Kia cee'd
Kia cee'd

Sitting behind the chunky, tactile steering wheel, with rake and reach adjustment, the driver is faced with three simple instrument dials that you don’t have to strain to read.

Front passengers benefit from lumbar and height-adjustment to their wide, sports seats, while active head restraints help to reduce whiplash injuries. For those in the rear seats, there is adequate legroom to make long journeys relatively fidget-free and although the seats are firm, they are nonetheless comfortable. The squab flips up to allow the backrests to fold (60:40), forming a flat floor and increasing the luggage capacity from 340 to 1,300-litres.

When it comes to in-car-entertainment, the cee’d is a step ahead of the others. Nestled below the centre console in the GS and LS models are USB and AUX sockets and full iPod connectivity should be available any time now as a standard fixture. Even the entry-level ‘S’ has steering-wheel-mounted audio controls to go with the integrated and MP3 compatible RDS radio/CD player. An integrated Satellite-Navigation system is also available, which comes with an enhanced audio system.

I’ve just noticed that Kia have sneaked in an SR trim above the S, so a quick review of the highlights is called for. Prices start at £10,995 for the S model and that buys air-conditioning, tinted glass, rear seatbelt reminder (not on the 1.4) and a space-saver spare wheel. The new SR (Special Edition) £10,495 and rising, adds 16-inch alloys in place of the 15-inch steel wheels and the USB and iPod functionality amongst other items, in common with the GS from £11,795 and the top-of-the-range LS.

The test car was the 1.6 CRDi LS priced at £14,295, and for that, you get full climate control with an Air Quality System, half-leather upholstery, electric rear windows and two rear cup-holders.

At launch, there was a choice of 1.4 and 1.6-litre, petrol units and a 1.6 CRDi, turbo-diesel with two power outputs but later this year, it will be joined by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and if that can improve on the fuel consumption figures of the 1.6, it will be truly impressive. Until the new diesel arrives, with its 6-speed manual ‘box all cee’ds come with a 5-speed manual transmission as standard. A 4-speed automatic is available with the 1.6 petrol engine.

For now the all-new 1.6 CRDi with the higher output of 115bhp, as opposed to the 90bhp of the standard unit, produces 255Nm of torque from 1900rpm to 2750rpm. That is a broad band and even if the numbers mean nothing to you, the fun and flexibility of the pulling power, will make itself evident.

Kia cee'd Road Test | Part Three
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