BY BRIAN BYRNE
KIA’S Ceed compact hatch has earned a good reputation since it was first launched in 2006, and has gone through three iterations since then, the most recent presented in 2018. The idea was simple, a solid family hatch that looked good, was comfortable, and reliable. That last was, of course, underscored by Kia’s seven-Year full warranty.
Along with the standard car, the model was used to generate more sexy offerings, notably the ProCeed sporty version in three-door format. As part of the second generation Ceed, there was the ProCeed GT with a powerful engine and altered suspension which proved good value for money in its niche.
Following the third generation launch, Kia came along also with a practical coupé-hatchback under the Xceed nameplate, with some crossover-style detailing and some glitz in the interior. It wasn’t meant to be actually sporty, just a more youth-oriented option.
I have reviewed it before, and it came with all the good elements of the standard Ceed. The purpose of this piece is to look at the plug-in hybrid version, rolled out earlier this year.
The Xceed in itself is a handsome car. Almost all the exterior is different to the Ceed hatch, with a longer bonnet and different headlights, and the ProCeed like rear all distinguishing it. Some detail in the rear passenger window, and the distinctive spoiler over the back give it further presence. Sometimes making a long coupé hatchback doesn’t work, but in this case they got it right.
Inside, if you manage to avoid the brasher reds or yellows detailing, you have a well-presented and well finished interior, with the usual high-perceived quality that we get from Kia. The rear style doesn’t impinge on headroom for passengers, and the 426-litre luggage capacity makes it very suitable for the weekend away.
The usual connectivity systems are there, including the smartphone integration of both kinds. The centre dash screen is wide and bright, good for navigation when you have your Maps app hooked up, or from its own nav system when present, which includes seven years of map updates.
The engine is a 1.6 petrol with plug-in hybrid. Plug-in hybrid systems are familiar to most people now. A battery-electric motor setup allows normal hybrid driving, and up to 50kms of electric-only driving from a full charge, which you would have from leaving home.
Everyone’s hybrid options these days drive seamlessly and economically, and the Xceed PHEV is no exception to this.
One disappointment to me was that the PHEV system here doesn’t allow for charging from the engine while travelling on the highway. Which means you can’t adjust your driving habits to have a full EV capability when it works best, in a destination urban traffic space.
These days, almost every other PHEV offers that capability. However, if much of your driving is in a suburban local setting anyway, and you by-habit plug in every time you park at home, you’ll probably get all you need most days on electric drive.
The Xceed PHEV is a smooth and comfortable option in the general electrified cars arena and looks better than most. The Xceed may have a dashing look, but the essence is all about comfort, and nobody will complain that a long trip tires. It drives really well.
Worth remembering is the pricing, which is actually a tad lower than the 1.6 diesel which many buyers go for. With that you also get the lowest Road Tax for a car with an electrified normal engine.
Significant running cost savings can be had.
What I like: It has everything good about Ceed and then substantially more style.
Price: €28,350 (base 1.0 petrol from €25,920).