The new Kia XCeed!
The new Kia XCeed!

Caroline reviews the new Kia XCeed!

Since the launch of the new Kia Ceed in the summer of 2018, Kia has created a number of spin-offs to appeal to different buyers of compact vehicles. There was the practical Ceed SW followed by the elegant ProCeed shooting brake. Now in 2020 we say hello to probably the most desirable of them all – the new Kia XCeed!

Why so desirable? Well that’s because the XCeed is a crossover and Europe loves a good crossover right now. So does Ireland. Kia claims compact SUV practicality for the XCeed along with the sporty packaging and engaging handling of a hatchback. The new XCeed goes on sale from €26,345, so buyers do pay more for the prestige of this vehicle over an equivalent Ceed hatchback.

What’s so hot right now about the Kia XCeed?

So is it worth it? In the metal the new XCeed has got a great stance. The only body panels carried over from the five-door Ceed hatchback are the front doors. While the wheelbase remains the same as other models in the Ceed line-up, the 2020 Kia XCeed has longer front and rear overhangs. The proportions are still compact but the ride height has been raise by up to 42 mm over the Ceed hatch. Wheel arch and side sill cladding along with silver roof rails give the car a tougher, SUV-like presence, with the metallic valance in the rear bumper enhancing this effect. My grey test car looked smart and premium but to really stand out there is a vibrant new Quantum Yellow shade that is unique to the XCeed!

What’s it like inside?

The cabin design of the new XCeed is more or less the same as what we’ve seen in other members of the Ceed family. So that means a contemporary design with the latest Kia infotainment system and good quality fit and finish. The 10.25 inch touchscreen in my test car was really nice to use, with large graphics, clear interface and seamless integration with smartphones. A new yellow colour pack is unique to the XCeed and adds more fun and character. Black upholstery is contrasted with vibrant yellow stitching for seats and doors, yellow seat piping, and a blend of gloss black and metallic yellow highlights throughout the cabin.

Interior space is also good for the compact class, with reasonably sized footwells in the rear. The higher roofline adds a greater feeling of space to the interior. The hip point for each seat is raised by up to 42 mm over the Ceed hatch so it is easier for occupants to step in or out. The boot is also bigger by 31 litres with a total volume of 426 litres.

The XCeed goes on sale in Ireland from €26,345
The XCeed goes on sale in Ireland from €26,345

In Ireland, the new Kia XCeed is offered in three trim levels (K2,K3 and K4). Engine options include a 1.0-litre turbo petrol with 120 hp or a 1.6-litre diesel with 115 hp. A new XCeed plug-in hybrid will join the range from April priced from €28,945. Standard equipment includes 16“ alloys, LED lights front and rear, rear privacy glass, 8 inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, and a host of safety features including Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance, High Beam Assist and Speed Limit Assist.

My test car was a K3 diesel with 18” alloys, 10.25 inch touchscreen with Sat Nav /Tom Tom and rear view camera, half leather upholstery, electronic parking brake and a wireless phone charger. The list price for this model is €30,495.

The K4 completes the range with added features such as heated front seats ,12.3 inch supervision instrument cluster, smart key with push button start, climate control and Blind Spot Detection.

Driving the 2020 Kia XCeed

Kia’s European engineering team developed the suspension and steering of the Kia XCeed to deliver a comfortable ride and more engaging handling. According to the brand, the new XCeed was tested across a wider range of road surfaces than any previous European-developed Kia to ensure the handling character was ‘truly European’.

On the road, buyers will enjoy the more commanding view of the road ahead compared with a conventional hatchback. The XCeed is agile and fun to drive. Unique suspension tuning accommodates for the raise in ride height ensuring the new XCeed feels nothing short of accomplished and comfortable over a variety of Irish roads. Road noise has been reduced also.

The interior of the new Kia XCeed
The interior of the new Kia XCeed

Diesel is still an important fuel for motoring in some parts of the country and indeed for all high mileage drivers. The Kia XCeed 1.6-litre diesel offers enough power and torque, however it’s not the most refined or efficient diesel on the market right now in the compact segment. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.9l/100km while motor tax is €200 per year.

So did you like it?

The 2020 Kia XCeed offers buyers now even more style and individuality in the compact segment. The design of this vehicle has been wonderfully executed and on style and image alone, the XCeed should find many homes. Everything we loved about the new Ceed is retained and enhanced here. So the cabin is good quality but lifted a little more with the addition of the optional coloured trim. And there is a more spacious and practical nature to this car though dimensions are still compact.

The diesel engine wouldn’t be my first choice but there is a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine available and a new plug-in hybrid that will allow buyers to explore battery technology without range anxiety.

The Kia XCeed does carry a premium for its fashionable looks but buyers have shown again and again that they will go that extra mile for the SUV/crossover look.

The new XCeed is a fantastic addition to the Kia range!

Would you be brave enough for Quantum Yellow?
Would you be brave enough for Quantum Yellow?

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Kia XCeed 1.6 CRDi K3
€30,495 (from €26,345)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
115 hp
Torque: 280 Nm
11.4 seconds
Top speed: 190 km/h
Motor Tax: €200 per year