Kia XCeed Review

Kia’s XCeed may look like a niche too far, but it's very comfortable and has Kia's best media system to date.

Strengths & weaknesses

  • New media system far better quality
  • Clever suspension ensures comfy ride
  • Chunky bodywork looks good on Ceed
  • No real off-road ability
  • Rakish looks limit rear visibility
  • More expensive than regular Ceed
Kia XCeed prices from £11,333.
Finance from £186.85 / month.

Adding tough-looking bodywork and off-road style to an otherwise mainstream car is nothing new. Skoda has long been fettling its Scout models for muddy forays, while both Volvo and Audi have previously offered tougher versions of their estates with their Cross Country and Allroad variants.

These models, however, generally offered four-wheel drive and raised ground clearance to make sure they provided actual off-road ability. The more recent breed of wannabe off-roaders, however, in many cases go into battle with nothing more sophisticated than a sprinkling of plastic cladding.

Recently, Ford reignited this trend with its surprisingly adept Focus Active model and now Kia has joined in with its new XCeed - offering the value and convenience of a standard hatchback with sleeker, more sporty styling while benefitting from the higher ride height of a crossover.

It joins a comprehensive list of other Kia SUVs which includes the Soul, Niro, Stonic and Sportage, but with prices starting at £20,570, the XCeed really is a new proposition, sharing only its front door panels with the rest of the Ceed hatchback models. It also introduces Kia's next generation media system to a very characterful and well-built interior.

On top of this, Kia has seen fit to add hydraulic bump stops to its suspension system - a first for the company - which adds an extra degree of cushioning to the ride over the standard Ceed and ensures this model crests lumps in the road with ease.

The raised ride height, chunky plastic wheel arch protection and swept-back styling will be the deal-clincher for anyone thinking of spending the average £2,000 extra to jump up to this XCeed, but due to the fact it is 85mm longer than its standard hatchback sibling, it also offers slightly more interior roominess and 31 litres of additional boot volume. This raised stance also lifts up the XCeed's seats by 44mm over the standard Ceed, making it easier for those with restricted movement to clamber in and out - a major attraction of the SUV format.

Inside, a fresh floating media display sits in the middle of a revised dashboard, which also houses some very neat touch-sensitive menu buttons beneath it. This system is also constantly connected, so users can get real-time traffic and weather updates, while details on local parking facilities and points of interest are also seamlessly integrated into the sat-nav system.

It represents a technological step-change for Kia and is a joy to use, with that large and clear 10.3-inch touchscreen proving fast and responsive. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also standard on the mid-level ‘3’ models and above.

Powering the XCeed is a revised line up of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, offering plenty of choice to customers. A plug-in hybrid variant is due to launch in 2020.

Key facts

Warranty 7 years/100,000 miles
Boot space 426 litres
Width 1,826mm
Length 4,395mm
Height 1,483mm
Tax From £150 to £210 in the first year

Best Kia XCeed for...

Best for Economy – Kia XCeed 1.6 CRDi 136hp

Love it or loathe it, diesel is still the high-mileage boss - offering the greatest fuel economy - and although this model is one of the more expensive to buy outright, it returns 53.3mpg on the latest fuel economy test.

Best for Families – Kia XCeed 1.4 T-GDi 7-DCT

This punchy petrol engine balances performance with a fuel economy figure of 42.8mpg on the latest test. Petrol is also the top choice if lots of short journeys (like local school runs) are on the cards.

Best for Performance – Kia XCeed 1.4 T-GDi Manual

None of the Kia XCeed models are particularly sporty but, with a 0-60mph sprint time of 9.1 seconds, this model is the fastest of them all.

One to Avoid – Kia XCeed 1.4 CRDi 114bhp

The baseline diesel is fairly sluggish to accelerate and it is noisy, particularly at idle. Although not terrible, there are better engines in the range.


  • 2006 First launched in 2006, the Kia Cee’d (note the apostrophe) was Kia’s all-new family hatchback.
  • 2012 Kia thoroughly refreshed its popular hatchback, which proved significantly more expensive than its predecessor but represented a much more upmarket product.
  • 2018 The latest generation goes on sale, sporting all new interior technology, slick exterior styling and a new name: Ceed, without the apostrophe.
  • 2019 The XCeed goes on sale and ushers in a new media system, chunky exterior looks and a revised suspension system.

Understanding Kia XCeed names

Trim 3

Unlike the standard Ceed, there are just three trim levels offered here. There's the base '2' spec, mid-level 3 trim and First Edition models, which top the range with additional bundled kit to promote the launch of the vehicle.

