Kia Ceed 1.0 T-GDi ‘2’ UK drive

What is it?

It is amazing how much attention a new logo receives. The announcement generates a surprising amount of traffic to our website. In fact, the Kia rebrand earned its maker a Guinness World Record in the category of’most unmanned aircraft (UAVs), launching fireworks simultaneously’.

Then there is all the fuss. Every dealership must update their branding and stationery. Signwriting needs to be changed on all sites before they can sell cars.

We are now staring at the Kia Ceed hatch, which has a new logo. We are also trying to figure out what else has changed. The bumpers have been “re-profiled”, which is corporate talk for “altered ever so slightly”. It’s the same with the Kia. Instead of a black section at the wheel that resembled an aero opening, there’s now a more angular and foglight. A new chrome treatment has been applied to the grille.

Although the changes at the rear are less dramatic, I was unable to tell the difference. I had both old and new images overlayed on top of each other. This is not important – the Ceed looked pretty good before and still looks great.

The touchscreen layout inside is simpler, but they still retain physical controls for temperature and volume control. You’ll be surprised at how far car interiors have advanced over the years. There is even a cigarette lighter power socket.

It’s what?

For this review, we are in the 1.0-litre Ceed base model. This is the cheapest way to get into the car. It is a decent deal at PS20,105 and more than PS2000 cheaper that the Ford Focus.

It’s competitive with the Focus’s output at 118 bhp, and 127 lb ft. It takes 11.2 seconds to go from 0 to 62 mph, which is slower than cars like the Focus or Citroen C4, although not significantly so. The Ceed’s slower acceleration feels more natural to its character. It has an engine that is slow to rev (mid-range punch doesn’t come easily). You’re better off enjoying the view.

Peak torque is available at 1500rpm. The motor has a high pressure direct injection system coupled to a single-scroll turbocharger. However, in practice, it struggles to respond quickly below 2000rpm.

The three-cylinder is not made to be coarse when it is revved. It’s a very civilized lump, which is mated to a six speed manual. Even in the higher rev range, it doesn’t become intrusive. You won’t find extra speed, so it’s not worth going there.

The comfort level of riding on 205/55 R16 tires and wheels is impressive. The car handles bumpy terrain and long undulations well, never feeling tense. The car feels more expensive than the PS20k price tag, thanks to its well-controlled body roll.

Do I need one?

Although Kia has become a less value-driven company, which is understandable, the base Ceed has maintained that same do-it all-for-nowt attitude as Kias, without becoming a mere copy of Kia. It has a fair amount of honesty.

Although it lacks the same handling sophistication as a Focus, it is closer to how Ford drives and steers these cars. The new badge does not change this, despite what the marketing department may want you to believe. It doesn’t mean you should ignore the Ceed. This is an excellent entry point to the Ceed family.