THE soaring image of Korean car maker Kia in the UK has been further enhanced following the launch of the second generation cee’d which has has just gone on sale writes Bryan Longworth.
It is five years since the first generation European built cee’d was launched with its unique seven year warranty which changed the image of Kia for ever.
For from being a producer of budget cars Kia has gone on to become the manufacturer of good quality stylish motor cars especially the cee’d.
New cee’d is available with four engines, two petrol and two diesel, and for the time there is a new DCT double clutch gearbox which has been developed by Kia in collaboration with a German transmission specialist.
Prices range from £14,395 to £23,795 on the road which might seem a lot of money for such a car but this is clearly an indication of just how much up market Kia has proceeded (no pun intended) since those distant days when Kia first started selling cars in the UK.
The new cee’d has quite distinctive styling and looks good especially up front with the new corporate grille and overall it reminded me a bit of the Ford Focus.
This rather classy theme is continued inside the car where there is a distinct quality look and feel especially the seats, trim, fascia, instruments and controls.
I drove one of the top models with the 1.6-litre 126 bhp diesel engine six speed manual gearbox and stop start system on a demanding route around Lake Geneva in Switzerland overlooked by the massive Toblerone mountain range near where the famous chocolate bars are produced.
There was a quality feel about the way the car steered and handled with the engine which has a combined fuel consumption of over 76mpg providing plenty of punch with a top speed of 122mph and zero to 62mph time of 11.5 seconds plus a 97g/km CO2 emissions rating.
I was also impressed after a drive in the 1.6-litre petrol model with the six speed automatic gearbox which compared very favourably with the DSG auto gearbox in VW Group cars and which is considered to be the best in the business.
Kia has certainly upped the game with the new cee’d which is still rather surprisingly the only car with that seven year warranty after over five years which goes to show just how much faith Kia has in the quality and reliabilty of their products.
My only reservation about the new cee’d is that like the first version I would have preferred a different name but it has not detracted from cee’d sales and it is obvious owners have no problem with the name.
My Verdict: Kia’s game changer is now better than ever.
Model: New Kia cee’d five door hatch.
Engines: Two diesel and two petrol.
Transmission: Six speed manual and six speed automatic.
Trim grades: Five.
CO2 emissions: From 97g/km.
Warranty: Seven years.
Prices: From £14,395 on the road.