When the first Cee'd was unveiled in 2006 it heralded the arrival of Kia as a genuine mainstream competitor. For the first time Kia showed that it could build a car that competed with the Europeans in terms of material quality and design whilst maintaining a lower list price. As a result the second generation model has a lot to live up to.
Kia has correctly identified some of the key characteristics that makes the Cee'd a success and has wisely stuck to them. Just like the original, the latest model has been designed, developed and built in Europe and retains the expensive fully independent rear suspension that sets it apart from the bunch.
A big effort has been made to increase refinement further with more sound deadening and thicker glass providing an impressively hushed interior. The sense of quality is further bolstered by the liberal application of soft touch materials on the dashboard. The design of the interior isn't particularly inspiring but it is a pleasant place to be.
The 1.6 litre turbodiesel engine's torque output is bang on class standard producing 191 lb.ft between 1,900 and 2,750 rpm. The power output is even better with 126 bhp at 4,000 rpm putting it ahead of key rivals. This gives the Cee'd a better turn of speed than the competition whilst the standard ISG engine stop/start system keeps urban fuel consumption in check.
The Kia Cee'd continues to offer excellent material and build quality with great fuel economy and good performance. It's not bad looking and is practical too, with good interior and boot space on offer. If you’re after an efficient family hatch the Cee'd ticks a lot of boxes. The seven year warranty is a big bonus and the keen pricing is the icing on the cake.