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In-depth reviews

Kia XCeed review - Engines, performance and drive

The XCeed is good to drive and comfortable on long journeys, although we're not struck by either the manual or automatic gearbox options

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

3.7 out of 5

Price
£23,775 to £31,875
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The XCeed is closely related to the Kia Ceed hatchback; it’s based on the same platform and uses the same engines. To achieve its rugged look, the XCeed sits higher than its hatchback relative thanks to a 20mm boost in ride height and larger-sidewalled tyres.

Kia has fitted softer springs along with hydraulic bump stops, both of which help to provide a smoother, more pliant ride than that on the standard Ceed. The XCeed settles down nicely on flowing roads and motorways, making short work of longer distances.

This softer edge means the XCeed is actually better to drive than the Ceed hatch. It’s more comfortable and relaxing to drive, with fewer lumps and bumps transmitted into the cabin. There’s a little more body roll in corners versus the standard car, but this means the XCeed is a touch easier to read when driving quickly. The unchanged electric power steering system remains accurate and well-weighted. 

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Minus points are awarded for the XCeed’s clunky six-speed gearbox, while the six-speed DCT automatic transmission in the XCeed PHEV is lazy in its operation. 

0-62mph acceleration and top speed 

The 1.4-litre petrol engine is no longer available, but if you track down a used example you'll find it provides adequate performance, although it doesn’t feel fantastic under larger throttle inputs, sounding strained in its upper registers. 0-60mph (Kia doesn’t quote 0-62mph times) takes 9.1 seconds with the manual gearbox or 9.2 with the automatic; top speed is 124mph.  

Also off the price list are the the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol and 1.6-litre diesel - offered in 114bhp or 134bhp forms. Respective 0-60mph times are 10.9s , 11.0s and 10.2s.

The current 158bhp 1.5-litre petrol is a more powerful performer, managing the benchmark sprint in 8.7 seconds, while the plug-in hybrid model needs 10.6 seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0T GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,335

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0T GDi ISG 4 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,970

Fastest

  • Name
    1.5T GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,765
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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