Kia's XCeed gives the Korean maker yet another option to offer buyers seeking a stylish, well-equipped compact SUV. You might feel that this bulging segment doesn't really need any further options but Kia was determined that the Ceed family should offer one and has engineered this smart Crossover contender with characteristic thoroughness.
Don't expect shattering performance - but then buyers in the compact SUV segment aren't usually looking for that. The suspension has been revamped for SUV use compared with regular Ceed models so that it can combat this higher-sided model's body roll through the bends. The XCeed uses the same engines we're familiar with from elsewhere in the Ceed line-up. That means the range kicks off with a 118hp 1.0-litre T-GDi three cylinder petrol powerplant. Next up is a petrol 1.4 T-GDi with 138hp (also available with DCT auto transmission). The auto's not especially quick-responding, but it's a smooth-shifting 'box. Kia has also developed a 1.6-litre petrol plug-in hybrid variant you can ask your dealer about. The potent 201hp 1.6-litre petrol turbo unit from the Ceed GT is missing though.
If you want to fuel from the black pump, there's also a manual-only 1.6-litre CRDi diesel, offered with either 114hp or 134hp. And the brand is promising that the black pump-fuelled models will shortly be embellished with mild hybrid tech. All XCeeds get lane keep assist and forward collision warning fitted as standard, while pedestrian detection comes as part of an optional safety pack. The First Edition version also features smart cruise control (on DSG auto variants), plus blind spot collision warning and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
The XCeed is quite different from the standard Ceed hatch - only the front doors are carried over. Potential buyers should like the sleek roofline and chunky wheel arch extensions mean which are meant to make this compact SUV look rugged and distinctive. There's more ground clearance than the hatch - and you get some black plastic bits and roof rails to give the SUV vibe. The XCeed rides on the same platform as the Ceed hatchback, but it's 85mm longer, with most of the extra length added to the rear overhang. It's 48mm taller too.
Inside, it's much more like any ordinary Ceed. Cabin space is on a par with the usual hatch model rather than a full-size SUV, but one key difference on plusher variants lies with the new 10.25-inch infotainment system. The screen is similar to the ordinary monitor, but it's sharper, brighter and quicker to load. The base '2'-spec models still use that older eight-inch screen, which features a reversing camera and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone-mirroring. Rear seat space is similar to that of the Ceed hatch, but at 426 litres, the boot is 31-litres larger than it is in that more ordinary variant.
Kia thinks that this Crossover model will be its best selling Ceed derivative, which says much for the way the SUV craze is dominating customer thinking these days. Some might find this variant slightly pricey and space-wise, it doesn't actually offer you very much more practicality than you'd get in the ordinary hatch. Otherwise though, there's plenty to like here.
The engines are willing and the base 1.0-litre petrol unit is probably all you need. Plus there aren't really any dynamic downsides here, for opting into the crossover craze. In addition of course, there's the peace of mind of Kia's class-leading 7-year warranty. In short, if you're shopping for this kind of car, there's plenty of reasons why you might want this one.Click here to find out more about our Kia XCeed range