REVIEW: Kia Xceed

by Seán Creedon

Korean company Kia had a great end to 2019 when their e-Soul was voted Continental Irish Car of the Year, the first time that an electric car won this prestigious award.

Kia’s e-Niro also did very well in the voting to make it a great year for the company, who have done really well in the Irish market over the past 20 years or so.

In 2002 Kia sold 400 cars in Ireland and in the early days their large cars the Sorento and Sportage provided most of the sales. But in recent years sales have risen dramatically and several new models have been introduced including the Ceed.

Since the first Ceed was launched in 2006, the Korean marque has more than doubled its sales in Europe, fulfilling its mission statement that it could engineer and design a car that appeals to European drivers.

Two years ago Kia wisely decided to drop the apostrophe from the name and now we get the Xceed, which is described as an urban cross-over, although at first glance you wouldn’t really think that it’s a cross-over.

Dropping the apostrophe was important as nowadays people search the internet for information on cars and if you have an apostrophe in a name, you can get inaccurate results on Google.

Last week I drove a bright yellow-coloured version and it certainly ‘stood out from the crowd’ in the supermarket car park. Officially the colour is Quantum Yellow.

It’s based on the five-door Ceed and just slightly higher (44cm) suspension than the regular model. But it’s a new model and we are told that the only body parts carried over are the front doors.

The exterior colour is carried over in the interior with a touch of yellow on the dash, the inside of the doors and all over the seat covers.

Kia see this new model as sporty alternative to more conventional SUVs. They expect over one thousand people to buy one this year, with 500 of those opting for the plug-in hybrid version, which is due very soon.

The boot is a decent size and you get a ‘mini’ spare wheel, which is much better than those dreaded repair kits. However, I did find the engine a bit noisy at times.

Prices start at €26,345 for the K2 1.0-litre petrol. There will also be a 1.4-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel. As usual prices rise according to the spec, while the K4 1.0-litre I drove, with a few goodies including blind spot detection will cost you €30,045.

The K4 trim has the brand’s first fully digital 12.3ins supervision instrument cluster. It replaces the conventional speedometer and tachometer dials with digital dials.

The Xceed looks great, it’s fun to drive and the bright yellow colour certainly attracted a few enquiries from fellow motorists and people in car parks. And of course anybody thinking about buying Kia will always ask about their famous seven-year warranty.

The Xceed is made in Zilina, Slovakia, along with the five-door Ceed, Ceed Sportwagon and ProCeed Shooting Brake.

Kia lost James Brooks, their genial MD to Opel at the end of last year, but that Car of the Year win was a huge boost for the company.

Meanwhile Aidan Doyle, the Head of Marketing and new MD Ronan Flood will keep the show on the road at Kia’s Irish headquarters in Ballymount, Dublin.