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The Ceed story for KIA continues with the fourth variant in the family, the XCeed, a car designed for Europe and built in Europe. The newcomer adds a Compact Utility Vehicle to the Ceed range, a body style that continues to prove popular across a wide range of buyers. A company spokesperson informed me that the new model would in time account for fifty percent of Ceed sales.

It bridges the gap between the traditional hatchback and SUV body styles with a higher ground clearance; it is 85mm longer and 43mm taller than the Ceed hatchback. With its sloping roofline, it sits lower than an SUV, giving the Kia XCeed a dynamic and more distinctive look.

The new XCeed shares only the front door panels with the Ceed hatchback, and taking the front view there is a distinct difference between the two models, helped by the longer, taller, sportier bonnet, new dual blade front grille, satin chrome garnish, revised bumper and new LED headlamps. There are changes at the rear which include a new dynamic bumper, diffuser and new LED lights. The rear proportions give this new Kia quite a muscular, chunky stance on the road. Styling is drawn from a SUV in the form of black wheel arch trims along with unique 16- or 18-inch alloy wheels.

The interior is well appointed, with KIA’s new 10.25-inch TFT LCD widescreen system taking pride of place, featuring the new UVO CONNECT telematics system and it is featured as standard on some models.

New functions include a split screen mode, home screen customisation, Bluetooth multi-connection and user profiles. UVO CONNECT puts a raft of information at owners’ fingertips, including live traffic, weather, and parking availability. The system can also be accessed via a UVO Smartphone app, providing remote access to a range of vehicle functions, including at-a-glance overview of key elements of the car, including doors and locks.

Another feature, the last known location of the vehicle can be viewed, and a monthly summary of the car’s usage and alerts are shared with the smartphone user, keeping them informed of the current status of the car, with notifications automatically sent whenever an event is detected in the car.

Engine choice is threefold (N.I.) with two petrol units and one diesel, the latter will be well received by buyers throughout Ireland.

The diesel engine is a 1.6 litre engine with a useful 134bhp, the result is very acceptable performance, rest to 100pk (62mph) comes up in 10.2 seconds and as regards emissions, 116g/km. I found this to be a bright diesel and the six speed manual transmission was smooth in operation. The smaller of the two petrol engines is a one litre with 118bhp(available in N.I. and the Republic) and the more powerful 1.4 litre with 138bhp and 9.2 seconds to reach 100kph (62mph) with an emission figure of 134g/km. Of course there is an automatic choice, the seven speed DCT ISG, and I would favour this transmission over the manual.

Looking at the practical side of the new XCeed, the not uncommon 40:20:40 split folding rear seats feature auto folding. The maximum load carrying capacity is 1378 litres. Storage in the cabin is good with front seat back pockets, and front and rear door storage. Even down the range, I was pleased to discover relatively high equipment levels and it goes without saying that the top end models are extremely well kitted out.

As with other models in the ever expanding KIA range, there is the industry leading warranty- seven year, 100,000 miles and a five year paint warranty being just two of the highlights of this reassuring package.

Living with the XCeed, it will certainly appeal to all ages and with some bright exterior colours, it does in a way look quite trendy.

My final parting shot, KIA has come a very long way in a relatively short time.

Ian Lynas

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