Kia Ceed Sportswagon

The Essentials

  • Price from £16,895
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 64.0mpg
  • What is it? Talented and well priced small estate

Great

  • Good value for money, especially given the standard equipment
  • Plenty of space for four and their luggage
  • The seven-year transferable warranty brings peace of mind

Gripes

  • It's not as good to drive as some rivals
  • The engine lacks oomph
  • The steering is on the woolly side
  • Drive

    Smooth and relaxing to drive, though it's a bit underpowered

  • Inside

    The cabin looks smart and the dash is user-friendly

  • Safety

    Reassuring list of safety features

  • Reliability

    Seven-year/100,000 warranty shows Kia's confidence in its product

  • Space

    Lots of room for four, though five will be a squash

  • Standard and extras

    Decent roster of standard features for even basic cars, and you don't have to pay much more for useful treats

  • What's it like to drive?

    A 1.4 diesel is offered in the entry-level trim only, while there's the full choice of trims with the 1.6 diesel. This is smooth and quiet but not especially gutsy so you may need to shift down a gear to overtake on the motorway. The ride quality is one of its strongest points: it takes a very bumpy surface to unsettle it. Refinement is good, too wind and road noise are well contained at motorway speeds. The steering isn't so great, though; it's a bit vague and sluggish.

  • What's it like inside?

    The cabin looks smart, with plenty of soft-touch plastics and expensive-looking panels. The dash layout is clear and the touch-screen sat-nav system on higher-spec models is simple to use. A wide range of adjustment to the steering wheel and driver's seat means most drivers should be able to get comfortable.

    There's plenty of leg- and headroom for tall adults in the back, though the centre rear seat is quite firm so it's not ideal for longer journeys. The boot is bigger than the Ford Focus estate's but not quite as big as the Skoda Octavia estate's. Dropping the rear seats creates a generous loadbay that's on a par with the Octavia's.

    All five trims get air-con, front electric windows, an iPod-compatible CD stereo and Bluetooth. Reversing sensors are standard from '2' trim, while '3' and '4' have a reversing camera. '4 Tech' adds a system which automatically steers the car into kerbside spaces.

  • How reliable is it?

    The Ceed's interior feels good quality, and the seven-year/100,000-mile warranty should give added confidence. The Ceed hatchback scored the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, and the estate should be just as good. Electronic stability control and hill-start assist are standard, as are deadlocks and an automatic door-locking function.

  • Should I buy one?

    There's a lot to like about the Ceed SW, including its generous equipment list, and it certainly gives small estates such as the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia something to worry about. The seven-year/100,00 miles warranty provides reassurance and helps boost residual values, and running costs are good too.