Kia Cee'd 2015 facelift review
South Korean car manufacturers Kia have built on the popularity of the cee’d range by unveiling a host of new and improved varieties, focusing on technology and engine performance to cater more specifically to their target sales demographic of families and business users.
A purely European offering that sprung from the design boards of Frankfurt to the manufacturing plants of Slovakia, the cee’d has been one of Kia’s most popular models since its inception in 2006. The updated design features will apply to five models within the range, including the classic five-door cee’d, the nippy pro_cee’d, the amply sized Sportswagon and sporty cee’d and pro_cee’d GT.
Improvements to the exterior make-up of the cee’d are tuned towards practicality, not just beauty. The most striking variants in the cee’d range are the sportier offerings: the cee’d GT, GT-Line and pro_cee’d.
The GT and GT-Line retain the five-door capacity of the cee’d of old, which Kia so effortlessly blend in to the bodywork unlike many of its class rivals, adding new front and rear bumpers with more depth, larger alloy wheels, side skirts and LED running lights for a more active aesthetic.
If anything, the three door pro_cee’d option appears even sportier, matched by the model’s performance, and without losing out on space, with a large opening to the rear seating, increased head room and ample legroom.
Kia have gone all out on specifications for the new range, with 19 incarnations of the five door option, 12 of the Sportswagons and nine of the pro_cee’d. These variants come with a range of different trim levels, the maximum being eight separate packages including: 1, 2, 3, 4, 4 Tech, SR7, GT and GT-Line. Most of the options are more about driveability and technology than exterior trim, however there are some high-quality external features that can be added with the GT and GT-Line.
Kia have kept the ergonomic interior layout of the previous model, including its signature sweeping dashboard, with only a few minor additional pieces of chrome trim.
The manufacturers have given buyers the chance to choose a new interior colour package, called the Brown Pack, which adds elegant brown upholstery to the seats and doors, and slots neatly alongside Kia’s other upholstery and interior trim choices.
Storage space in the new cee’d is largely un-changed, with a host of cubby-holes for mobile phones, drinks and other paraphernalia in the cabin, as well as a spacious glove compartment and door bins. Boot space is comparable to the cee’d’s more expensive competitors, such as the Volkswagen Golf, coming in at an ample 380 litres, which can be increased to 1,318 litres with some seat adjustments in the five door options and 1,642 in the roomier cee’d Sportswagon Estate.
Some of the most significant updates to the new range have come from technology, with a revamped connected services system designed by sat nav manufacturers Tom Tom. This innovative feature is integrated into the familiar 7.0-inch central display touchscreen and includes features to warn drivers of upcoming speed cameras, adverse weather and potential traffic hold ups. There’s also a souped-up infotainment system, which connects mobile devices via Bluetooth and features a USB input for charging on the go.
On the road
The new cee’d range builds on the popularity of the model with families and business users, adding more targeted variants to help make the car more attractive. This has led to an enviable array of engine types.
Bottom of the petrol engine pile is the 1.4-litre engine, which can generate a steady 99bhp, while the range also features 1.6-litre and 1.0-litre three cylinder ecoTurbo (the pick of the bunch), which can crank up to 133bhp and 118bhp respectively. There are also a host of options for diesel lovers, with the 1.4-litre CRDi (89bhp) and two varieties of the 1.6-litre turbodiesel (108bhp and 134bhp).
Most of the range is fitted with Kia’s six-speed manual gearbox, which is responsive and tactile, while the 1.6-litre turbodiesel features the fresh addition of a seven-speed DCT gearbox. The car has faced criticism in the past for lack of steering responsiveness and, while this still isn’t perfect, the car is now much more adept at navigating car parks and other confined road spaces. This is backed up by the Smart Parking Assist System, which will help you pull nimbly into a bay or kerbside space.
Kia are already expecting great returns from the new variants, predicting nearly 15,000 sales in the first year alone, with the 1.6 CRDi diesel earmarked to be the most popular.
What Kia have produced up to now proved to be a popular and versatile base for future development, and the integration of new technological systems and engine choices have done a comprehensive job of updating the cee’d for 2015 buyers.
Priced from £14,905, sitting on a 5-star NCAP safety rated chassis and boasting the best warranty in the business (seven years/100,000 miles including labour), the car is a practical, well designed and economical option, ideally suited for families and business users.