Car Reviews

2019 Kia Ceed Review

The new third generation Kia Ceed tested on Irish roads


Pros: Well-equipped, practical, standard safety features

Cons: Bland drive, rivals better finished

Here it is, the new third generation Kia Ceed (no longer spelt cee’d) and it has arrived on the market at the same time as its main rival, the new Ford Focus. Top level changes include new styling, clever safety tech and a choice of revised petrol and diesel engines. We drove the new Ceed on Irish roads for a week to see how it has evolved and if it can contest the bestselling hatchbacks in Ireland including the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai i30. 

New Kia Ceed

What is it like?

The new Ceed is wider, lower and dressed in sharper clothes. We’re driving the five-door hatchback, while a new ‘Sportswagon’ Estate version has also recently gone on sale here in Ireland. There are four levels of specificationto choose from, and the entry ‘K2’ model is equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels and Halogen lamps, though our test car is a ‘K4’ model with larger 17-inch wheels, LED lighting and sportier body styling. A Proceed five-door coupe will also join the line-up early in 2019. In a hatchback styling contest, the Ceed scores well, but it is lacks the appeal of premium contenders such as the new Mercedes A-Class. 

Kia Chrome Grille

The Ceed has matured inside with space to seat four adults comfortably and a new floating seven-inch touch screen display on top of the dashboard. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as standard with the touch screen system, and our ‘K4’ test car is fitted with an excellent wireless smartphone charger. The driver’s seat offers ample adjustment and there is a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear lever as standard. Cabin quality has improved notably with lots of hard wearing materials throughout, although it is still some way off the more premium players in the class. The Ceed’s boot is a spacious 395 litres, which is more than you get in the Ford Focus, and there are plenty of areas to stow items away in the cabin.  

Kia Ceed Interior

The Ceed launches with a range of cost-friendly engines, with a new three cylinder 1.0-litre petrol unit that produces 120 horsepower, a 1.4-litre petrol with 140 horsepower and a new 1.6-litre diesel unit (115 horsepower). All engines are available with a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic transmission. We drove the 1.0-litre petrol model with a manual gearbox and it offers plenty of zip around town, and it can sprint from 0-100km/h in around 10 seconds. We averaged 8l/100km in fuel economy (35mpg) over 400 kilometres of mixed driving, while annual motor tax is rated at €270. For ultimate economy on long drives, the 1.6-litre CRDi diesel is the undoubthedly the best option in the range. 

Kia Touch Screen

The Ceed now features a range of safety technology as standard including Forward Collision Assist, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Warning amongst others. The Lane Keep Assist feature is prevalent during motorway driving and nudges the car back to the centre of the lane when creeping out of the lane. The Ceed also has a reversing camera as standard and higher specification models have an electric parking brake and parking distance warning. This means the Ceed is one of the best-equipped cars in its class at this price point.    

Rear Car Seats

Thanks to significant platform changes, the Ceed is more enjoyable to drive with well-weighted steering and better driver feedback than its predecessor. It is comfortable and refined, although the larger wheels on K4 cars add an element of cabin noise at higher speeds. It is some way off the new Ford Focus in terms of driving fun and handling however; the Focus remains the clear class leader in this regard. 

Ceed Badge

Prices for the new Kia Ceed start from €22,695 for the entry specification 1.0-litre K2 petrol. The K2 model is equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch touch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a reversing camera, Bluetooth with voice recognition and a leather steering wheel. K3 specification (from €24,295) adds LED front and rear lights, a wireless smartphone charger, electric parking brake, half leather seats and parking sensors.

Fog Lights

The K4 model (from €25,695) gets 17-inch wheels, a larger eight-inch touch screen and upgraded seat upholstery. The range-topping K5 (from €28,595) adds heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, smart key, Blindspot Collision Warning, rain sensor, auto climate control and various other upgrades. 


Carzone verdict: 3.5/5

The new Kia Ceed has evolved significantly with smarter looks, clever safety technology and a strong serving of standard features. Those seeking a capable and practical hatch with a flexible range of engines will find it is a competitive package. The Ceed isn’t as fun to drive as the new Ford Focus, though most family buyers won't mind this fact. What's more, it lacks the outright interior fit and finish of the Volkswagen Golf. All in, a strong update. 

Kia Ceed Front

Test Car Details:

Model driven: Kia Ceed 1.0-litre K2

Prices from: €22,695

Price as tested: €25,695

Annual Road Tax: TBC

Engine: 999cc three-cylinder turbocharged Ecoboost petrol

Power: 125bhp

Top Speed: 193km/h

0-100km/h: 11.3 seconds

Transmission: Six-speed manual

Body style: Hatchback

Boot Space: 316 litres


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