Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Kia Ceed SW - 1st Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Kia Ceed SW - 1st Report

Date: 23 December 2013   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

We have recently embarked on a 12-month relationship with the Kia Ceed's SW variant, its initials standing, a bit optimistically, for Sportswagon.

Kia takes a pragmatic, demand-led view by stating that you can have any engine you want under the bonnet of an SW as long as it is diesel, and our Ceed uses the 126hp 1.6-litre unit matched to a six-speed manual transmission and Eco-badged stop/start system. [1]

This powertrain combination results in a competitive, but not stunning, 116g/km, and an official 64.2mpg. As with most Hyundai-Kia family diesels the fuel figures are relatively accessible and over our varied opening 350 miles it has averaged 54.0mpg.

Built in Slovakia and styled in Germany under group design guru Peter Schreyer's supervision, our silver Ceed SW has a handsome, sculpted exterior, set off by swish 16-inch alloys and daytime running lights. The smart-looking estate's business car role is emphasised by 75% of UK sales involving fleet registrations

Kias are no longer bargain-basement offerings and the level three, or second to top specification, example weighs in with a £21,040 P11D, the only option being £465 metallic paint.

The list of standard equipment is extensive, including cruise control, aircon, roof rails, electrically heated/adjustable mirrors, electric windows all round, satnav/sound system infotainment screen, hill start and more (see full list, right).


Particularly necessary in our suburban cul de sac, where smaller children are dangerously un-streetwise, is the rear parking camera and sensor combination, that comes with the strange function of being able to switch off the audible warning. 


Inside, the upmarket cabin - featuring stitched and checked inlaid fabric seats - is something of an ergonomic master class, [2] and the only challenge involves how to change radio frequencies, which in my case was solved by impatient touchscreen prodding of FM to prompt AM and vice versa (there is no DAB).

I could and should have resorted to the massive handbook that almost requires two hands to lift, [3] and surely, along with its even bulkier multi-lingual satellite navigation manual, must damage the fuel economy!



The only initially irksome facet of this well-executed wagon is the stop/start system, wrongly designated Auto Stop, because it does not function again until after the Ceed has reached 25mph. That is counter intuitive and counter productive on pollution and fuel economy fronts for urban commutes in dense traffic.

Kia Ceed SW
P11D price (without options) £21,040
Price range £14,400-£24,795
Depreciation cost £15,065
Fuel cost £5918
SMR cost £1790
VED £60
National Insurance £1684
Insurance £2325
C02 (tax) 116g/km (18%)
BIK?@?20/40% per month £63/£126


  • Looks, ergonomics and initial economy
  • Stop/start on low speed commute