This particular Kia Ceed has a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine. That’ll give you 253Nm (186lb ft) and 160PS (118kW). With a relatively unsubstantial kerb weight of 1,330kg that means the Ceed will toddle along to 62mph in 8.4 seconds before topping out at 130mph.
It’s one of those modern engines that feels like there’s no real torque at the very bottom, so expect a rev happy launch, but once it’s into the range (peak torque comes at 1,500rpm) it feels perfectly adept for most occasions. Motorway cruising speeds are reached with reasonable speed and you won’t feel you’re too likely to absolutely ping the valves off the bonnet if you merely try and change lanes.
Actual performance wise, it’s not an engine that will excite. However at certain lower to medium ranges it does provide a thrummy little noise that’s ever so slightly evocative of the old twin-cams of the ‘60s that regularly race at Revival – a tenuous link, but it’s just about there. Don’t expect to zip around town, but also don’t worry about struggling from a junction. The six-speed manual gearbox is easy to use and lightweight and the steering is perfectly good at its job of varying the angle of attack of the front wheels. Both of which are their jobs, which they do with the aplomb of something truly middle range but nothing to quicken the pulse.
The ride is comfortable, covering even the worst potholes and jarring lanes around the South of England without causing much of a shock to those inside, and on a longer distance jaunt it becomes really rather pleasant. The engine quietens down to barely noticeable at a cruise, to the point that you can, at times, hear the whistle of the wind passing the mirrors.