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KIA XCEED

1.6 GDi PHEV First Edition 5dr DCT

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Kia XCeed PHEV - By Jonathan Crouch

Score

Performance

Handling

Comfort

Space

Styling

Build

Value

Equipment

Economy

Depreciation

Insurance

Like the idea of a really cleverly engineered Kia XCeed? There's quite a premium to pay for one with Plug-in hybrid tech. Is it worth it? Jonathan Crouch takes a look...

Ten Second Review

Kia's XCeed PHEV delivers plug-in hybrid technology to the mainstream part of the mid-sized SUV segment - and that's still a relatively rare thing in this class. There are the usual plug-in model draws here - a fantasyland official fuel figure, a tax-busting CO2 reading and a 36 mile WLTP electrified driving range. But as usual, there's a premium price to pay for the technology and packaging compromises to make.

Background

Where other brands are struggling to bring any Plug-in hybrid models to the volume part of the 'Qashqai-class' SUV 'C'-segment, Kia offers two, PHEV versions of the Niro and, as in this case, the XCeed crossover. Both use the same powertrain we first saw in the Hyundai IONIQ back in 2018, notably chiefly because, unlike other compact plug-in cars, it uses a conventional dual clutch automatic gearbox, rather than a 'rubber band' e-CVT set-up. To opt for the PHEV version of this XCeed, you've to accept quite a price premium, a weight penalty and compromises in interior packaging. Can the plug-in drive advantages here compensate? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

This XCeed PHEV uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine which works in tandem with an 8.9kWh lithium-ion battery mated to a 44.5kW electric motor. The powertrain's total power and torque output are figures are 139bhp and 265Nm - which aren't huge figures given that the plug-in system adds 115kgs of extra weight. Which is why this car won't feel especially quick; even if you select the available 'Sport' drive mode, 62mph from rest still takes 10.6s and top speed is just 99mph. But all may be forgiven if you're able to take regular advantage of this car's all-electric fuel-free driving range - WLTP rated at 36 miles. Kia claims that this XCeed will be able to get closer more regularly to this figure than some other PHEVs for two reasons. The first is the provision of a particularly effective regenerative braking system for harvesting kinetic energy and charging the battery. The second is the use of a dual-clutch automatic gearbox with proper mechanical cogs, rather than the usual 'rubber band' e-CVT automatic normally fitted to Plug-in hybrid models. This more conventional auto 'box allows the full output of both the engine and motor to be transferred in parallel through the transmission, with minimal loss of energy.

Design and Build

You'd have to be fairly familiar with the standard XCeed to recognise this PHEV version as being in any way visually different. The eagle-eyed will notice this plug-in variant's closed 'tiger-nose' grille at the front (which aids aerodynamic efficiency) and the distinct 'eco plug-in' exterior badges. Plus of course there's the addition of a charging port, integrated into the left front wing of the car. Inside, there's the same driver-oriented dashboard you'd get in any ordinary Ceed variant and this PHEV model offers Kia's latest 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system with the brand's UVO Connect telematics package. The centre-dash display can show relevant information relating to the powertrain, displaying remaining charge levels in the battery and energy usage graphics. The Korean maker claims that the adoption of the PHEV powertrain has had a 'minimal impact' on packaging, but that's not quite true. Most plug-in models manage not to reduce rear seat space over their conventional counterparts but here, the way that the system's battery is located beneath the rear bench pushes the seats slightly up and forward, fractionally reducing leg room. Like virtually all PHEVs, boot space is reduced too - in this case falling by 135-litres to 291-litres - which is not far off the sort of capacity you might get from a supermini.

Market and Model

With the standard '3' trim level most will want, an XCeed PHEV costs from over £30,000. To give you some perspective, that's about £5,000 more than you'd pay for an equivalently-specced 1.4 T-GDi petrol or 1.6 CRDI (134bhp) diesel version of this model. For further perspective, we'll tell you that a Kia Niro PHEV would cost you fractionally either less or fractionally more than this XCeed PHEV, depending on whether you ordered your Niro Plug-in with either '2' or '3'-spec trim. The '3' grade features 16-inch alloy wheels and black cloth seat trim with black faux leather bolsters and powered lumbar support for the front seats. There's also privacy glass, rain sensing front windscreen wipers, a reversing camera, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, electrically folding door mirrors, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and rear parking sensors. Heated front seats and steering wheel are also included, along with a smart entry system and a 10.25-inch centre-dash infotainment screen including satellite navigation. The infotainment system allows smartphone users access to both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and it is Bluetooth multi connection-enabled. Safety kit includes Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, a Speed Limit Information Function and 'Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist - City and Pedestrian' autonomous braking.

