The Jewish Chronicle - - MOTORING -

BUY A NEW Kia Cee’d (it’s pro­nounced “seed”) and you will have no re­pair bills to pay un­til 2014. If you sell it be­fore then, you can trans­fer the war­ranty, which will add to the car’s re­tained value. The only things you will have to worry about will be hav­ing it ser­viced at the cor­rect in­ter­vals — and laugh­ing off that silly name. Kia says it stands for “Com­mu­nity Euro­pean Eco­nomic Euro­pean De­sign”, with the third E omit­ted. No kid­ding.

The other war­ranty lim­i­ta­tion, apart from the rea­son­able de­mand that the car must be ser­viced cor­rectly, is that the mileage is cov­ered up to 100,000; af­ter that, you’re on your own — and with a car as pleas­ant to drive and as eco­nom­i­cal to run as this, you might well be tempted to run up more than the per­mit­ted 14,300 miles a year!

Our test car was pow­ered by the 1.6litre diesel en­gine, which was not too happy to pull at low revs, but quiet and smooth when the gears were used to keep it revving well. It took a very rea­son­able 20.1 sec­onds to ac­cel­er­ate through the gears from rest to 80 mph, and it also proved ex­cep­tion­ally eco­nom­i­cal on fuel, re­turn­ing 54.6 mpg.

Two ver­sions of the en­gine are avail­able, one giv­ing 90 bhp and the other 115 bhp, and they have the same econ­omy and CO out­put (im­pres­sively low at 125 g/km, putting it in band C for an­nual tax at £115), so I’d go for the more pow­er­ful one. Ex­tra cost is £250, tak­ing the price of the 1.6 CRDi with LS trim to £14,545. The range starts with the 1.4-litre petrol model with S trim at £10,995.

The tow hitch fit­ted to the test car had a per­mis­si­ble weight limit of a gen­er­ous 1,400 kg, so I cou­pled up my Avon­dale Rialto car­a­van and was im­pressed at how well the Cee’d coped. Nat­u­rally the en­gine has to work much harder in this role, but still re­turned a very rea­son­able 29.0 mpg.

Cee’d is easy to drive, with good con­trols, an es­pe­cially light five-speed gear change and ac­cu­rate steer­ing. The brakes are discs front and rear, and the hand­brake is nice and close to the driv­ing seat. The only slight awk­ward­ness is hav­ing the in­di­ca­tor con­trol on the right and the wiper switch on the left — a more con­ve­nient lay­out for a right-hand-drive car, but you do have to adapt to it.

The down­side of the Cee’d is the sus­pen­sion — rather bouncy on any but the smoothest sur­faces, with a lot of wheel thump and tyre roar. The plus side of fairly firm sus­pen­sion is the pre­cise han­dling on cor­ners, which goes with the good di­rec­tional sta­bil­ity to make the Cee’d a re­as­sur­ing car to drive.

Seats are com­fort­able and on the LS ver­sion their outer parts are leather, with tough fab­ric cen­tres. Many clever de­tails are in­cluded in LS, such as good­sized door pock­ets and front com­part­ment, a con­tainer for sun­glasses, and a light round the ig­ni­tion keyhole to help you find it at night. Front fog lamps are stan­dard.

Huge screen pil­lars and a tri­an­gu­lar mount­ing for the door mir­rors make a fairly large block to cor­ner vis­i­bil­ity, but for­ward view is good, with the wipers neatly at the base of the wind­screen. A ratchet lever gives height adjustment for the driv­ing seat.

An im­pres­sive au­dio unit with CD slot is stan­dard, but the two-tier cen­tre com­part­ment be­neath the arm­rest is just a bit too small to store CDs. Plug-in points are pro­vided for USB and iPod.

The rear hatch has a con­cealed elec­tric re­lease, se­cured with the re­mote cen­tral lock­ing and open­ing to re­veal a spa­cious load area. A space-saver spare wheel nes­tles be­neath the floor. The rear seat is di­vided 40/60, with the back­rests fold­ing down eas­ily on to the cush­ions, or the cush­ions can be tipped for­ward first, for a level ex­ten­sion of the load plat­form.

Kia is soon to add a 2-litre diesel and an es­tate to the range and it ex­pects to sell 10,000 Cee’ds in a full year. They are so good value, we will soon be see­ing them ev­ery­where.

Sure to grow pop­u­lar: Kia Cee’d, with a choice of three en­gines and three trims — and a tempt­ing war­ranty

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.