Kia's new compact crossover driven on Irish roads
Pros: Standout styling, well equipped, competitive pricing
Cons: Bright colouring not for everyone, rear seat room
Looking for something a little different to the rest? It seems as though Kia has created something along the lines with the new XCeed. The XCeed sits between the regular Kia Ceed Hatchback and the Sportage SUV in terms of size, style and specification, and it’s one of the most eye-catching models in the Korean manufacturer’s range. The XCeed’s rivals are wide and varied, including the Toyota C-HR and Volkswagen T-Roc. We took it for a drive on Irish roads recently to see what it is like to live with.
The XCeed is based on the same platform as the popular Ceed hatchback, but it is 44mm taller which lends it a crossover-orientated look. To complement the increased ride height, there is lots of additional plastic cladding on the bumpers, doors and sills, along with large roof rails, a sloping roofline and chunkier features outside. It’s a worthy exercise too, as it’s a rather handsome looking car. Our test car is the highest specification ‘K4’ model with all sorts of bells and whistles to include 18-inch alloy wheels, a chrome coated front grille and this interesting yellow colour pack, which may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s sure to stand out from the crowd.
Stepping inside, the XCeed scores strongly with plenty of premium materials, a logically-designed dashboard and easy to use touch screen tech. The Xceed is based on the same platform as the Ceed Hatch, though it is longer which results in extra boot space (426 litres). It feels roomy up front with a comfortable driving position and plenty of shoulder room, though the sloping roofline does restrict headroom for taller passengers in the rear somewhat. As standard, it’s equipped with an eight-inch touch screen system though our high-spec test car has a larger 10.25-inch touch screen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto functionality. There’s little to complain about here, as the system is easy to use and a big improvement on previous Kia models. Once again, our test car boasts yellow interior colouring which may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s different.
The Xceed offers 31 litres of additional space in the boot over the regular Ceed hatchback, but it is still someway off the Ceed Sportswagon with its Estate body and 625 litre boot. The rear seats are split folding however and storage space increases to 1,378 litres when they are dropped down. Elsewhere there is sizeable door bins, a pair of coffee cup holders beside the driver’s armrest and a useful area to store a smartphone and charge it wirelessly in the centre console. There is also a pair of ISOFIX mounts in the rear for family buyers, while the XCeed is fitted with a reversing camera as standard for parking in tight spaces.
Engines & Driving:
The Xceed is offered with a range of 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines, along with a larger 1.6-litre diesel unit. We drove the 1.0-litre three cylinder with 120 horsepower and a six speed manual transmission, and it is well-suited to urban driving well with reasonable pulling power and competent cruising abilities. We suspect that the larger 1.4-litre petrol is more rewarding to drive with additional power, while the 1.6-litre diesel unit would be a better option for those who drive long distances and need strong economy returns. The Xceed has a softer suspension setup than the regular Ceed which means it is notably more refined, but offers less road holding.
Prices and features:
Prices for the new Kia Xceed start from €26,345 and there are three levels of specification, with K2, K3 and K4 models. The entry K2 model is well equipped with features such as 16-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, a roof rack, LED daytime lights, a leather steering wheel, Bluetooth with voice recognition, an eight-inch touch screen infotainment system, a reversing camera and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The mid specification K3 model boasts additional 18-inch alloy wheels, electric mirrors, a chrome coated grille, gloss interior trim, metal pedals, yellow colour pack, artificial leather upholstery, a larger 10.25-inch touch screen infotainment system, a wireless smartphone charger and a TomTom Navigation system with WIFI. The range-topping K4 model leaves little to be desired with a heated steering wheel, front two way lumbar support seats, an electrochromatic rear view mirror, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a smart key with push button start.
Carzone verdict: 3.5/5
The Kia Xceed is high on style, comfort and frugal engine choices. The raised ride height and chunky styling features make it stand out from the crowd, while the infotainment system is easy to use and works well when coupled with Apple CarPlay. Despite its off-road inspired looks, it is far from a fully-fledged SUV however, and the lower powered petrol engines in the range wouldn’t be our choice option. Instead we’d opt for the better appointed 1.4-litre petrol. A plug-in hybrid version of the Xceed will also arrive to the Irish market soon, which we suspect will prove popular with first-time hybrid buyers.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Kia Xceed K4 1.0-litre petrol
Prices from: €26,345
Price as tested: €30,144
Annual Motor Tax: €270
Engine: 1.0 T-GDi petrol
0-100km/h: 10.9 seconds
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Body style: Hatchback
Boot Space: 426 litres