The jacked-up Kia XCeed adds some extra practicality to the growing Ceed range

As a stylish, slightly more practical alternative to the Kia Ceed hatchback, the Kia XCeed fills a niche in the South Korean manufacturer’s range. It’s about the same size its Niro stablemate but more akin to rivals like the Toyota C-HR in its combination of design flair and driver focus. 

Standard equipment is generous, there’s more space inside than you’ll find in the Ceed hatch and the XCeed is both more comfortable and more fun to drive than its conventional hatchback sibling. However, the XCeed’s place in Kia’s range means there’s plenty of competition from within – a Kia Sportage is a better choice if you want a full-blown SUV and the Kia Niro will be cheaper to run.

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Kia XCeed 1.0 T-GDi iSG 2

The XCeed is Kia’s answer to the new car market’s voracious appetite for SUVs of all shapes and sizes. It fills the gap between the Stonic and Niro in the range, but is about the same size as the latter; the larger Sportage starts around the same price and is the larger, more practical choice. The XCeed is positioned as the stylish choice, its sharp looks setting it apart and taking the fight to more expensive, premium-badged rivals like the Mercedes GLA and Audi Q2. Other rivals include the Toyota CH-R, Mazda CX-30, Volkswagen T-Roc and MINI Countryman.

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As with all Kia models, the XCeed’s range is simple and easy to understand. Three trim levels – 2, 3 and First Edition – are the only options. There are two petrol engines and two diesels; 118bhp 1.0-litre and 138bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrols are joined by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel with 114bhp or 134bhp. A choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes is offered. Entry-level 2 cars can be had with manual 1.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines, mid-level 3 cars get a full complement of petrol and diesel versions and the First Edition can only be had with the 1.4-litre petrol.

The XCeed is good to drive and comfortable on long journeys, but gearboxes disappoint
Fuel economy and emissions are good for a car of this type, but hybrid rivals are cheaper to run
The XCeed is stylish, well-built and benefits from a great infotainment system
It’s not the most practical small SUV around but the XCeed builds on what’s offered by its hatchback sibling
Much like the Ceed hatchback, the Kia XCeed will be reliable, safe and cheap to run

Regardless of your trim choice, the XCeed comes with great standard equipment. The entry-level 2 gets 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, cruise control and a parking camera, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity – more than enough kit for most buyers. The step up to 3 trim adds bigger wheels, a larger 10.25-inch infotainment system and part faux-leather trim alongside heating for the steering wheel, front seats and rear-view mirrors, amongst other additions. First Edition cars get all the bells and whistles, including a premium JBL sound system and a panoramic sunroof.  

The XCeed features hydraulic bump stops and reworked suspension that give a smoother, softer ride than its Ceed sibling; the result is a car that’s rela to drive and settles down nicely on the motorway. It’s good to drive on twistier roads, too; the raised ride height doesn’t impact negatively on the car’s handling. 

Elsewhere, there’s a boot that’s usefully larger than the Ceed hatchback’s and a bit more space in the rear for passengers. If you like the idea of a small SUV that’s stylish, practical and good to drive, the Kia XCeed is worth a test drive.

Last updated: 
30 Sep, 2019