Kia XCeed review
The jacked-up Kia XCeed adds some extra practicality to the Ceed model family
As a stylish, slightly more practical alternative to the Kia Ceed hatchback, the Kia XCeed fills a niche in the South Korean manufacturer’s range. It’s about the same size its Niro stablemate, but more akin to rivals like the Toyota C-HR in its combination of design flair and driver focus.
Standard equipment is generous, there’s more space inside than you’ll find in the Ceed hatch and the XCeed is both more comfortable and more fun to drive than its conventional hatchback sibling. However, the XCeed’s place in Kia’s range means there’s plenty of competition from within – a Kia Sportage is a great choice if you want a full-blown SUV, while the Kia Niro offers low day-to-day running costs.
About the Kia XCeed
The XCeed fills the gap between the Stonic and Niro in the Kia range, but is about the same size as the latter. It's positioned as the more stylish choice, its sharp looks setting it apart and taking the fight to more expensive, premium-badged rivals like the Mercedes GLA and Audi Q2. Other rivals include the Toyota CH-R, Mazda CX-30, Volkswagen T-Roc and the MINI Countryman.
A facelift in 2022 brought in some exterior styling changes which give the XCeed a fresher feel, while the engine and trim options have been streamlined. The 2 and 3 specifications are now joined by the GT-Line and GT-Line S in the lineup, while there's a 158bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine offered alongside a 139bhp plug-in hybrid unit. The 118bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is no longer available from new.
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The XCeed plug-in hybrid model is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, with an 8.9kWh battery and a 59bhp electric motor, delivering around 30 miles of electric range. The PHEV uses a six-speed DCT automatic transmission, while the pure petrol model comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, although there is the option of having the DCT auto in combination with the GT-Line S trim. Despite its SUV-inspired looks, the XCeed is available exclusively with front-wheel drive.
Regardless of your trim choice, the XCeed comes with great standard equipment. The entry-level 2 gets 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, cruise control and a parking camera, plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity – more than enough kit for most buyers. The step up to 3 trim adds a heating function for the front seats and steering wheel, along with a bigger 10.25-inch infotainment screen, rear privacy glass and keyless go.
The 3 and GT-Line versions are similarly equipped, although the GT-Line offers sportier touches such as black exterior trim, aluminium pedals and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. The GT-Line S delivers luxury extras such as a panoramic sliding sunroof, black leather upholstery, a 12.3-inch digital driver's display and a wireless charging function.
All XCeed models feature hydraulic bump stops and reworked suspension that give a smoother, softer ride than its Ceed sibling; the result is a car that’s relaxing to drive and settles down nicely on the motorway. It’s good to drive on twistier roads, too; the raised ride height doesn’t impact negatively on the car’s handling.
Elsewhere, there’s a boot that’s usefully larger than the Ceed hatchback’s and a bit more space in the rear for passengers. If you like the idea of a small SUV that’s stylish, practical and good to drive, the Kia XCeed is worth a test drive.
For an alternative review of the Kia XCeed, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe jacked-up Kia XCeed adds some extra practicality to the Ceed model family
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe XCeed is good to drive and comfortable on long journeys, although we're not struck by either the manual or automatic gearbox options
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Kia XCeed range offers an efficient plug-in hybrid option, while insurance groups are competitive
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe XCeed is stylish, well-built and benefits from a great infotainment system
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe XCeed builds on what’s offered by its capable hatchback sibling, with a little extra practicality
- 6Reliability and SafetyMuch like the Ceed hatchback, the Kia XCeed will be reliable, safe and cheap to run