Long-term report: The Kia Ceed Sportswagon continues to be a dependable and comfortable cruiser

LD68 HKN has been with us since December of last year and in that time it has become our fleet’s workhorse of choice, with many of those in the office finding it a comfortable and capable cruiser in previous reports.

The Ceed does well on country roads as well as motorways
The Ceed does well on country roads as well as motorways

Now, for me, having only driven my driving instructor’s Peugeot 208 and my current car, a fifth generation Ford Fiesta, this car is a big step up in terms of refinement and quality.

And with the combination of the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and the 1.6-litre diesel, as well as the practicality of the large boot, I can now see why the others here depend on the Kia for longer jaunts.

In my time behind the wheel of the SW, I’ve been on a tour of the south coast with my mum and sister through Sussex and the South Downs, up to my parents’ home in Shropshire and then to Manchester, and through central London as well. And in all that time, I’ve found the Kia to be composed and efficient, while also coming with Apple CarPlay, which for me has been a great feature to listen to my favourite playlist and access Waze to stay up to date with traffic ahead.

The rear lights are a standout design feature
The rear lights are a standout design feature

As a relatively new driver, the Kia has been a great way to transition from a five-speed manual from the mid-2000s into a more modern machine, which has been so simple to drive.

I’m not saying it’s perfect though, as the steering can be quite vacant and lacking feel, while the lane keep assist can be rather intrusive when settling down to a cruise on the well-trodden trunk roads of the UK. The rear passenger space has also been called a bit small by those who have spent time there – but as they were on the taller side and I’m not exactly vertically challenged, I’ll give the Kia a pass.

And while I’ve never seen Kia’s claimed fuel economy for the 1.6-litre diesel of 68.7mpg, the Ceed has consistently clocked well into the mid-50s on longer drives having set the cruise control and let the car do its thing – allowing for incredibly relaxed driving.

The estate layout makes the Ceed SW very practical
The estate layout makes the Ceed SW very practical

On a trip previously mentioned up to Manchester, using a single tank, I was able to potter around during the week, then drive to my parents’ place in Shropshire, before carrying on to Manchester the next day, pootling around the city and then travelling back to north Shropshire – and still had 90 miles of fuel left. Although diesel fuel prices have shot up in the last few months, that’s something I can get on board with.

On returning from said trip, I was also able to see how practical the Kia really was, as a piece of bulky furniture needed to be moved to my flat on the south coast. The incredibly capacious, 600-litre boot swallowed it up with no problems, and with room to spare.

Kia's Ceed has proved to be frugal and refined
Kia's Ceed has proved to be frugal and refined

While on my way back to Hampshire, I was able to reflect on the car as a whole and found myself thinking how much value-for-money the Ceed offers. For £24,605, it doesn’t set the heart racing inside or out, and neither does it find you yearning for another go behind the wheel but it does everything you could possible ask of it.

But the Kia has grown on me, as it has been cosseting perfectly sensible and spacious – while also coming with as much tech as you realistically need in a car.

For a new driver such as myself, that’s all you really need, and as the car to get me from my own into ones that I need to be rather objective about, the Ceed has been a great stepping stone.

  • Model: Kia Ceed SW 1.6 CRDi DCT 3

  • Price: £24,605

  • Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel

  • Power (bhp): 114

  • Torque (Nm): 280Nm

  • Max speed (mph): 119mph

  • 0-60mph: 10.3s

  • MPG: 67.3mpg

  • Emissions (g/km): 108g/km