No, your eyes don’t deceive you, in stark contrast to my typically stratospheric mileage, the XCeed has covered a mere 200 miles this month. Why? Because the XCeed has a clutch pedal. Ordinarily I’m a big fan of manual transmissions, but once again, I forgot I was no longer fifteen years old. Jumping over a river in Iceland – the country, not the shop advertised by Peter Andre – to get a photograph in what was truly out of this world landscape, I landed with my full weight on a hidden pointed rock, injuring my left foot in the process.
So, most of the 200 miles posted this month consists of my mum coming to pick me up and drive me back home to Wales for some TLC, both from our marvellous NHS and my even more marvellous mum. Actually, this month’s report should really be written by her. But unfortunately, when I asked about the XCeed, all I got was “it goes well” and “I love the heated steering wheel”. Thanks mum!
Saying that, they’re very valid opinions, as it does go well, and the heated steering wheel is a godsend. To me, it feels like the 1.6-litre diesel engine has a few more horses than Kia is letting on about. The torque is there in all gears, bar first, which is notably flat – sneaking out onto roundabouts in busy times requires some deft pedal control, but once into second gear and above, you’re away. Fourth gear is its sweet spot, though, for brisk overtaking.
At 70mph in top gear, the engine is spinning at over 2,500rpm, which seems a touch too high given the torque on offer from the diesel engine that should be so well suited to motorway cruising. Logic, and my schoolboy physics, says to me that this will be having an impact on fuel economy, and in reality, this is exactly the case, as I’m noticing a gulf in mpg figures between a motorway run and pottering around town that I’ve not experienced on a car before. It’s something that I’ll keep an eye over the next few months to identify any trends.
When my foot is better and clutches are no longer on my forbidden list, I’m looking forward to having a blast on the Welsh roads I grew up driving on. So far I’ve only driven ‘BA Baracus’ in the city, on motorways and busy A-roads, and the short jaunt I had on the launch of the car has given me a hint that the XCeed is going to be impressive on twisty roads. It could well pull off the same trick as Diesel Car’s old long-term Optima Sportwagon, that showed us just how far Kia had come, with its driving prowess far better than your preconceptions would have you believe.
Note to self: Come on foot, sort yourself out, those Welsh B-roads are calling me!
Date arrived 8th October 2019
Fuel economy 53.3mpg (WLTPcombined) 47.9mpg (on test)
Winter is here and so are the heated seats and steering wheel. Lovely stuff.
Having to switch off the lane keep assist every time you start the car.