Cost of Ownership

Let's start with the WLTP-rated fuel and emissions figures you'll need; 201.8mpg on the combined cycle and 32g/km of CO2. In its EV mode, the Kia XCeed Plug-in Hybrid is capable of travelling up to 36 miles and takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to recharge the battery pack to 100 per cent using a 3.3kW AC charger. Plus your Benefit-in-Kind taxation exposure will fall to just 10%. This PHEV model also features a range of extra functions to enhance usability for owners looking to extract the most out of the electrified powertrain. There's a charging indicator, a visual aid that can tell you that the car is charging or when the battery is fully-charged. Its location on top of the dashboard means drivers can instantly ascertain the car's state of charge at a glance from outside the car (for instance, when it is parked on the driveway at home and the owner hasn't left the house yet). The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system incorporates extra functionality to help owners locate available charging points in their vicinity, or en route to their navigation destination. Owners can also use the touchscreen system to schedule when their vehicle should charge when plugged in at home, enabling owners to take advantage of cheaper off-peak energy tariffs, if available. As usual with Kia, there's a 7 year or 100,000 mile warranty which, since it can be passed from owner to owner, should help the impressively strong residual values. You might want to note that roadside assistance cover is limited to one year, but you do get a long 12 year bodywork warranty.

Summary

It made no sense for Kia not to offer XCeed buyers this PHEV powertrain, having already developed it for the Niro, which in turn borrowed it from its cousin, the Hyundai IONIQ. Whether though, the plug-in set-up will make quite as much sense as an option at the top of the XCeed range is another question. Some things about this PHEV model's engineering set standards for other brands - like the move away from baulky CVT transmission to a smoother conventional auto gearbox. And some things don't - like the compromises in rear passenger comfort and boot space. Of course, if the substantial BiK tax savings that'll come with XCeed PHEV ownership attract you, then a few small practicality compromises might not matter. If the finance deal is right, you might not even care too much about this variant's premium price tag. But we still think that there's room for improvement here. And if Kia's meteoric rise over the last decade has taught us anything, it's that we won't have to wait too long to get it.

Kia XCeed - By Jonathan Crouch

Score

Performance

Handling

Comfort

Space

Styling

Build

Value

Equipment

Economy

Depreciation

Insurance

Kia adds another option to the Ceed range with this trendy XCeed SUV. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.

Ten Second Review

Kia's XCeed gives the Korean maker yet another option to offer buyers seeking a stylish, well-equipped compact SUV. You might feel that this bulging segment doesn't really need any further options but Kia was determined that the Ceed family should offer one and has engineered this smart Crossover contender with characteristic thoroughness.

Background

It's easy to see why Kia is offering this XCeed compact SUV; sales of Crossover models like this are going through the roof just at present. It's less easy to see where it fits within the Korean maker's model line-up. After all, at much the same price point as more affordable XCeed variants, Kia has its Stonic small Crossover. And plusher XCeed derivatives overlap with the brand's Niro SUV hybrids and some versions of the company's mid-sized Sportage SUV. Then of course there are also versions of the Ceed hatch, the Ceed Sportswagon estate and the ProCeed sports estate. Complicated isn't it...

Driving Experience

Don't expect shattering performance - but then buyers in the compact SUV segment aren't usually looking for that. The suspension has been revamped for SUV use compared with regular Ceed models so that it can combat this higher-sided model's body roll through the bends. The XCeed uses the same engines we're familiar with from elsewhere in the Ceed line-up. That means the range kicks off with a 118hp 1.0-litre T-GDi three cylinder petrol powerplant. Next up is a petrol 1.4 T-GDi with 138hp (also available with DCT auto transmission). The auto's not especially quick-responding, but it's a smooth-shifting 'box. Kia has also developed a 1.6-litre petrol plug-in hybrid variant you can ask your dealer about. The potent 201hp 1.6-litre petrol turbo unit from the Ceed GT is missing though. If you want to fuel from the black pump, there's also a manual-only 1.6-litre CRDi diesel, offered with either 114hp or 134hp. And the brand is promising that the black pump-fuelled models will shortly be embellished with mild hybrid tech. All XCeeds get lane keep assist and forward collision warning fitted as standard, while pedestrian detection comes as part of an optional safety pack. The First Edition version also features smart cruise control (on DSG auto variants), plus blind spot collision warning and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Design and Build

The XCeed is quite different from the standard Ceed hatch - only the front doors are carried over. Potential buyers should like the sleek roofline and chunky wheel arch extensions mean which are meant to make this compact SUV look rugged and distinctive. There's more ground clearance than the hatch - and you get some black plastic bits and roof rails to give the SUV vibe. The XCeed rides on the same platform as the Ceed hatchback, but it's 85mm longer, with most of the extra length added to the rear overhang. It's 48mm taller too. Inside, it's much more like any ordinary Ceed. Cabin space is on a par with the usual hatch model rather than a full-size SUV, but one key difference on plusher variants lies with the new 10.25-inch infotainment system. The screen is similar to the ordinary monitor, but it's sharper, brighter and quicker to load. The base '2'-spec models still use that older eight-inch screen, which features a reversing camera and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone-mirroring. Rear seat space is similar to that of the Ceed hatch, but at 426 litres, the boot is 31-litres larger than it is in that more ordinary variant.

