Long-term report: Our departed Kia Ceed SW leaves a rather large hole in the fleet
Of all the cars to get attached to, it’s safe to assume that a small-engined diesel Kia Ceed estate would be far down that list.
So, why do I find myself missing our now-departed South Korean estate car so much? Time for an explanation.
Among the exotica, premium models and those cars that exist purely for show, there’s something pleasing about a vehicle that’s just able to transport you from A to B without any fuss whatsoever. That’s exactly what our Ceed SW managed.
Given I seem to spend a large chunk of my life travelling between Portsmouth and Scarborough, on journeys like that comfort and ease are vital. The Ceed, in our mid-spec ‘3’ model that is absent of any sportiness, completely excels here. With chunky tyre sidewalls, comparatively small 17-inch alloy wheels and cushioned seats, LD68 HKN’s ability to complete 300 miles with the utmost ease came in very handy.
At the start of our time with the Ceed, I was unsure about the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission fitted to our car. To me (at least beforehand) automatic transmissions primarily work in cars with bigger engines – not a 114bhp 1.6-litre diesel unit. But this car has gone some way in proving autos work in vehicles of all shapes and sizes – it even makes our car feel slightly faster than the 0-60mph figures suggest.
The huge 625-litre boot has also come in exceptionally handy on my treks to Yorkshire. I’ll openly admit I don’t travel lightly, so having a boot that can handle all my luggage has also been very useful – rather than having to use the rear seats as an extended storage area.
During our time with LD68 HKN, there has plenty of opportunity to pitch it against other models in the ever-growing ‘Ceed’ range. First there is the standard five-door hatchback – a dependable and comfortable model, but one that’s lacking the practicality of the estate. The wagon is also only £800 more expensive, too – making it more convincing.
The next is the Proceed – the svelte and glamorous shooting brake. It might look the part and feel a touch sportier behind the wheel, but despite its estate-like looks, it’s surprisingly impractical. Another tick for our SW. A new Xceed crossover is also joining the range imminently.
As for reliability, our Ceed has been completely faultless. Many still believe that it’s the Japanese manufacturers that still rule the roost when it comes to dependability, but I’d argue that it’s increasingly South Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia that are proving their worth when it comes to reliability.
You might be thinking that it would be ridiculous if a car developed faults in the short six-month period we tend to have long-term cars for, but the number of more premium models that seem to develop niggles in this time frame is remarkable.
The huge 625-litre boot has also come in exceptionally handy
Of course, our Ceed doesn’t have the same levels of kit to go wrong, but even if it did, Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty would give you years of trouble-free miles.
The only slight issue I’ve noticed with our car is that the fuel gauge and ‘miles remaining’ counter don’t seem to clock on when you put small amounts of fuel in – usually for anything under £10. It’s a small gripe, though, and given I’ve noticed similar trait on other Hyundai models, it seems to be more of a characteristic, rather than a fault.
I’ve also enjoyed the longer service intervals of our diesel car, which equate to circa 20,000 miles. Compared to our petrol Kia Stonic that needed to be serviced every 10,000 miles, it’s certainly a bonus for opting for an oil burner over a petrol.
Our time with the Ceed SW has ultimately been one of the most hassle-free experiences we’ve ever had from a long-termer. At this price point, I’d struggle to think of a more efficient, comfortable and practical estate car. For those reasons, LD68 HKN is going to be drastically missed.