It’s a complicated phase, the crossover class. Whereas so many vehicles fall inside putting distance of one another when it comes to worth, sizes range extensively from tall, SUV-type fashions to those who are little greater than rugged-looking, jacked-up hatchbacks.
The brand new Kia XCeed could be very a lot one of many latter. Towards the tape measure, it comes up closest to the Mercedes GLA; whereas the Toyota C-HR and – maybe confusingly – Kia’s personal Niro are a really related dimension, too. Costs begin from £20,795 and climb to £29,195, so relying on trim it prices about two grand greater than the equal Ceed hatchback. Proof of simply how common the SUV phase is is available in the truth that Kia reckons the XCeed might be an even bigger vendor than another variant within the Ceed household.
For the money, you’re getting an entire restyle over the hatchback, with solely the entrance doorways carried over. However we reckon that the glossy roofline and chunky wheel arch extensions imply that, within the steel, the XCeed seems extra rugged and distinctive.
It’s all normal Ceed fare inside however the one huge distinction comes within the type of the brand new 10.25-inch infotainment system. The interface is much like the previous system, however it’s sharper, brighter and faster to load. Base fashions nonetheless use Kia’s earlier eight-inch display, which encompasses a reversing digital camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Within the prime spec First Version mannequin (the best of three trim ranges) the usual analogue instrument cluster is changed by a 12.Three-inh digital show. On this first iteration of the system for Kia, there’s little in the best way of customisation provided, however this could come sooner or later. At the very least the graphics are crisp and straightforward to learn.
Inside area is on a par with the standard Ceed hatch slightly than a full-size SUV. The XCeed rides on the identical platform because the Ceed hatchback, however it’s 85mm longer – many of the additional is added to the rear overhang – and 48mm taller. At 426 litres, the boot has grown 31 litres bigger than within the Ceed hatch. From a sensible standpoint, then, it’s higher to contemplate the XCeed as a roomy hatchback than a full-size SUV.
The excellent news is that this impression carries over to the driving expertise, too. The additional top over the hatch comes principally from the chassis tweaks: experience top has elevated 20mm, and bigger sidewalls on the tyres add one other 17mm. The springs are softer each entrance and rear, and Kia has launched hydraulic bump stops to enhance consolation.
All of those modifications end in a extra comfy, enjoyable drive. Fewer thuds make their approach by way of the cabin, and Kia claims that there’s barely much less highway noise than in different Ceed fashions, too. Mixed with cozy, supportive seats, it implies that the XCeed is a good long-distance cruiser.
Regardless of the give attention to consolation, it’s enjoyable to drive, too. The softer setup introduces a little bit extra physique roll, so you are feeling properly briefed on how the automobile is behaving. The steering is unchanged from different Ceeds, and as ordinary it feels exact and properly weighted.
Underneath the bonnet, there are two petrols and two diesels to select from. On the backside of the tree sits a 1.Zero-litre turbocharged petrol with 118bhp, with a 138bhp 1.Four-litre above it. Diesel consumers have a alternative between a 1.6 litre unit making both 118bhp or 134bhp.
The 1.Four-litre engine is predicted to be the most well-liked mannequin with personal consumers. Efficiency is powerful sufficient, however it will probably sound a little bit strained beneath exhausting acceleration. Likewise the diesel, which is clattery beneath related conditions. Diesel consumers is perhaps greatest off ready for a couple of months longer: in early 2020, each diesel items might be paired with a 48-volt delicate hybrid setup, which ought to present a modest enhance to gasoline financial system. Costs are but to be confirmed, however ought to solely enhance prices by a few hundred kilos – barely noticeable when subsumed into month-to-month finance funds.
As we completely revealed on the 2019 Geneva Motor Present, the XCeed (and the property bodied Ceed Sportswagon) might be provided with plug-in hybrid drivetrains, too. Just like the MHEV fashions, it’s as a consequence of be launched early subsequent 12 months, and the petrol/electrical setup would be the similar 1.6-litre petrol/electrical configuration already utilized by the Kia Niro.
Every engine within the vary comes as normal with a six-speed handbook gearbox, whereas the 1.Four-litre turbo can be accessible with a twin clutch auto: a transmission we’d keep away from. The additional £1,100 buys you a laggy ‘field which slurs lazily away from the road and flares up the revs with extreme clutch slip. The handbook various is healthier, however a clunky, often obstructive shift means even this doesn’t bother the most effective within the class.
The XCeed vary kicks off with the ‘2’ trim. Gear ranges are robust: normal package contains 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, LED headlights, keyless entry, air conditioning and cruise management.
It is advisable to step as much as the ‘Three’ trim for the brand new, bigger infotainment system. Different upgrades for the three embrace 18-inch wheels, privateness glass, half fake leather-based seats (these within the entrance, just like the steering wheel, are heated) a push button begin and twin zone local weather management. With costs ranging from £23,295, it prices £2,500 greater than the ‘2’.
The highest spec First Version mannequin is just accessible with the 1.Four-litre turbo petrol engine and prices £28,095 for the handbook and £29,195 as an auto. It provides a panoramic sunroof, an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, a JBL sound system, a powered tailgate and wi-fi telephone charging.
All XCeeds get lane hold help and ahead collision warning as normal, whereas pedestrian detection comes as a part of an optionally available security pack. The First Version additionally options sensible cruise management (on DSG variations), blind spot collision warning and a tyre stress monitoring system.