The Kia XCeed is a dynamically designed compact SUV that’s packed with technology and available with a choice of powerful engines. The modern styling will turn heads,  the interior has a premium feel to it and there’s plenty of on-board kit as standard. It’s quite the all-rounder.

The good

Style, practicality, technology, performance and pricing

The bad

Competing against accomplished opposition

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
53.3mpg (WLTP)
0-62 from
9.1 seconds (0-60mph)
max speed up to
co2 from

Test Drive

Kia XCeed – First Drive (2019)

Kia has built an enviable reputation for producing cars that are beautifully designed, packed with technology and very competitively priced and the latest model is guaranteed to make an impact in the compact SUV sector.

Called the XCeed and priced from £20,795 to £29,195, it is the fourth member to join the all-new Ceed family alongside the five-door hatch, three-door coupe and wagon models. The eight-model XCeed line-up is based on four turbocharged engines, two transmissions and three trim grades called 2, 3 and First Edition so there’s lots of choice.

There’s no denying that the XCeed has a commanding road presence with distinctive styling and, although the car shares the same wheelbase as the Ceed, only the front doors are carried over. Eye catching features include an athletic stance, a prominent grille with larger lower air intake, ‘ice cube’ LED lights topped by a slim turning signal that flows back over the wheel arches, a long bonnet and new narrow tail lights. There are heavily creased lines that run horizontally across the tailgate and bumper to give the car a wider appearance, and very smart alloy wheels to complete the look.

The interior is similar to its other Ceed stablemates with a sculptured centre console angled slightly towards the driver. A floating infotainment system has a prominent position at the top of the dashboard while the lower section of the instrument panel features touch-sensitive buttons and dials to control the audio volume, along with the climate control.

There is a wealth of technology to explore with full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a DAB radio and Bluetooth standard across all trims. Move up through the grades though and you will see the introduction of a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with Kia Connected Services, an eight-speaker JBL sound system, smart park assist, a panoramic sunroof, heated seats and a whole lot more.

The cabin has a classy feel to it with plenty of soft touch surfaces and snazzy satin chrome dashboard trim, plus a yellow colour pack for First Edition models that adds black upholstery with vibrant yellow stitching on the seats and doors, yellow seat piping and a blend of gloss black and yellow highlights throughout the car.

There’s a good choice of engines too. For petrol fans there is a three cylinder 1.0-litre 118bhp unit or a 1.4-litre unit delivering 138bhp. There are also two Smartstream diesel options that are the cleanest the company has ever developed, and these are offered in 1.6-litre with outputs of either 114bhp or 134bhp. A plug-in powertrain will follow in early 2020.

We tested three variants and they had their own individual appeal. First up was XCeed 3 powered by the 1.6 134bhp diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and priced at £25,345. This car could reach 60mph from a standing start in 10.2 seconds, topped out at 122mph and could deliver combined fuel efficiency of 53.3mpg (WLTP) with CO2 emissions of 116g/km.

Kia believes the 3 trim level will be the most popular and it is a car that’s fully loaded with all the on-board infotainment systems imaginable. It also has the classy touchscreen and a cabin that feels very premium.

When it comes to performance, the XCeed is beautifully balanced and the road holding is very assured. It accelerates effortlessly through the gears and quickly reaches national speed limits on motorways where it cruises along in near silence.

The slightly elevated driving position results in great all-round visibility and all the dials, controls and readouts are ideally positioned for ease of use. The XCeed is agile and easy to manoeuvre in busy city centres with nice light steering, but is just as content showing off to its full potential when powering down the faster country lanes.

The spacious cabin is bright and welcoming with ample room in the back for a couple of passengers provided the front seats are not pushed back too far.

Next up was the top-of-the-range First Edition model. It is only available with the 1.4 petrol engine, matched to a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT automatic transmission. We opted for the auto gearbox, making this the most expensive XCeed in the line-up at £29,195.

The yellow body and interior trim were greeted with mixed opinion. I liked it and thought it looked quite exclusive, but other people felt it was a little too garish.

But one thing we agreed on was the performance of the car. The engine was punchy, the gearbox ultra-smooth and the handling sharper than its diesel counterpart. The 0-60mph sprint time is faster too at 9.2 seconds with a top speed of 124mph, but the fuel economy is lower at a combined 40.4mpg with carbon emissions of 134g/km.

The auto version of the XCeed also features drive modes with Sport or Normal settings and they alter the steering and throttle responses accordingly.

Finally, we took a spin in the entry-level XCeed 2 powered by the 1.0-litre engine. This car, priced at £21,045, performs well enough but lacks the refined interior quality of the other models. There is a smaller touchscreen and more basic equipment levels. That said; the three-pot engine was fun to drive and the power levels were good even if the engine sounded quite raspy when pushed hard.

Any family car needs to provide good storage options and the XCeed does just that with a boot capacity of 426 litres. This can be increased to 1,378 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. First Edition models feature 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats along with a powered tailgate.

Safety features are comprehensive across the XCeed line-up with the likes of Forward Collision Warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Blind-spot Collision Warning, Smart Parking Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist and Lane Following Assist which controls acceleration, braking and steering by tracking vehicles and road markings ahead to keep the car in-lane and a safe distance from any cars in front.

And of course all XCeed models are covered by the best warranty in the business of seven years or 100,000 miles.

Kia claims the XCeed offers the space and practicality of an SUV with the sporty packaging and handling of a hatchback making it quite the comprehensive all-rounder. And after a day driving a selection of models, I wholeheartedly agree with that summary.

Latest Related NEWS

Ford announces revival of the Puma

Ford is hoping to shake up the compact SUV sector with the re-launch

A first glimpse at the all-new Kia XCEED

Kia Motors has released the first image of the all-new Kia XCeed urban

Kia puts its Soul into EV motoring

The latest third generation Kia Soul EV has made its European debut at

Kia’s classy concept car is electrifying

Kia Motors sent shockwaves through the Geneva Motor Show show this week when

VW launches T-Cross First Edition

Volkswagen has announced the launch of the T-Cross First Edition – the initial

Extra kit for the Eclipse Cross

A year after its introduction, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has passed the 80,000

Introducing the all-new Kia e-Niro

Kia wowed the crowds at this week’s Paris Motor Show with its all-new

Kia unveils high performance Ceed GT

The all-new Kia Ceed GT will be more accomplished and fun-to-drive than ever

Kia Niro EV has a range of 280 miles

The new Kia Niro EV goes on sale today in Korea, combining an

More punch for the Kia Picanto

Following the arrival of the Picanto in Kia showrooms last year, the range

A teaser sketch of VW’s new T-Cross

The boom in the crossover market shows no sign of slowing down and

First images of the all-new Kia Niro EV

Kia has today unveiled a new all-electric version of Niro at the 5th

Ceed replaces cee’d for next generation

The all-new Kia Ceed will make its public debut at the 2018 Geneva

Kia sows the ‘ceed’ for future models

Kia’s Proceed Concept, which was created by the Korean company’s European design centre

Audi launches fastest Q2 to its line-up

Audi is broadening the appeal of its Q2 compact SUV with the addition

Kia Rio sets the Pulses racing

The new Kia Rio, launched just a few months ago, is now setting

Related Reviews

Kia Ceed