Our Fleet Test Drive: Kia Ceed - final report
03 September 2014
Author: Jack Carfrae
A year after we first grabbed the keys, the Kia Ceed Sportswagon has proven itself a worthy all-rounder
We've had over a year and 9000 miles to assess the Ceed SW's suitability for the fleet market.
Small estates like this usually have 'company car' written all over them and it's no different for the Kia, as corporate customers account for around 75% of the mix.
Operators with an eye on the pennies aren't likely to feel short-changed either, as the past 12 months or so produced some surprisingly good real-world economy results , including a high of 61.5mpg after a series of easy-going motorway trips. That's tantalisingly close to the official figure of 64.2mpg, but a handful of stop-start urban runs put pay to that, and relegated the average mpg into the 50s - still good, but quite a disparity.
The Korean firm's focus on quality is obvious from the inside and it has been a pleasure to spend the amount of time we have in the car. It's practical too, with a hearty 528-litre boot that opens up to 1642 litres with the rear seats folded flat. Big though it is, the Ceed SW has since been superseded in the lower medium estate space race by the truly huge Honda Civic Tourer at 624 and 1668 litres and the Peugeot 308 SW at 573 and 2149 litres.
As is usually the case with Kias, this one hasn't set us alight with its performance and handling. It's very comfortable and refined though, and we've struggled to find fault with it in many other areas. The only real hiccup came a couple of months back when the reversing camera's screen gave up the ghost.
The parking sensors still worked and the red, green and yellow guidance lines remained - so there was still enough assistance for even ham-fisted parkers to get by - but it headed back to the dealer for a quick fix. Turned out it was only a loose connector pin, so it was nothing terminal.
Our only other minor complaint was the stop-start system, which functioned well enough (and a lot better than some rival systems) but didn't come into effect until the car had exceeded 25mph. That's all well and good, but when you're sat in a stagnant traffic jam and such a system comes into its own, you might not hit 25mph before you're back down to a standstill again.
Hit the motorway like a typical company car driver though, and the Ceed is in its element.
- Space can't match best rivals