Kia Cee’d SW 1.6 diesel 14 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Kia takes value-for-money approach to the estate and delivers something worth checking


    Every so often you get a little surprise, which makes up for what seems like the increasingly common run of disappointments. When I heard I was going to spend a week with the Kia Cee’d SW – that’s the estate car version of the capable Cee’d saloon – I can’t say I was bubbling over with enthusiasm …. especially as I’d had a recent run of executive or prestige machinery. However, I was surprised after only a couple of days in the car. Certainly it wasn’t going to astound me with its performance away from the lights – it was a 1.6 litre diesel after all – but it was fairly lively, very economical and remarkably versatile, at one point transporting a two-metre high kitchen door and a huge sack of logs without intruding on the driver’s space.

    Surprisingly, the Cee’d SW was Kia’s first ever estate car when it was first launched in 2007. The designers had two clear objectives – to have as big a luggage space as possible; easy folding seats and a clever tailgate-mounting to make loading and unloading much easier than in equivalent estates. The latest version has been updated on the outside and upgraded inside with new trim and more standard equipment.

    On the road

    It’s a very easy-going machine and the six speed gearbox is very useful to get the most from what is a fairly small engine. The build quality feels good, a reflection of just how much the Kia range has been improved over the past few years. That’s backed up by their 100,000 mile, seven-year warranty, which is a superb commitment that if you buy a Kia, you know it’ll be reliable – unlike the question marks raised over some of the bigger, more established names from the Far East. Visibility is good all round and all the controls and dials are simple yet effective.

    It’s one of these cars that won’t set the pulse racing but will do whatever job you ask of it without any fuss, complaint or refusal. Having said that, the test car had a troublesome driver’s door which remained firmly locked on a couple of freezing mornings. I suspect the problem was simply that water had got into the lock at some point and frozen solid in the workings. After a few miles of running the door released on each occasion, so it was more down to unseasonal weather than anything mechanical.

    Comfort & Safety

    The test car came as absolutely standard with no options added which is how Kia want you to experience what they say is the great value for money when you buy one of their cars. It had everything I needed, was comfortable, easy to use and with just one or two useful frills. I liked the new four-spoke steering wheel which has already appeared on the sister car, the Soul. It incorporates the remote audio and trip computer controls and on the higher spec models, the Bluetooth and cruise control switches. The car also has the overtaking function on the indicators where one touch on the stalk blinks the indicators three times. It’s a small detail but a very useful one which only a little while ago was found only on upmarket models.

    Should I buy one?

    For a practical, workmanlike car which will do the job, efficiently and reliably and is great value for money, this is the car for you.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £14,995 / £14,995
    Engine / Power: 1598cc / 113bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 11.1secs, Max 116mph
    How big/heavy?: H1525mm W1790mm  L4490mm / 1399kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 61.4mpg / CO2 124g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 6 / Band D, £120
    Alternatives: Ford Focus Estate; Hyundai i30 Estate; Peugeot 308 SW

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