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

What Car? - - Contents - Steve Hunt­ing­ford Steve.hunt­ing­[email protected]­mar­ket.com

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

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