Road Test Review: Kia XCeed GT-Line S

Kia XCeed GT-Line S

Road Test: Kia XCeed GT-Line S

Explore the key features of the Kia XCeed GT-Line S in our expert road test review

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Based on the Ceed model, the Kia XCeed SUV offers all the performance and technology typical of a Kia car all in a compact SUV body.


  • Good handling
  • Range of technology
  • Comfortable interior
  • Well-designed
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Kia has risen to become one of Britain’s most popular range of models, and the family-friendly Ceed has a lot to do with that.

After the Sportage and Niro, the Ceed is their most popular model and takes about 10 percent of sales as the coupé, ProCeed, or as the SUV XCeed.

Built on the success of the Ceed, the XCeed comes in four different trim options: 2, 3, GT-Line and top-of-the-range GT-Line S which is the one we drove.

Engines and Performance

With manual transmission, gear changes are short and precise, and the steering was neatly balanced for assistance and feedback, with a good turning circle as well.

Roadholding was good for an SUV with little pitching or rolling, handling was sharp and there were no vices to concern me.
Robin Roberts

While the near 1.5-litre engine is reasonably powerful and very smooth, it does lack some get up and go when loaded, and you find more frequent changes are required to make good progress cross-country.

Bad surfaces show how well the suspension copes with front struts and rear trailing links, but the noises from them and the tyres can be intrusive. Wind and other mechanical noises were very low.

Design and Practicality

For the latest XCeed, it has higher performance and newly shaped LED lights front and back with a new rear diffuser to smooth airflow, while inside there are changes to the fascia and instruments which effectively carries over elements from the new Sportage and Niro models and presents a very sophisticated yet discrete display.

The seamless appearance of the new dashboard adds to the apparent width and room inside, and in reality, it is spacious for a family car for five. Access was good throughout, including from the boot area and with its easy-fold rear seat backs to triple total capacity at a touch behind the powered tailgate and with its variable setting.

Once inside, the deeply padded, well-shaped seats securely held occupants and those in front had a good wide range of reach and rake adjustment and the designers have raised the seat height to improve vision all around.

There’s more odd bits of room throughout as well, welcome for families who carry a lot with them and teenagers who may grudgingly come along and play with their phones in the back where there are power sockets to help.

For the driver everything comes directly to hand and foot, the usual column stalks operate smoothly, buttons on the spokes are light if small and the pedals are well spaced, but I found the clutch travel was long and not as progressive as I'd like.

Equipment and Technology

Kia has simplified the touchscreen without losing its effectiveness and clarity, and they’ve now fitted sensitive touch buttons for the audio volume, heating, and ventilation on the lower facia where they’re most likely to be used by driver or passenger. It’s a wise move and less distracting than used through a screen.

Big windows, high set seats and a lot of sensors and cameras aid vision all round, so it’s very easy to park or place through corners.


Kia has done a very good job updating their popular XCeed and its refinement and sophistication really put it into a higher class than you might expect.

And in the range-topping GT-Line S trim, you’ll get every possible feature you could need along with the best performance from the XCeed range.