Market and Model

XCeed pricing kicks off from just under £21,000 and rises up to just under £30,000. There's a choice of '2' and '3'-spec variants, plus an initial 'First Edition' model. Grade '2' models get 16-inch alloy wheels, silver roof rails, a rear spoiler, LED bi-functional headlights, front projection fog lamps, LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights and rear fog lamps. Inside, the eight-inch touchscreen features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, together with a reversing camera system. Other equipment includes a leather trimmed steering wheel and gearshift, black premium cloth upholstery, automatic lighting control, electric front and rear windows with front auto up and down functionality, keyless entry, manual air conditioning and cruise control. Move up to level '3' and there's 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, electric and heated folding door mirrors and a window defogger. Step inside and there's a 10.25-inch navigation system with telematics, black cloth and part faux leather seat upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, an electric park brake and rear auto up and down functionality for the electric windows, as well as a smart key and button start. The centre console features a sliding storage box for extra versatility and pedestrian detection is added to the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) system on manual models and is an optional extra for DCT versions.

Cost of Ownership

Let's get to the WLTP figures. The base 1.0-litre T-Gdi petrol model manages 45.6mpg on the combined cycle and 140g/km of CO2. For the 1.4 T-Gdi petrol, the figures are 42.8mpg and 150g/km. Many XCeed buyers though, will want to fuel from the black pump. The CRDi powerplant on offer here is Kia's 'U3' diesel engine. Designed to go beyond the strict limits laid down by the latest Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard, this 1.6-litre Common-Rail Direct injection unit uses Selective Catalytic Reduction active emissions control technology to significantly reduce emissions. Hence a reduction in particulate matter and Nox compared to earlier Kia diesel engines. And improved CO2 readings of course. Let's get to the figures. For the 1.6 CRDi diesel in 114hp form, it's 52.3mpg and 141g/km. Or 53.3mpg and 138g/km for the 1.6 CRDi in 134hp guise. Diesel buyers might be best off waiting for a little longer: both diesel units will soon be paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid setup, which should provide a modest boost to fuel economy. Kia also offers a 1.6-litre petrol-powered plug-in hybrid version of this car. This delivers 201.8mpg on the combined cycle and 32g/km of CO2. In its EV mode, the Kia XCeed Plug-in Hybrid is capable of travelling up to 36 miles and takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to recharge the battery pack to 100 per cent using a 3.3kW AC charger. As usual with Kia, there's a 7 year or 100,000 mile warranty which, since it can be passed from owner to owner, should help the impressively strong residual values. You might want to note that roadside assistance cover is limited to one year, but you do get a long 12 year bodywork warranty.

Summary

Kia thinks that this Crossover model will be its best selling Ceed derivative, which says much for the way the SUV craze is dominating customer thinking these days. Some might find this variant slightly pricey and space-wise, it doesn't actually offer you very much more practicality than you'd get in the ordinary hatch. Otherwise though, there's plenty to like here. The engines are willing and the base 1.0-litre petrol unit is probably all you need. Plus there aren't really any dynamic downsides here, for opting into the crossover craze. In addition of course, there's the peace of mind of Kia's class-leading 7-year warranty. In short, if you're shopping for this kind of car, there's plenty of reasons why you might want this one.

Trim - Leather

  • Leather - Black (£0.00)

Paint - Special

  • Premium paint - Dark penta metal (£580.00)
  • Premium paint - Infra red (£580.00)
  • Premium paint - Lunar silver (£580.00)
  • Premium paint - Phantom black (£580.00)
  • Premium paint - Fusion white (£580.00)
  • Premium paint - Quantum yellow (£580.00)

Exterior Body Features

  • Premium paint (£580.00)
  • Solid paint

Paint - Solid

  • Solid - Copper stone (£0.00)

General

  • Coin Series: First Edition
  • Coin Description: GDi
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 7
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Safety Concerns?: False
  • Special Edition: True
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: 90336
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 18A
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 139
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.6
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True

Performance

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 10.6
  • Top Speed: 99
  • Engine Power - BHP: 139
  • Engine Power - PS: False
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): True
  • Engine Power - KW: 104
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 195
  • Engine Torque - NM: 265
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 27

Weight and Capacities

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1609
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2030
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 37
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1300
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 600
  • Max. Loading Weight: 421
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 291
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1243

Engine and Drive Train

  • CC: 1580
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 6 SPEED

Emissions - ICE

  • CO2 (g/km): 38
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • CO: 0.077
  • HC: 0.017
  • NOx: 0.009
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: 0.0002

Tyres

  • Tyre Size Front: 235/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Length: 4395
  • Width: 1826
  • Wheelbase: 2650
  • Width (including mirrors): N
  • Height: 1495
  • Height (including roof rails): N

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False

Fuel Economy

Fuel Tank Size: 37 Litres

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