Kia Ceed Sportswagon The more practical of the Ceed estates
Unlike Kia’s other new Ceed estate, the more traditional Sportswagon is all about practicality On sale Now Price from £19,295
WHILE SUV SALES have grown rapidly in recent years, this has come at the expense of more traditional models such as estates. So, at first glance, Kia’s decision to offer two estate versions of its latest Ceed family car looks like the equivalent of buying a fleet of ice cream vans just as winter sets in.
There’s method in the apparent madness, though, because while the two cars share most of their parts, they’re likely to appeal to different buyers. On the one hand, there’s the Proceed, which sacrifices some practicality for slinky, coupé-like looks. Then there’s this Ceed Sportswagon, the more functional and traditional of the pair, and the one that faces much greater competition. It goes head to head not only with the mechanically similar i30 Tourer from sister brand Hyundai but also estate versions of almost every family car on sale, including the fine-handling Ford Focus, classy Volkswagen Golf and simply massive Skoda Octavia. So, is the Ceed Sportswagon worth your consideration?
Well, take a look at their official boot capacities and you could be forgiven for thinking that the Sportswagon (625 litres) is barely any more practical than the Proceed (594 litres), despite the former’s boxier shape. However, in reality its boot is far more usable, thanks to a higher roofline and larger opening.
You also get loads of useful underfloor storage and there’s no lip to heave luggage over, while the rear seats fold pretty much flat. Just bear in mind that they’re split 60/40 in entrylevel 2 cars, whereas pricier Ceeds have a more versatile 40/20/40 arrangement.
Upgrading from 2 trim also brings a remote folding function that lets you lower the seats from the boot instead of having to walk around to the side of the car.
There’s enough space inside to keep four sixfooters happy, as long as you avoid the range-topping First Edition model, which features a panoramic sunroof that eats into head room. What’s more, all models feel solidly built and come with a long list of standard equipment, including aircon, cruise control, automatic lights and a 7.0in or 8.0in touchscreen featuring smartphone connectivity and a reversing camera.
It’s a shame the screen isn’t a bit easier to use on the move, though; those in the Octavia and Golf benefit from larger icons and clearer graphics, so they’re that bit less distracting.
In addition to three trims, there are three engines to choose from: turbocharged 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrols and the 1.6-litre diesel that we tried. It’s the most efficient option by some distance and pulls eagerly from all but very
low revs, so it’s worth considering if you do enough miles to justify its price premium.
However, if comfort is your top priority, you might want to look at the Focus and Golf instead, because both have a more compliant ride. It’s not that the Ceed will rattle your fillings out; in fact, it actually copes pretty well with patched-up urban streets. However, it feels quite restless on the motorway.
The reward for putting up with its fairly firm suspension is good body control. This is combined with quick steering, so the Ceed has lively turn-in to corners. The steering is nowhere near as feelsome as the Focus’s, nor as progressively weighted as the Golf’s, though.
Ultimately, then, the Ceed Sportswagon is competitive in lots of areas. However, it isn’t outstanding in any of them, with the exception of its market-leading seven-year warranty and the tasty PCP finance deals that Kia offers.
Interior is solidly built and loaded with standard kit Sportswagon is agile in corners; trade-off is a rm ride Well-shaped boot is the biggest in its class, at 625 litres