New year, new ankle. Sort of. Walking got the green light again, but the clutch was a step too far, so a brief stint in Mr Dredge’s C5 Aircross – with its lovely automatic gearbox – was the ticket to mobility. Thanks Richard! Swapping back into the Kia after a few thousand miles with the Citroën, the chalk and cheese characters of the two cars were impossible not to notice and a perfect example to dispel that clichéd saying “all cars are the same these days”. They’re really not. Our XCeed has such a good driving position – far better than you’d expect from a crossover vehicle – sitting really low. The chunky steering wheel – one of my favourite aspects of the car – has a brilliant amount of reach adjustment, which is perfect when you’ve got long legs and a need to set the seat back a bit further, but still want to feel involved driving the car. And then there are the seats themselves; I really struggle in a lot of cars thanks to my chicane shaped spine, but the XCeed is perfect, with a good design, nice bolstering and just the right amount of firmness. And as with all the Kia’s I’ve experienced, a fist-like dose of highly adjustable lumbar support punching into my back. Happy back, happy me.
It’s interesting, in just a short space of time the XCeed is attracting a lot of attention. It’s all subjective of course, but reckon it looks great. I’m told that in a strive to make the XCeed a proper crossover, the only panel brought over from the current Ceed range are the front wings, which is something that can’t be said for a Focus Active, for example. At the front end in particular, the XCeed’s beefy design is distinctive, in a way that the regular Ceed’s is just plain. From when it was first revealed, I felt that Kia designers could have done more with the face of the Ceed, especially as the rear of the ProCeed is so pleasing, and so I’m pretty pleased that the XCeed is so noticeably different. In contrast to the red colour on some rival cars, the Infra Red paintwork just isn’t deep enough, though. Compare it to a Mazda3, for instance, and there’s so much more depth. When back home at Christmas, the XCeed was parked next to my Mum’s Nightfire Red Rover Streetwise – arguably one of the cars that kicked off the crossover trend, albeit often forgotten – and the Kia’s colour appeared a little dull in comparison.
Checking out the online configurator for the XCeed, and there isn’t a large number of colours for our 3 specification car – six in all. And bar the white, which would probably look a little ‘UN’ in specification with the plastic cladding, they’ll all a little drab. There’s only one stand out hue – Quantum Yellow – and that’s reserved exclusively for the First Edition trim level, which isn’t available with a diesel engine. It would be nice if diesel drivers were given a little more choice. Still, looking on the bright side, the great-looking 18-inch alloy wheels on our car go a long way in taking your attention away from the hue.
Date arrived 12th April 2019
Fuel economy 53.3mpg (WLTPcombined) 45.6mpg (on test)
Having physical buttons and knobs to adjust climate settings.
The handbrake doesn’t engage automatically when you switch the car off, unless you press Auto Hold. However, you have to press this every time you start the car, so it’s a little pointless.