Body style 5-door

The XCeed is a five-door hatchback, but features a raised ride height and protective plastic trim to the exterior.

Engine 1.0 T-GDi

Both diesel and petrol engines are offered. T-GDi signifies the petrol range, while CRDi represents the diesels. A hybrid is due in 2020.

Gearbox 6-speed DCT

Customers can specify either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed 'Dual-Clutch Transmission' automatic gearbox, which aims to offer smoother and faster gearchanges than a conventional automatic. However, only the 1.4 T-GDi petrol can be paired with the automatic.

Kia XCeed Engines

Petrol: 1.0 T-GDi, 1.4 T-GDi Diesel: 1.6 CRDi

As ever, the two diesel engines are the most fuel efficient of the bunch and easily return around 10mpg more than their petrol counterparts, but there is some compromise in refinement. Despite this new generation of ‘Smartstream’ diesel units going beyond the latest strict Euro 6 emissions regulations, they’re still noisy, especially at low speed around town.

Maybe it's the size and shape of the XCeed, but the petrol engines seem to suit its demeanour better. They are far quieter around town and feel a little lighter and make it slightly nippier through traffic.

That said, the 280Nm of low engine speed muscle offered by the higher powered diesel makes it a far superior motorway cruiser and high speed overtaking machine if long journeys are regular occurrences.

Most models come fitted with a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox, which is extremely easy to live with. However, the 1.4 T-GDi petrol also comes with a very slick seven-speed automatic, making it very suited to driving around town.

It is not the fastest dual-clutch automatic transmission on the market but it swaps cogs effortlessly and pairs very well with the softer ride experienced on the XCeed. Those wanting slightly more performance and fizz from their high-riding hatchback should probably look towards the rival Ford Focus Active, which is pleasingly peppy to drive.





Power (hp)

0 - 62mph

Top speed

1.0 T-GDi




10.9 secs


1.4 T-GDi




9.1 secs


1.6 CRDi




11 secs


1.6 CRDi




10.2 secs


Kia XCeed Trims

2, 3 and First Edition

Kia’s relatively simple engine range is backed up by an even easier-to-navigate trim line-up, which starts with level ‘2’ and rises to a tech-laden ‘First Edition’ model. The more basic 2 models spoil the funky exterior styling slightly with relatively small 16-inch alloy wheels, a lack of sunroof and privacy glass, but the remainder of the standard equipment is impressive.

Powerful LED headlights, a high gloss radiator grille and high-quality cloth for the interior are all included, while all cars come as standard with tech highlights, such as a digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera and Bluetooth music streaming capabilities.

Granted, customers will have to step up to level ‘3’ and beyond to receive that lovely 10.3-inch touchscreen with sat-nav and on-board telematics, but even basic cars receive an eight-inch colour touchscreen display and cruise control. It’s an impressive range of kit considering the base models start at just over £20,000.

Trim level ‘3’ introduces artificial leather seats, a height adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a smart entry system with an easy start/stop button ignition system. These cars also benefit from Kia Connected Services for the TomTom Live mapping, which opens up live traffic and weather information.

Finally, the First Edition models come with a few niceties that are only available as options elsewhere, including a wireless mobile phone charger, an eight-speaker JBL sound system, a powered tailgate, premium paint, a panoramic sunroof and some fetching contrast leather stitching to the seats. These will set you back up to £28,930 for the 1.4 petrol with the seven-speed automatic gearbox, which is a fair jump from the not-so basic entry-level cars.

Kia XCeed Reliability and warranty

Kias are exceptionally reliable and the brand is so keen to prove this point, it offers an unrivalled seven-year/100,000-mile warranty on all of its cars. Better still, Kia allows this warranty to be passed on to subsequent owners, meaning nearly-new or good quality used Kias can prove to be exceptional value for money and reliable to boot, with plenty of years' worth of warranty cover remaining.

Kia’s customer service and after care are also very strong. For example, when you visit a Kia dealer for a service, the vehicle receives a complimentary health check, a wash and vacuum and you receive alternative transport if needed.

Used Kia XCeed

Seeing as the XCeed is so new to market, it will be very difficult to find bargains on the used market initially. However, there are deals to be had on both the Stonic and Niro, if you don’t mind sticking with a more traditional Kia SUV.

Alternatively, the slightly less rugged and only marginally smaller Ceed hatchback is an absolute steal if you are happy with a nearly new or used model. Even low-mileage 2019 models are available for less than £14,000 on BuyaCar.