Kia’s push to “emotionalise” its range – spearheaded by cars like the Stinger and EV6 – gets a real-world boost with a new-look XCeed, the compact five-door crossover that accounts for one in 10 of all Kias sold in the UK.
The facelifted version, on sale September, is not a million miles different but has clearly benefited from some GT-inspired design cues inherited from the Ceed GT.
This is now a sportier looking car, especially in new GT-line form (as shown) – the first time there has been a sporty variant of the XCeed. It wouldn’t look out of place in a car park full of its more expensive German competitors.
Which is good going for a mid-life refresh that only sees a restyling of the lights, grille and front air intakes and the addition at the rear of a diffuser-type panel and gloss black skid plate.
As before, the only body panels carried over from its five-door hatchback sibling are the front doors. So this high-riding Ceed maintains its uniqueness within the wider Ceed family, though calling the outgoing model “iconic” as Kia does is a bit of a stretch.
Engines? Take your pick from a range of petrols or diesel mild hybrid producing between 120PS (89kW) and 204PS (152kW), or opt for a 141PS (105kW) plug-in hybrid that can drive 48km on electric power.
The model that best sums up the new look is the GT-line with the1.6-litre petrol engine from the Ceed GT under the bonnet. Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, its 204PS with 265Nm deliver 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds.
The GT-line also gets the lion’s share of interior enhancements, but they are minor changes unless you count new display graphics and a tweaked interior mirror as big changes.
There are no prices for any of them yet (the current XCeed range starts at £22k). Is this a car to fall in love with as the increasingly sporty-focused marque believes? On Kia’s current form, perhaps yes.