TAKE a standard Kia Ceed hatchback and give it the compact SUV treatment and the end result is the rather appealing Kia XCeed.
This five-door compact SUV boasts dynamic styling along with a generous level of kit as standard, which is very much the Kia way.
There is a good selection of trim levels and powertrains, but we opted for the high-end XCeed ‘4' powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine delivering 158bhp and 253Nm of torque.
It was priced at £29,090 and could complete the 0-60mph dash in a respectable 8.7 seconds with a top speed of 129mph. It can deliver a combined 44.8mpg with carbon emissions of 143g/km.
The XCeed looks great from any approach with dynamic lines, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, rear privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof, satin chrome window surrounds, a dark chrome and satin chrome grille, silver roof rails and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The interior is beautifully styled with black leather seat upholstery, a leather trimmed steering wheel, aluminium pedals, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outer rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a powered driver's seat with memory settings.
Creature comforts are plentiful too with the likes of a 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat nav, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming, a wireless phone charger, eight-speaker JBL sound system, a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines and a 12.3-inch tft cluster display.
When it comes to performance, the XCeed drives really nicely. It's no powerhouse, but can hold its own on motorways cruising at 70mph and there is lots of power to fizz through the twisting country lanes. The road holding is ultra grippy with barely a sign of body sway in or out of tighter vends. The test car had a six-speed manual transmission and there was ample power on tap to overtake slower moving vehicles.
The steering is nicely weighted and the car is well insulated so minimal road surface, wind or engine noise filters into the cabin.
The XCeed is also agile in busier town centres with a good turning circle and very decent all-round visibility. It also featured a smart park assist system for automatic parallel and perpendicular parking.
Comfort levels are excellent up front with supportive seats, but there is fairly limited legroom in the back, especially if the front seats are pushed well back. These seats are fine for children though or adults over shorter trips.
The boot is accessed via a powered tailgate and can hold 426 litres of kit, a limit that increases to 1,378 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. In addition, there is a glovebox, front and rear cup holders, a central cubby box, door bins with a drinks section, seat back nets and a sunglasses compartment.
Safety systems are comprehensive with the likes of lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance assist with cyclist and pedestrian detection, high beam assist, driver attention warning, intelligent stop and go, intelligent speed limit warning and a full suite of airbags.