Kia Ceed Sportswagon

Kia Ceed Sportswagon

THE KIA BRAND has become much stronger in the UK in recent years, thanks to a range of nicely-styled, well-equipped cars which come with a seven-year 100,000 mile transferable warranty, giving immense peace of mind to both new and used buyers.

It’s mid-size Kia Ceed Sportswagon underlines these key points, and emphasises why  Kia is a sensible alternative to comparable models from more mainstream manufacturers.

There are six versions of this practical estate car, all diesel-powered, with prices starting at £15,995. There is a 1.4 litre 89 hp diesel, but the majority of buyers will opt for the 1.6 litre 126 hp diesel unit which delivers sharper performance and an impressive 64.2 mpg combined.

There are five trim levels logically numbered 1 to 4, plus a Tech version. All have air-con, front electric windows, central locking, a  radio/ CD stereo with iPod connection,  and Bluetooth among their standard features.

Reversing sensors or reversing camera are also standard on all but entry models, while  the flagship 4 Tech version also adds Parallel Park Assist System, which automatically guides the car into kerbside parking spaces.

The Ceed Sportswagon is attractively styled, and looks a quality product . That impression continues in the cabin, where quality trim materials help create a pleasant ambiance. Seating is very comfortable and supportive and with multi-adjustable steering wheel it is easy to find the right driving position.

The cabin has plenty of leg and headroom, even for tall adults. The 528-litre boot is bigger than most in the class, and it boosts to 1642 litres with seats folded, making it a very capacious and versatile vehicle for family or small-business use.

My test model was a 1.6 litre Eco model, in level 3 trim,  priced at £21,095. Extra kit includes alloys, sat-nav, cruise control, auto lights and wipers and reversing camera.

Underway, the 1.6 litre diesel unit proved smooth, quiet and flexible, and the 6-speed manual gearbox had a slick precise action. Ride quality is very composed even on bumpy surfaces and overall, the Ceed Sportswagon comes over a very comfortable relaxing car. I did a 500-mile round trip in it, and emerged unstressed and without backache.

Competition is intense in the mid-range sector, but with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year warranty, high levels of standard equipment and keen pricing, the Ceed Sportswagon stacks up as a formidable challenger to its mainstream rivals.

FOR: Outstanding warranty, generous standard equipment, excellent fuel economy.

AGAINST: Ride can be unsettled on rough surfaces.

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