- Attractive styling
- Spacious interior
- Generous equipment
- Not as fun to drive as some
- Manual gearbox is notchy
- Not as cheap as it once was
Spacious family hatchback is great value for money
The Kia Cee’d, when it was first introduced in 2006, was the car that threw the Kia brand into the mainstream. Whilst Kia’s where once low-end budget options, the Cee’d changed tack, focusing on high quality, solid, European-focused motoring. The Cee’d is now considered to be a genuine rival to more premium models, such as the Volkswagen Golf, and the Ford Focus. It offers tremendous practicality, generous equipment, and is cheap to run. And with Kia’s market-leading 7-year warranty, the Cee’d is the most reliable hatchback on the market.
An update in 2012 featured a complete redesign, with improvements to nearly every area.
Solid, spacious, and generously equipped
Kia has really upped its game in recent years, with high quality interiors featuring throughout its range. The Cee’d is typical of this change, as the Cee’d features a solid, attractive cabin. It’s also one of the most spacious cars in its class, and there’s plenty of standard kit.
The dashboard design of the Cee’d is one that is functional without being flashy. It all feels contemporary, and very European. Controls are well-placed and well-damped, so they’re easy to use. Material quality is also impressive, with soft-touch plastics featuring, particularly on the top of the dashboard. It’s not quite as impressive as the interior of the Volkswagen Golf, but it’s built to last, and is easily as good as a Ford Focus or a Renault Megane.
Storage space is one area in which the Cee’d excels. With 380 litres of boot capacity, it’s bigger than the Ford Focus (316 litres), the Vauxhall Astra (351 litres), and the same size as the Volkswagen Golf. It’s also a good square shape, and features a low load lip, which makes getting bulky and awkward shaped items in and out a doddle. There’s also lots of room in the back seats, with enough room for three to sit comfortably.
Equipment levels in the Cee’d are impressive, so long as you avoid the entry-level 1 trim. The best value in the range is to be had with the 2 trim, which features electric windows, air-con, cruise control, and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s more expensive than the 1 trim, so if you can cope without electric rear windows, and alloy wheels, then the 1 trim is still a great value option.
The interior of the Cee’d really is a well thought out package. The interior might not be quite so impressive as a Golf, but it’s still well-built, and there’s plenty of interior and storage space. Equipment levels are also impressive, and with Kia’s 7-year warranty, everything is clearly built to last.
Comfortable and refined, but not a lot of fun
The Kia Cee’d is a car that is aimed towards family comfort, rather than a particularly engaging driving experience. Nevertheless, it’s still a good car to drive. There’s plenty of grip through the corners, and body roll is kept in check. Steering however doesn’t offer a great deal of feedback, even with the Flex Steer system fitted. If you want fun from your family hatchback, you’re better off looking at a Ford Focus.
Ride refinement in the Cee’d is pretty impressive. What it lacks in fun it more than makes up for in comfort. The chassis and suspension easily iron out even the worst of British roads, with loose surfaces, potholes, and speed humps being dealt with with aplomb. The Cee’d is also a refined motorway cruiser, as road, wind, and engine noise are quiet, even at high speeds.
Gearbox options in the Cee’d come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six-speed manual, that whilst notchy, is still pretty decent. There’s also a seven-speed automatic available higher up in the Cee’d range, which is easy to use and smooth, though not as impressive as the DSG box that you’d find in the VW Golf.
A good variety of engines on offer
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Cee’d, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s an ideal engine for most buyers, with a hot-hatch-lite version, and a super efficient, green diesel both featuring.
If it’s power you want from your Cee’d, the standout option in the Cee’d range is the petrol-powered 1.6T GDi GT. This turbocharged engine produces 201bhp, and will accelerate you from 0-62mph in just 7.4 seconds. It’s not the quickest hot-hatch in the class, with the Focus ST, and the Golf GTI both outperforming the Cee’d. It’s also not particularly efficient, or green, so it’s one to avoid for both money-savers and eco-friendly buyers.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pleased that there is an engine in the range suited for their needs. The diesel-powered 1.6 litre CRDi EcoDynamics engine produces just 97g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s enough to help you contribute to saving the planet, whilst also being road tax exempt. This model is also the best option for money savers, as you’ll not only pay zero road tax, you’ll also get impressive fuel efficiency, with up to 76.3mpg on offer.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Cee’d, you’re going to get a reasonably efficient, green engine, with enough power to cope with your day-to-day needs. Those on a budget should seriously consider the diesel engine, as it offers the best value for money.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, good standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Kia Cee’d easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 89% in adult safety, 88% in child safety, and 61% in pedestrian safety, the Cee’d beats the Vauxhall Astra for both adult and child safety, but loses out to the Nissan Pulsar for pedestrian safety. Whichever Cee’d you go for, you’re going to get six airbags, electronic stability control, and hill-start assist, all of which should further put family buyers’ minds at rest.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Kia Cee’d is one of the best value family hatchbacks currently on sale. Not only is it amongst the cheapest in the class, it’s also cheap to run. This obviously varies from model to model, but generally speaking running costs are either better than, or average for the class. The EcoDynamics engine offers the greatest day-to-day value, whilst the high-powered GDi model is the most expensive.
Insurance costs in the reasonable are pretty average for the class, so you shouldn’t be spending too much money each year insuring your Cee’d. This again depends on which model you go for, with the cheapest in the range being the 1.4 1, which is in group 7, and the most expensive being the top of the range 1.6 GDi 4 Tech, which is in group 15.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Cee’d, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
Gone are the days of cheap and nasty Kias, the latest Cee’d is one of the finest family hatchbacks on the market. It’s practical, spacious, features a high quality interior, and some impressive engines. It’s not quite up there with the Volkswagen Golf as an all-rounder, and it’s not as fun to drive as a Ford Focus, but it’s an impressive package that should be high up your list when you’re looking to buy your next family hatchback.
Buying a used Kia Cee'd online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Kia Cee'd for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Cee'd. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Kia Cee'd online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Kia? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Kia Cee'd, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Cee'd, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Kia to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.