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The secret diary of a motoring journalist aged 39¾'ish


15th June 2020

Ceed, ProCeed and now XCeed. This is how Kia’s small hatch range has expanded of late, and that’s not counting the Sportswagon estate and plug-in hybrid versions. The latest is the XCeed and it’s what pitched up chez Suttie this morning in all its mock-SUV glory. Yes, I know it will never tackle a mountain track, but it’s bang on trend at the moment and looks more than able to live with the likes of the Ford Focus Active or even the Audi A1 CityCarver.
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The XCeed that’s been delivered is in First Edition trim, which brings the bright yellowy-gold metallic paint. It definitely stands out in a crowd and finding the car on my way out of the supermarket yesterday evening was no problem as it glowed like a beacon. Not to everyone’s tastes, but I reckon this sort of bold colour suits small cars and it’s offset with the Kia by its SUV-alike black plastic trim.
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The XCeed has the same wheelbase as the Ceed hatch it’s based on but is a bit longer overall and that shows in the amount of boot space in this car. It’s darned big and more than up to tackling the usual family duties. It’s also helped by a variable height load floor and nothing getting in the way from the sides. The only slight downside is the higher sill of the XCeed means hefting big bags in and out takes more muscle.
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Talking of the XCeed’s taller stance, it sits 44mm further from the ground than a Ceed hatch. This lets the Kia canter over the usual mix of potholes and debris that makes up a British A-road and demonstrates why so many people now choose this style of car. There’s a bit of lean in bends if you’re pressing on, but nothing that detracts from the comfort and calm of the XCeed.
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This First Edition model comes with a 138hp 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine and is coupled to a seven-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a good combination and offers a fair turn of acceleration coupled to relaxed cruising abilities. It gives a claimed combined best economy of 40.4mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of 159g/km, so it’s on a par with the likes of the Focus Active in a similar spec.
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A rare and long-delayed opportunity to get back in the garage to do potter with some work on my Sylvia hillclimb car. Before lockdown, the starter button had been getting stickier to operate so I’d squirted a dab of cleaner into the switch. Three month later, it seems to have done the trick and the engine even fired up cleanly on the third prod of the big red button. Just a shame there are no hillclimbs in the diary now.
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More buttons to consider today with the Kia as the run of good weather came to a chilly end this morning. Thankfully, heated seats and a heated steering wheel came to the rescue and make the XCeed feel positively luxurious. Perhaps it’s the onset of middle age or just living a few degrees further north than most, but a heated steering wheel is rapidly becoming a must-have option in my mind.
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