I’ve already explained my rental car proceedings to you, so now I can focus on the car. The Kia Cee’d is not exactly a car that I had previously at the top of my to do list, but nonetheless, as far as rentals go, it was the lesser of two evils – either the Cee’d or a harshly treated Ford Focus with a flat battery…
Firstly, let’s talk about Kia as a manufacturer. I’ll award any reader 10 brownie points if they can name a single car that Kia have ever produced that has been in any way: interesting, inspirational, fun, charming, memorable etc. To most people, it seems to be that Kia couldn’t put together an attractive car even if they tried. Its mediocrity is confirmed by the fact that the Cee’d is currently being used as the Top Gear Reasonably Priced Car. It’s only when you start to live with the Cee’d that you realise why every car Kia produce nowadays comes with a 7 year warranty – this car is a tough little blighter.
Even though Kia started out in 1944 making bicycle frames, they seem to have perfected the hatchback quite nicely – this is obviously backed up by that aforementioned warranty. In fact, to my knowledge, that’s the best warranty you can get on a new car today. I’m sure you’re thinking, “well that’s rather lovely, but what’s it like to drive?” This is the most surprising thing about the Kia – it drives almost exactly like a Ford Focus. If you’ve never driven a Focus, let me tell you, that is a the ultimate hatchback compliment, especially coming from a trenchant critic such as myself.
But, not only the driver has a good time in the Cee’d. It’s actually not a bad car for passengers either, with a commodious back row of seats whilst being surprisingly comfortable on the road, smoothing out bumps and making long motorway drives just about tolerable. Our 1.6l Diesel Estate was more than capable of moving us about both quickly and quietly, and as far as I am aware, was perfectly efficient at the same time. Of course, as I said at the start, this car isn’t inspirational, it certainly isn’t fun nor is it particularly attractive. Like another car that I’ve reviewed, the VW Passat, functionality seems to prevail with the Cee’d. I suppose that’s why Kia have ended up producing such a honed and excellent product, instead of focusing on the appearance of the thing.
One small problem we found with our Cee’d was its tendency to stall on very slight inclines and declines – perhaps it was a problem with our particular car, but no matter how tentatively handled, the problem would always arise in certain places.
Of course, when it comes to buying a car like this, it’s up to you to make the final decision – let’s look at the specifications for the 1.6l Diesel Hatchback, the most popular of the range:
Power: 89bhp @4000rpm
Top Speed: 107mph
Acceleration from 0-62mph: 13.5 seconds
CO2 Emissions: 113g/km
Fuel Economy: 65.7mpg
VED Band: C (£FREE)
Insurance Group: 14
Evidently, Top Gear won’t be taking their Cee’d to the Nurburgring any time in the foreseeable, in fact you’d be lucky if you’ve got enough free time to get it up to 62mph. Nonetheless, this car is a sure triumph. It’s comfortable, spacious, well built, reasonably priced, economical and comes with a 7 year warranty. If you’re looking to make a statement, the Cee’d isn’t for you. But, if you like jumpers and being sensible, Kia can sell you one in beige.
8 out of 10.