It hasn’t been around long, but the Kia cee’d has already established itself as a fixture in the crowded and competitive small family car sector.
Despite its rampantly silly name – designed to advertise the fact that it’s designed specifically for the European market, and also built here – the cee’d is a strong entry into the hatch pack club.
All Kia models are well-built, and have closed the ground on Western rivals in quick time, but Kia’s small family car also features the Korean brand’s famous seven-year warranty. Seven years of headache-free driving, transferrable to a new owner, counts for a lot.
The cee’d is available in three- and five-door hatchback models, in addition to an estate, but the five-door version feels rather more roomy than you’d expect. Add in a 340-litre boot that extends to 1,300 litres with rear seats folded down.
So, it’s roomy and practical – but it’s also well put-together, in another move designed to stick one on the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra models in this sector.
What’s more, there’s a generous standard specification, including air conditioning, CD player with MP3 compatibility, front electric windows, cooled glovebox and central door locking – plus a large amount of safety kit as standard, including twin front and side airbags and full-length curtain airbags and active head restraints to prevent whiplash.
Prices currently range from a little over £11,000 up to over £18,000 for a model with plenty of bells and whistles.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine we took for a spin has plenty of grunt and is a refined drive. The cee’d feels well-planted and communicates the road surfaces well to the driver. The diesel models can return impressive mileage too, for cost-conscious drivers.
There are also petrols, more powerful diesels and a low-CO2 version in the range. An autobox drivetrain is also available.
All of which may give you a headache when shopping for a new small family car, because the Kia cee’d ticks all the required boxes in this segment and, as a result, cannot be ignored.