Fleet News

First drive: Kia Ceed 3 1.6 CRDi 136 DCT ISG car review

Kia Ceed


The Ceed marked a new chapter for Kia when it launched in 2006, as the first car to be built at the manufacturer’s first European factory.

It was also the first model to launch with Kia’s seven-year warranty and, with two models to follow (the Sportage and the Venga), it sets a template for the Korean manufacturer’s models aimed at European customers.

The second-generation Ceed, out in 2012, was a more complete package, with the stylish three-door Proceed adding a dash of dynamism to the range, alongside the standard five-door hatchback and practical SW estate.

These three models are undergoing changes for the 2016 model year, which might look subtle from the outside, but are nonetheless significant.

Kia says the C-sector, in which the Ceed competes, attracts some buyers downsizing from larger cars, who nowadays expect the more compact models to offer the comfort and technology they expect to find in the class above.

Kia has also paid attention to the appetite for sports-inspired equipment grades, particularly popular among premium-badge cars, such as BMW’s M Sport, Audi’s S  Line and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Sport. The revised Ceed range will include a GT Line grade below the high-performance GT models and distinct from the existing 1, 2, 3 and 4 trim designations.

Kia has made a few changes to the Ceed’s chassis and steering to improve responsiveness and feel, and the difference is noticeable, if still a distance behind the most enjoyable cars to drive in this class.

The Ceed is now available with an optional ‘speed limit information function’, which uses a camera to identify speed limit signs and display them beside the speedometer and  on the navigation screen. Blindspot detection and rear cross traffic alert are also available as options, using sensors to monitor the side and rear of the Ceed for other vehicles  in the driver’s blind spots and give the driver a visual or audible alert.

There is also a parking assistance function available, where the car can be steered automatically into a parking space after detecting a place with sufficient room. No autonomous emergency braking, though. This is unlikely to appear on the Ceed until the next-generation model in 2018.

The new 1.0T will have limited appeal to most fleets, but is almost on a par with the 1.0-litre turbo-charged petrol engines available in the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

Our diesel, with the new seven-speed DCT automatic (technically a dual-clutch manual), is smooth and responsive. It also brings an enormous CO2 benefit compared with the outgoing six-speed torque converter automatic. Emissions for the 136hp diesel with this transmission and optional stop-start are rated at 109g/km, which is competitive with some of the best performers in the class.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

Search Car Reviews

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


  • G.Bearman - 01/01/2016 08:49

    No reviewer gets it right. New CEED 2 facelift dct ISG. Ride is simply awful with poor bump absorption, have reduced tyres to 30 ps Can not fit preferred 15" Wheels because they will not fit CEED 2,,Steering & suspension noticeable slightly worse, Steering feel improves with Goodyear Efficient grip tyres but ride still poor. DCT subject to unwanted surges ,virtually useless for engine braking, unlike previous excellent TC auto ,acceleration very good, ISG a complete pain.Plastic has been improved, but steering wheel leather down graded. Invisable TPM ,have fitted Steelmate TPM ridiculous overlarge fuel gauge,No permanent engine temp or useful trip odometer buried in virtually undecipherable Menu Best features enhanced appearance, zero road tax,

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
    • Scooper - 19/05/2016 08:12

      Wow. Got out of the wrong side of the bed, have we? You use hyperbole way too much with little effect.

      Reply as guest

      Login  /  Register
  • Dion Penston - 10/08/2018 11:39

    I agree with Bearman below about the surging and also the useless menu wich is in a red colour unreadable if any sunshine. I bought the ceed a 1.6 crdi with 7 miles on it and it now has 500. I have been back to Kia dealer about the surge and apparently it has been mapped for this. It is very noticeable in third gear and my wife on the first and only time she drove it went into a corner in third took her foot of the accelerator and it flew around the corner due to this mapping surge, She now refuses to drive it. I had a Stonic when I took it in with the same engine and that behaved perfectly ok due to a different mapping system they told me. Personally I think is is dangerous as I expect a car to slow when I take the foot off but not with this if it is too low for that particular gear it will surge. The red menu on the speedo is next to useless and a stupid design. It is an 18 plate car and I won't be buying another Kia after this experience

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register