KIA's stylish XCeed has just gained added appeal with the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology.
The five-door XCeed is based on the popular Ceed model but is more beefed up with a ride height increased by 42mm, as well as a number of styling cues.
The latest version sees the combination of a 1.6-litre 104bhp petrol engine with a 35bhp electric motor matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The XCeed PHEV in high-end ‘3' trim level costs Â£30,905 and, as is the Kia way, there are no hidden extra costs.
According to official figures, the XCeed PHEV can reach 62mph from a standing start in 10.4 seconds and maxes out at 107mph. Not the most exciting stats you will ever read, but this car is about the all-round package and it can deliver a combined 210.8mpg (if EV-only driving is utilised to the full) with carbon emissions of just 32g/km which brings great savings to the business driver.
Another very positive factor is the styling because the front-wheel drive XCeed is definitely a looker with its muscular stance, black and satin chrome closed radiator grille, tinted glass, LED daytime running lights and 16-inch alloys.
Move inside and the cabin is clutter-free but packed with kit. The black cloth and faux leather seats have plenty of adjustment as does the steering wheel, so it won't take long to get comfy. The seats and steering wheel can also be heated to fend off the winter blues.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone connectivity both with voice control, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming, a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines and a neat 4.2-inch cluster display behind the steering wheel.
Comfort levels are good with plenty of space for a couple of six footers up front. There is room for a couple of adults in the back provided the front seats are not pushed back too far. A third passenger will fit, but it does get a little snug. It's ideal for a trio of youngsters though.
When it comes to performance, the XCeed is a delight to drive. It's not blisteringly fast but neither is it a slouch. It can cruise at national speed limits on motorways, is balanced and well-grounded on faster-moving country lanes and proves agile and easy to manoeuvre in busier town centres, making it an impressive all-rounder.
The car starts up in electric mode (charge permitting) and can complete up to 36 miles in electric-only mode. This figure would very much depend on the driving style, weather conditions and amount of features you have running such as air conditioning.
The EV range can be boosted though via the regenerative braking when cruising or braking, so it is possible to see the electric range increase on some journeys. And the driver can select from Auto, Hybrid or Electric modes. There are also Eco and Sport drive modes to alter the manner in which the car responds with Sport adding an extra edge.
When it comes to storage, the boot can swallow 291 litres of kit - a limit that increases to 1,243 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat which is slightly less than the non-hybrid model. Elsewhere there is a glovebox, front and rear door storage, a centre console with cup holders and sliding cover, seat back pockets and a sunglasses compartment.
The XCeed was awarded a dual score of four or five stars depending on the trim level when tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating. Our test car would have been in the five-star category.
It boasts the likes of lane keep assist, lane following assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, forward collision avoidance including pedestrians and cyclists, brake assist and lots more besides.