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Kia Cee’d EcoDynamics Review

Road test of the diesel Kia cee’d EcoDynamics

Model/Engine size: 1.6-litre
Fuel: Diesel

The new Kia cee'd EcoDynamics

Kia cee’d EcoDynamics

Fuel economy combined: 67.3 mpg

The new Kia cee’d EcoDynamics comes with Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) which brings its emissions down to 110 g/km CO2 – so should you consider this car?

If you have stayed away from the Kia brand so far then you should think again, because as well as being very economical, the cee’d is a very good car; it’s smooth, quiet, easy to drive, and good value for money.

Kia cee'd with ISG - Intelligent Stop and Go

So what about the ISG? It is the first technology to carry the EcoDynamics name – but Kia says this is just the start of the EcoDynamics technologies, which will eventually include hybrids and even fuel cells.

ISG is currently only available on the 89bhp 1.6-litre CRDi unit in mid-range 2 trim, although it may be more widely available in future. It results in the emissions dropping from 119 to 110 g/km CO2.

Rear view of a Kia cee'd

Various car companies are now introducing some form of stop/start system on their cars. It’s a relatively easy and cheap way to get emissions down.

So does Kia’s ISG system work?

Yes. Is it simply a case of stopping the car and the engine cuts out, and then restarts when you move off? No. Certain parameters have to be met. Here is the guide from Kia about using ISG. No apologies about reproducing the entire length of this, just so you understand what’s involved!

To stop the engine in ISG mode

1. Decelerate to below 3mph.

2. Shift gear lever to neutral position.

3. Release the clutch pedal.


In ISG mode the ‘Auto Stop’ indicator on the instrument cluster will be illuminated.


Please note: You must reach a speed of at least 6mph since the last time ISG was operated for the system to work again.

Kia cee'd with ISG

Auto Start

To restart the engine from ISG mode

– Press the clutch pedal.

The  ‘Auto Stop’ indicator on the instrument cluster will turn off when the engine restarts.


The engine will also be restarted if

– The brake pedal is pressed.

– The air conditioning fan is set on MAX.

– The air conditioning fan is ON for several minutes.

– Your vehicle speed is above 3mph.

ISG is disabled if:

1. The driver’s door is open.

2. The driver’s seatbelt is unfastened.

3. The bonnet is open.

If you stall the engine, the ISG system will restart the engine upon pressing the clutch pedal and shifting to neutral.

ISG is automatically switched off if:

1. Your battery is too weak (75% state of charge required).

2. The battery temperature is below 2 degrees C.

3. The engine temperature is too low.

Phew. So there are lots of factors governing the operation of the ISG. We guess that’s why they call it Intelligent. And remember, despite all the above rules and regulations, the system does work most of the time!

So apart from the ISG, what else do you need to know?

The cee’d is perfectly pleasant and easy to drive, helped by new suspension improvements, however it doesn’t have the dynamics of class-leaders such as the Focus. Steering is light but with good feeling, and the ride is firm but not uncomfortable.

It also has a redesigned interior, and overall the quality of the cee’d product is excellent. Equipment levels are good, including a new six-speed gearbox, with different specs to provide extra kit if desired. Interior space is adequate, although the boot is not quite as large as that of a Focus or Golf.

Steering wheel and redesigned dashboard for the Kia cee'd

Uniquely, it comes with a seven-year warranty period, or 100,000 miles, which is excellent. At £14,195 it represents good value for money, and promises low running costs. However resale values are likely to be lower than mainstream rivals.

Any downsides? Well Kia is making a huge song and dance about the new grille, but we don’t think it looks much better than the old grille – in fact the same goes for the facelifted front end styling in general.

There is also the badge – Kia still won’t appeal to everyone – and although the cee’d is supposedly a European car, we remain unsure about this name.

Green Car Guide Summary

If you want a perfectly acceptable Astra/Focus sized-car, that is easy to drive, at a lower price, with low emissions, and a huge warranty, then consider the Kia. But remember that although the cee’d EcoDynamics has lower emissions on paper, this will only translate to lower emissions in practice if you drive in urban areas on a regular basis. If not, consider the cee’d 1.6-litre CRDi model with more power – 113bhp – for the same price.

Car details and fuel economy data

Fuel economy extra urban: 72.4 mpg

Fuel economy urban: 60.1 mpg

CO2 emissions: 110 g/km

Green rating: VED band B – £35

Weight: 1376 Kg

Company car tax liability (2009/10): 13%

Price: £14,195 (From £11,595 to £17,495)

Insurance group: 4

Power: 89 bhp

Max speed: 107 mph

0-62mph: 13.5 seconds