By Jay Khan, April 20, 2015
Model spec: Kia Cee'd Sportswagon '3' Price: £21,295.00 Engine: 1.6 CRDI Turbo Diesel
BHP / Torque: 126 / 192 Max Speed: 119 CO2: 116g/km 0-62mph: 9.5 seconds
Economy/Range: 35mpg combined Tax: £30/year
“Flex-Steer is a three mode steering system that alters the weight of the steering via user controls. The three modes are Normal, Comfort and Sport. In my opinion these modes need further calibration if they are to be of practical use.”Kia has adopted the use of electronic steering, early examples used to feel like a force feed back steering accessory you can buy for Drive Club for the PS4. Kia’s early attempts of using this setup didn’t feel as natural as a hydraulic system. That’s changed, the engineers have tweaked the electronic steering which now has a more natural feel, great, and now it also comes with Flex-Steer. Flex-Steer is a three mode steering system that alters the weight of the steering via user controls. The three modes are Normal, Comfort and Sport. In my opinion these modes need further calibration if they are to be of practical use. Sport mode added too much resistance, while comfort seemed too light, indeed Normal steering mode felt like the best mode to be in at all times, because it felt the most natural. So the question is what is Flex-Steer for? Kia have really made strides in the engine department, the 1.6 CRDi turbo diesel is fairly quiet at idle and from behind the wheel you can barely hear it thanks to the excellent sound insulation. Again this adds to the premium feel of the Cee’d. On the move the engine has plenty of power on offer, its refined and smooth and is accessible thanks to a well engineered and crisp to engage 6-speed manual gearbox. Combined this makes for a relaxed cruiser. OK it may not have spectacular 0-60mph times of its Golf rival or that driver involvement but this isn’t a sprint it’s a long distance race and that means it will return 62mpg on a combined trip. Overall there is very little wrong with the Cee’d Sportswagon, its fairly stylish on the outside, very refined on the inside and offers all round practicality and versatility one expects of an estate car. At £21k all in its pretty good value and typically undercuts its VW Golf rival by around £500. However £500 isn’t too much of a difference these days, and that’s the price you pay for upgrading to what many would consider to be a step up in terms of badge respectability, if you go for the Golf. The 7 year warranty Kia offers means the Kia has a ‘peace of mind’ advantage. Although UK motoring journalists love the Golf, out of bias perhaps, you really shouldn’t underestimate the Cee’d… Anymore.