Two days. Two blinking days. Actually I didn’t use the word ‘blinking’, I used something far more colourful. A short drive in our Kia XCeed and while negotiating a speed bump at walking pace, I heard a distinct pop.
Seconds later the tyre pressure warning chime confirmed my fears. A puncture. Luckily I was virtually at my destination already and quickly parked but the air wasn’t so much leaking out as flooding. Within moments it was properly flat. After just two days and with less than 250 miles on the odometer, a brand new tyre was about to head for the scrapheap.
With the hybrid batteries taking up boot space, there was obviously no spare or space saver, only a can of filler. But from previous knowledge, I know that this negates the chance of the tyre being repaired. By sheer fluke, the local tyre agent was nearby, so a quick visit and chat with them confirmed that the best option was to fill it up as best I could with the compressor and drive it there. Very, very slowly.
With that done, they confirmed that they could repair the tyre (I could have kissed him I was so happy – well almost) and I considered it £22.50 very well spent indeed.
While waiting, aside from admiring a De Tomaso Pantera in the next door garage (when was the last time you saw one of those?), it got me thinking about plug-in hybrids and EVs generally. Most new cars have been losing their spare tyres or space savers for years as manufacturers battle to shed vehicle weight. I’ve never been a fan of tyre filler, but with hybrids and EVs using some or all of the under-floor space for batteries, those are now even more unlikely to have a space saver – or the room for one.
23 July 2020
It would be a very brave person indeed that would bet against this new Kia plug-in hybrid version of the XCeed being a success. Both with company car and retail sales, the Ceed has been Kia’s best-seller in Europe for some time and with its Sportswagon estate, ProCeed shooting brake versions and this XCeed crossover, it’s hard not to see that continuing.
Add to that the seemingly insatiable appetite for crossovers and the continuing one for plug-in hybrids and this PHEV version looks even more like a winning hand. This XCeed’s 32g/km emissions and 36-mile fully charged range also give it a temptingly low BiK rate of just 10% (rising to 11% in 21/22 and 12% in 22/23) – a siren call to many company car drivers.
That desire certainly won’t abate in the gorgeous Infra Red of our test car (a £570 option) – a hue that isn’t entirely unlike Mazda’s Soul Red – and really makes the XCeed stand out. In the meantime, over the next six months we’ll be looking forward to sky high average fuel economy (though it’ll be tough to better the 110mpg of our previous Ioniq PHEV) and crossover practicality and comfort. First though, it’s being immediately pressed into service with a baptism of fire on a family holiday to Devon.