One of the greatest ‘pats on the back’ for manufacturers, or their press offices, has to be a sale of one of their cars through recommendation or word of mouth – it’s the best form of advertising. Do you remember Kia’s TV advertisement from a couple of years ago that was based on exactly that – owner satisfaction. The cars speak for themselves and the owners have a part to play in that too. I’d like to think my near constant praise, love and positivity for the Optima Sportwagon I ran in 2017 got at least some feet through the doors of Kia retailers. This was the case with one of my colleagues, a videographer for a different publication, who was also running an Optima SW, and his friend that was looking to change his BMW 1 Series to a more family friendly car. He’d had BMWs his whole driving life, and a 3 Series Touring was on the cards, until he went in my friend’s Optima. An Optima Sportswagon now sits proudly on his drive. I know you’re thinking how 2017 and an Optima is related to 2020 and an XCeed, but it’s happened again, but this time with me and my friend Mike. Mike saw our XCeed out and about, read some reports in Diesel Car & Eco Car magazine and asked me what I thought, as he’d read some mixed opinions on the XCeed in other publications. For some reason, he trusts my judgement, and has now signed on the dotted line for a brand new XCeed. It’s solid proof that these long-term tests work, especially if the cars are up to scratch – which clearly Kia’s are.
So, Mike got me thinking about why I recommend the XCeed, and why would you spend the extra money on an XCeed over a standard Ceed hatchback? As I’ve mentioned before, to my eyes at least, even with a bit of plastic cladding, the XCeed is a better-looking car with greater presence both on the road and when parked up. It’s chunkier, classier and both looks and feels a more premium product than its standard hatchback sibling. The extra touches, like the illuminated door handles and LED indicator strip in the front headlights, gives a real touch of premiumness. And not forgetting the LED rear taillights, too. And that is just on the outside. Inside it’s just that bit nicer, too, with a slightly different dashboard incorporating the excellent 10.25-inch touchscreen. All of these small touches add substance to the XCeed and goes some way to justify the additional cost.
But what else is the XCeed up against? There’s Volvo’s V40 Cross Country, though that’s no longer in production, so buyers would need to seek out a used one. It’s decent to drive, but running costs are higher, and you’ve got considerably less room than an XCeed, especially in the back. Probably the biggest competitor is the Ford Focus Active, which is based on the standard Focus, but with some plastic body cladding and raised ride height. There’s also the option of an estate version, if you need some extra space. The Focus is a keen driver’s car, is spacious and well equipped – the same attributes as the XCeed. One aspect that the Ford can’t live up to is the Kia’s seven-year warranty, as the Blue Oval firm can only muster three years’ worth of cover. Game, set and match Kia!
Date arrived 8th October 2019
Fuel economy 53.3mpg (WLTPcombined) 46.2mpg (on test)
LED lights all around. Thank you.
No blind spot monitors available on diesel XCeeds in the UK, so door mirrors it is.