apostrophe. At the front, the Ceed shares the hatchback’s styling which means it gets a Stinger-inspired grille with ice-cube LED lights which looks quite sporty.

Inside there’s more good news thanks to the new generation Ceed interior with its floating infotainment screen design. In terms of quality and style it’s knocking on the door of the class leaders.

There are only three varieties of the Ceed SW on sale following the launch, with the entry model being the Sportswagon ‘2’. It gets 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a 7-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility and voice control, plus a 6-speaker sound system, reversing camera, cruise control and autonomous city braking.

The Sportwagon ‘3’ has 17-inch alloys, dual zone air-con and an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation. The spec is also lifted with DAB audio, privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers and rear parking sensors.

There’s also a lavishly-equipped and pricey Sportwagon ‘First Edition’ which comes with a sunroof, LED headlamps, JBL premium sound system with 8 speakers, smart parking assistance, smart cruise control, heated front seats and steering wheel, and an electronic parking brake.

Engine options include a 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol three-cylinder, a 1.4 T-GDi and a 1.6 CRDi diesel.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0T GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,030

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 CRDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,280

Fastest

  • Name
    1.4T GDi ISG 3 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,400
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