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Kia Ceed: Test Drive Review

Date: 28 October 2009   |   Author:

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £14,105
Key rival: Ford Focus

It's mid-life refresh time for the model that has fuelled much of Kia's breakthrough in the UK, both in terms of consciousness and increased quality.

Kia says 57% of the lower medium sector Ceeds already sold in the UK have gone to the business sector, but it is looking for a jump forward on that figure with the facelifted model, specifically due to the Eco Dynamics version that joins the range.

Sneaking below the 100% first-year write-down capital allowance boundary at 110g/km, the 89PS 1.6 diesel Ceed is the car Kia feels will help it make the significant inroads into the fleet sector. The engine, while not outstanding, offers enough power for reasonable progress, especially in urban scenarios, if it is a little more clattery than the leading units.

The Eco Dynamics model, complete with ISG stop-start system, costs the same as the higher-powered 113PS diesel, with the only differences being the stop-start system that reduces CO2 by 3g/km and improves economy by 1.6mpg, plus the Bluetooth and a full iPod connection systems that also come as standard with the greener version.

Other changes at the mid-life point include the regulation new grille, lights, front bumper and in this case bonnet, while Kia has improved the standard equipment offering across the range. A heavily revised cabin now greets, with a new centre console designed to be "more satisfying and intuitive to use", according to the manufacturer. One-touch indicators for lane changes also make a debut alongside a new steering wheel that houses the trip computer and Bluetooth buttons where fitted.

Unlike most mid-life refreshes, Kia has also made some changes under the skin, with revised suspension tuned specifically for UK roads. There is a degree of improvement, with the Ceed soaking up the regular UK road imperfections well, though it's not the best-driving car in the segment.

The Ceed is more appealing than ever before, thanks in no small part to it getting below 111g/km and the fleet-friendly tax breaks that brings. Kia is on the move in retail and inroads into the corporate sector may not be far behind.

Kia Ceed 1.6 2 CRDi Eco Dynamics
P11D price£14,105
Model price range£11,595-£17,495
Fuel consumption67.3mpg
CO2 (tax)110g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month£31/£61
Service interval20,000mls
Insurancegroup 6
Boot space340/1300 litres
Engine size/power1582cc/89PS
Top speed/0-62mph107mph/13.5sec
On sale1 October 2009
VerdictKia’s most fleet-focussed model
is attractive on costs and quality


Kia’s most fleet-focussed model is attractive on costs and quality