First Drive Review: Kia XCeed

Independent review by Chris Russon

4-minute read

Silver Kia XCeed Exterior Front Driving

First Drive: Kia XCeed

Explore the key features of the Kia XCeed in our expert first drive review

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The Kia XCeed set strong first impressions, fitting right in with Kia's other successful SUV offerings.


  • Good practicality
  • Efficient powertrains
  • Plenty of tech to choose from
  • Great value for money
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It's one of the latest members of Kia’s all-new Ceed family, and the pumped up crossover XCeed looks set to become a top seller.

The XCeed is joining a band of cars with SUV looks and everyday credentials.

It’s a booming market and Kia knows that its latest model is likely to become the mainstay of its Ceed range, which already includes a hatch, estate, and the ProCeed station wagon.

Design and Practicality

With an increased ride height, a restyled body, and plenty of body cladding around the wheel arches and sills, the XCeed certainly looks the part.

Overall it's some three inches longer than the hatchback on which it's based, and has two inches extra ground clearance but sits on the same wheelbase.

Those extra dimensions have added to its practicality, and at 444 litres, boot space is up by almost a suitcase over the hatch with some 1,378 litres of room available with the rear seats folded.

Interior space is similar to the hatch but the XCeed features upgraded trim and fittings which see it come with a larger display screen, a new-look instrument panel, and more refinement all round.

Rear space is little different to that of the hatch, with the extra length of the XCeed going mainly on the added boot space.

Engines and Driving Experience

At the start of the range comes the XCeed '2' with a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet, and it’s a car that’s good enough to satisfy all that's demanded in the current compact crossover craze.

The increase in height has done nothing to diminish its nifty handling and with 118bhp on tap, performance is more than adequate.

Officially it's rated at 10.9 seconds from 0 to 62mph, with a maximum speed of 115mph, while on the fuel front it comes in at an average of 45.6mpg with emissions of 124g/km.

On our run, we exceeded that without having to try, and saw an average of 50.2mpg on the trip computer.

Trim quality is high and there are no complaints about onboard comfort, with good levels of noise insulation and a quality feel to the seats all round.
Chris Russon

Equipment and Technology

But it's what you get for your money where the XCeed impresses most, and even the entry-level car comes with little lacking.

On the safety front there’s a full array of equipment ranging from lane keeping, anti collision braking, and speed limit information, to automated LED headlights and a driver attention monitor.

The 1.0-litre XCeed '2' is a 6-speed manual and comes with a ‘proper’ handbrake – electric parking brakes feature on the higher trim cars, as does a larger display panel and Kia’s new digitised instrument display.

At '2' grade, the car sits on 16-inch alloy wheels and comes with an 8.1-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dash and a 3.5-inch display screen in the instrument panel.

Voice control, a reversing camera and full smartphone compatibility is standard, and realistically, all that's missing on the '2' grade model is sat nav which is fitted on all other versions.


As with all Kia models, the XCeed comes with a 7-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Sitting in the Korean carmaker’s SUV line up below the Sportage, it's a compelling option for those who neither need nor want the size or 4x4 ability of bigger models.

With its looks and all-round demeanour, the XCeed has success stamped all over it and at such great value for money, it's a top option within the small SUV segment.