Donna Kelly has over 14 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.
Bridging the gap between the Stonic and Niro in Kia's SUV range, the XCeed combines hatchback functionally with funky SUV styling, making it a popular choice with growing families looking for the best of both worlds.
Rivals to the Kia XCeed include the Mercedes GLA, Toyota CH-R, Mazda CX-30, Volkswagen T-Roc and MINI Countryman.
Our Kia XCeed review covers:
With its coupe-like lines, jacked-up suspension and square silhouette, the Kia XCeed certainly stands out on the road. Unlike its rivals, the Volkswagen T-Cross and Skoda Karoq, the XCeed looks more like a conventional hatchback but with a raised body height.
The XCeed's suspension has been raised by 44mm to underline its all-terrain aspirations. Its chunky black bumper protectors, contrasting colour trims and roof rails also enhance its off-road profile, taking on the more expensive Mercedes GLA in the style stakes.
Inside, passenger space is almost identical to the Ceed hatchback on which is it based. There's a decent amount of space in the front, similar to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, and there's a decent amount of seat support and adjustability.
At the rear, there's space for two adults to sit in comfort (three at a tight squeeze), and there are ISOfix points on the outer rear seats, making it easier for those with young children.
The cabin is practical with plenty of storage spaces, including good-sized door bins, two cupholders in the centre console, a tray ahead of the gear lever and a decent-sized glovebox.
But the XCeed's increase in length over the Ceed hatchback is most evident in the boot, with an increase of 31 litres to 426 litres. This beats the Ford Focus for space but doesn't quite match up to the T-Cross and Karoq.
That said, there's enough room for a child's buggy or a couple of large suitcases, and space increases to a total of 1,378 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats folded down. The only exception is with the PHEV version, which loses a fair amount of boot space (total 291 litres) due to the hybrid battery under the floor.
The XCeed's interior looks and feels almost identical to the Ceed hatchback – which is not a bad thing. The cabin feels solidly built with a good mix of soft-touch surfaces and gloss black trims. The dashboard is clearly laid out. All the buttons are laid out sensibly, and you get a decent infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity built-in as standard.
There are four trim levels to choose from, including the 2, 3 and top-of-the-range 4.
The entry-level 2 model comes well-equipped with LED headlights, cruise control, a parking camera, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The mid-range 3 trim adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and keyless go.
The top-of-the-range 4 model adds a premium JBL sound system and a panoramic sunroof.
Under the bonnet, the XCeed is powered by two petrol engines: a 118bhp 1.0-litre and a 158bhp 1.5-litre engine. A plug-in petrol hybrid model is also available.
The cheapest engine is the 118bhp 1.0 T-GDi turbocharged petrol, which offers a decent amount of poke to keep up with motorway traffic without breaking the bank.
For those who need more power, the 158bhp 1.5 T-GDi is nippy enough for almost any situation and offers the same performance as the rival Skoda Kamiq 1.5 TSI 150.
The plug-in hybrid model combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an 8.9kWh battery and a 59bhp electric motor for 139bhp and up to 36 miles of electric range.
On the road, the XCeed's light controls make it easy to drive in town but doesn't match the Ford Focus and Seat Leon for handling.
Despite not having four-wheel drive, the XCeed has plenty of grip. Its revised suspension, with softer settings and clever dampers, makes for a comfortable drive, even if it can't match the agility or comfort of the Ford Focus Active.
Prices for the new Kia XCeed start from £19,975.00 OTR* or to lease from £209.44 per month.
Thinking of leasing the Kia XCeed? Nationwide Vehicle Contracts is an approved Kia introducer, meaning you can take advantage of some fantastic Kia XCeed lease deals that aren't available elsewhere.
Car leasing offers many benefits over buying with a bank loan or dealer finance, including fixed monthly rentals and a lower initial rental. Short contract lengths between two and four years also mean you can upgrade your vehicle every few years, allowing you to take advantage of advancements in safety, style, and technology.
*'On the road' price is correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change. Always check with your nearest retailer.