Kia Ceed Sportswagon Review

The Kia Ceed Sportswagon is a sensible and spacious family estate that trades glamour for practicality.

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Loads of passenger and luggage space
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Plenty of equipment
  • Not that many engine options
  • Looks a little conservative
  • Bigger wheels make for a firm ride
Kia Ceed Sportswagon prices from £5,490.
Finance from £153.13 / month.

Of all the models in the Kia Ceed range, the Sportswagon is the most sensible option for those who need space and practicality. It doesn’t offer the swoopy glamour and high-end trims of the ProCeed or the performance credentials of the GT hatchback, but what the Ceed Sportswagon offers instead is solid, sensible carrying capacity.

With the rear seats in place, the Ceed Sportswagon offers a cavernous 625 litres of space that you can expand to almost 1,700 litres with the rear seats folded. That’s comfortably larger than you’ll find in rivals like the Ford Focus Estate can only manage 575 litres, while the Skoda Octavia Estate gets up to 610 litres. If you regularly drop the rear seats and need maximum space, though, the Octavia offers greater overall volume.

Of course, if you’re considering a family estate car, it’s likely that you’ll also be looking at mid-sized SUVs. But if you really value bootspace, a simple estate car is often a better bet. In fact, the bootspace in the Sportswagon is only bettered by the biggest of family SUVs like the seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq, but you'll be paying a lot more for cars of that callibre.

The Kia offers more space than the likes of the Nissan Qashqai or Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s accessible space, too, with a low loading lip, seats that fold flat to the floor. The cubbies under the boot floor offer very useful additional space. In terms of build quality, the Ceed Sportswagon is par for the course within this price range, it feels solid enough and certainly as good as its rivals.

On the outside, the Kia adds some elements of visual flair by using design cues from the Kia Stinger – especially the shape of the headlights and the ‘Tiger nose’ grille. Aside from those details though, the Ceed Sportswagon's styling is somewhat subdued - this is not a car you’ll buy if you want to stand out from the crowd.

It's all almost on a level with class-leaders like the VW Golf Estate and Ford Focus Estate in terms of its interior finish, it's high quality for the most part, although there are some cheaper feeling elements dotted around. But that’s a fair compromise considering an equivalent Golf Estate will cost you a couple of thousand pounds more.

Where the Ceed’s predecessors have traditionally lost out is in driving enjoyment, but this Ceed had definitely made a step in the right direction here. It’s fun and well balanced, with plenty of grip and good body control in corners, but the ride is something of a mixed bag. On models with 16-inch wheels, it copes well with bumps and rutted surfaces, but even the relatively minor increase to 17-inch wheels has an effect, adding a lumpiness to the ride quality.

The engine range is straightforward and easy to navigate: two petrol engines and a diesel – and the diesel is refined and impressively quiet. The Sportswagon doesn’t get the 204hp engine found in GT hatchbacks though.

You get a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-gear ‘DCT’ dual-clutch automatic, which in theory offers faster shifts than a traditional auto. However, the automatic isn’t as slick as those of other brands including Volkswagen, so we’d suggest sticking to the six-speed manual when possible.

All Ceeds have plenty of standard equipment, with the base 2 trim level featuring one of the most comprehensive specifications in the class. Choose a more expensive trim and there’s an eight-inch touchscreen media system with sat-nav and plenty of extra safety features.

Key facts

Boot size 625-litres
Width 1800 mm
Length 4600 mm
Height 1465mm
Tax £170 in the first year, £145 thereafter

Best Kia Ceed Sportswagon for...

Best for Economy – Kia Ceed Sportswagon 2 1.6 CRDi 6-speed manual

Kia claims you’ll get almost 60mpg out of the diesel version of the Ceed Sportswagon; if fuel economy is paramount for you then it’s really the only sensible choice.

Best for Families – Kia Ceed Sportswagon 3 1.0 T-GDi 6-speed manual

The little 1.0-litre turbo engine is the smallest the Ceed Sportswagon comes with, but it’s willing and smooth. Choosing ‘3’ specification brings all the kit you need to keep the family entertained.

Best for Performance – Kia Ceed Sportswagon 3 GT 1.4 T-GDi six-speed manual

Powerful enough to feel genuinely zippy, the 140hp in the 1.4 means it isn’t really a performance car, but it is still the fastest choice there is if you want the space the Sportswagon provides.

History

August 2018 New Kia Ceed goes on sale
2019 Ceed models get ‘ISG’ mild hybrid technology, improving economy and performance
Summer 2021 Updated model with refreshed design announced, released later in 2021

Understanding Kia Ceed Sportswagon names

Engine 1.4 T-GDI

The 1.4 T-GDi is one of three engine choices available to UK buyers for the Ceed Sportswagon– there are two petrol options and one diesel

Trim 3

UK buyers can choose from several variants. ‘3’ versions are mid-range but very well equipped nevertheless. In the Sportswagon only the First Edition models get more kit.

Gearbox 6-speed manual

Two different gearbox options are available – a six-speed manual and a seven-gear dual-clutch automatic.

Kia Ceed Sportswagon Engines

1.0 T-GDi, 1.4 T-GDi, 1.6 CRDi

The Kia Ceed comes with two different petrol engines and one diesel option. Kicking off the range for UK buyers is the teensy 1.0-litre 1.0 T-GDi three-cylinder petrol engine. It might be small, but a turbocharger means it puts out a respectable 120hp, and is perfectly at home in town or on the motorway.

The bigger 1.4 T-GDi petrol engine gets an extra cylinder and 140hp, making the Ceed Sportswagon a reasonably zippy car.

For those needing to cover a lot of miles every year, however, there is the option of the 1.6 CRDi turbodiesel. This is an all-new design and combines impressive quietness with economy of almost 60mpg.

1.0 T-GDi

Petrol

47.1mpg

120hp

0 - 62mph: 10.9 secs

118mph

1.4 T-GDi

Petrol

44.1-45.6mpg

140hp

0 - 62mph: 8.8-9.1 secs

128-130mph

1.6 CRDi

Diesel

56.5-57.6mpg

116hp

0 - 62mph: 10.7 secs

119mph

Kia Ceed Sportswagon Trims

2, 3

The Ceed Sportswagon range starts with the ‘2’ trim level in the UK, which includes plenty of standard kit – air-conditioning, digital radio, a seven-inch touchscreen media system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay mirroring, cruise control and a reversing camera.

Up your budget to a ‘3’ model, and the 16-inch alloy wheels of the ‘2’ (which look a little lost in the car’s wheelarches) become 17-inch models. Inside, there’s an eight-inch media system with sat-nav.

Kia Ceed Sportswagon Reliability and warranty

Kia has a reputation for doing well, but not outstandingly well, when it comes to reliability. The previous Ceed (the Cee’d, as it was), came 47th out of 150 cars in the 2018 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.

But the real draw of Kia is its market-leading seven-year/100,000-mile warranty – which can be carried on to the next owner when you come to sell.

Used Kia Ceed Sportswagon

Kias tend to hold on to their value fairly well – thanks in part to that enviable warranty and in part to reasonable pricing in the first place. And the latest Ceed should be no exception.

Other Editions

Ceed (2012 – 2018)

The smart-looking and good-value Kia Cee’d is a sensible family car choice

Ceed (2018)

The latest Kia Ceed is a well-equipped family hatchback, offering value for money and a sense of quality