The first thing that struck me about the Kia Ceed when it joined our fleet last month was the amount of technology it packed in.
Among the standard features are a seven-inch sat-nav screen with European mapping, reversing sensors, reversing camera, cornering lights and electric folding door mirrors.
That wouldn’t be impressive if we were testing the range topping 4 Tech but our long termer is the 3 – two trim levels below the most expensive.
What the 4 Tech adds is parallel park assist system with front, as well as rear, parking sensors, xenon lights and a panoramic sunroof.
This technology doesn’t come cheap – our test car has a P11D price of £20,040 – but that’s competitive with other models in this sector.
It’s worth noting that my previous test car – a Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Executive SE – didn’t have electric folding door mirrors or a reversing camera as standard despite its £28,000 price tag.
It also feels like Kia has given thought to practicalities such as where the driver might want to plug in an iPod. A number of cars have the USB port in the glove box or in a storage compartment between the front seats, but in the Ceed it is in a convenient cubby hole, beneath the sat-nav.
The new Ceed is roomier than its predecessor with 21mm more rear legroom and 12mm more headroom. It has a generous 380-litre boot.