Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

[NEWS] Kia Xceed 1.5 T-GDi 2022 first drive

Kia Xceed 1.5 T-GDi 2022 first drive

01 Kia XCeed facelift GT Line FD 2022 lead track

High-riding version of Kia's family hatchback gets treated to a facelift. We try it on UK roads

Amid the barrage of new Kia models being launched – just the past year has brought us the EV6, Sportage and Niro – the Kia Xceed may not be front of mind for everyone. It is a bit of an unusual concept: it’s a taller Ceed hatchback, but the only body panels it actually shares with its sibling are the doors. Even so, it’s much less of a SUV than the Niro, let alone the Sportage.

Despite the Xceed's slightly confusing positioning, UK buyers have taken to it and made it Kia’s third most popular model.

And now Kia has given it a facelift: look out for the new, more ‘technical’ LED lights at the front and rear, the revised grille and bumpers and the new mock diffuser. At the same time, Kia UK has taken the opportunity to rationalise the range. The diesel, the 1.0-litre petrol and the 1.6-litre petrol remain available in other markets, but over here, the range is limited to just two options.

The volume seller is the 1.5-litre four-cylinder that replaced the old 1.4 last year. For the time being, it comes exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox, but a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is on the way.

Company car drivers will be better served with the plug-in hybrid Xceed, which is unchanged and still combines a 1.6-litre engine with an electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Its 8.9kWh battery is good for 29.8 miles of electric running, and just 12% of benefit-in-kind tax. Unusually for a plug-in hybrid, it’s less powerful than the plain petrol model, putting out just 139bhp – 19bhp less than the 1.5.

The trim levels have had a revamp, too. The hybrid always comes as a well-equipped 3, while the petrol retains the usual 2 and 3 trim structure but gains a sportier-looking GT-Line S trim that’s marked out by some black exterior detailing, more pronounced vents, a chunkier steering wheel and a pair of sport seats.

We reviewed the plug-in hybrid at the European launch a few weeks back, so let’s take a closer look at the petrol Xceed this time. It almost feels strange to be driving a brand-new car with a manual gearbox, but the shift proves an unexpected delight, feeling light but well defined, short and snappy.

That’s a good thing, because you need to work it to keep the 1.5 on the boil. It’s surprisingly boosty and needs some revs to feel its 158bhp. Below 3000rpm, it can feel a little dead, which also makes hill starts harder than they ought to be. Nevertheless, even when using plenty of revs, economy in the low 40s seemed easily achievable – a decent but unremarkable result.

Aside from that, the updated Xceed feels like a Kia from a few years ago, both in positive and negative ways.

The interior looks a bit plain next to the new Sportage and Niro, but it’s well made with soft-touch materials in the right places and you can’t argue with the ergonomics: It has all the buttons you could wish for, there's lots of adjustment in the driving position, and the sports seats in the GT-Line S are very comfortable. The standard items aren’t bad, but the top trim might well be worth the upgrade for high-mileage drivers for the seats alone.

As always with Kia and Hyundai, the infotainment system is excellent despite its lack of wireless functionality for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On the practicality side, the Xceed has a big boot with a movable floor, and space in the back is fairly generous for a family hatchback.

Unfortunately, the Xceed doesn’t quite exhibit the dynamic polish of Kia’s best efforts. It rides quite firmly and crashes through potholes. Sticking with the 16in wheels of the lower trim levels takes the edge off but isn’t a cure and they make the car look rather under-wheeled. And anyway, most people will want the extra equipment of the higher grades.

The Xceed is no hot hatch in the corners either. It steers pleasingly enough, but you don’t get much of a sense of where the grip ends and it feels a touch unstable, with the rear end feeling softer than the front. When pushed, it can sloppily lurch sideways on a trailing throttle before the stability control catches it.

Thankfully, the chassis mostly settles down on the motorway, and Kia’s assisted driving features feel fairly mature. Annoyingly, blindspot monitoring is reserved for the top trim level, and you can’t have adaptive cruise control on Xceeds with a manual gearbox.

The refreshed Xceed starts from £23,345 for a 1.5 in 2 grade. That rises to £30,345 for a fully loaded GT-Line S. The plug-in hybrid is available in only one spec, which costs £32,945. Kia doesn’t do separate options in the UK, except for a handful of premium colours such as the rather fetching Spirit Green seen in the photos.

Only a handful of manufacturers make a car like the Xceed, a style-forward crossover that sits between small SUVs like the Skoda Kamiq and medium ones like the Skoda Karoq. Direct rivals include the Volkswagen T-Roc, Citroën C4, Toyota C-HR and Cupra Formentor. The Cupra feels like the more complete package, but is also a more expensive one. Even if you include small SUVs, the Xceed offers a lot of value for money.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)