This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Kia Ceed Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Kia Ceed performance overall is good with six engine options to choose from following the range’s autumn 2015 revisions.

Petrol power

From the 2012 launch the Ceed came with a choice of two petrol engines: an entry-level 98bhp 1.4-litre and a 133bhp 1.6-litre GDi, available until 2015 with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox in addition to the standard six-speed manuals.

Unsurprisingly, the 1.4-litre isn’t particularly quick, posting a 0-62mph time of 12.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 113mph. The 1.6-litre alternative is appreciably quicker, though, posting figures of 9.9 seconds and 121mph respectively.

Joining the range in 2015 were a pair of three-cylinder 1-litre ecoTurbo engines, producing 98bhp or 118bhp depending on the trim level. Both develop 171Nm of torque from just 1,500rpm making it easy to access the acceleration on offer, making junction getaways and overtakes all the more safe.

All ecoTurbos are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, with the lower-powered version reaching 114mph and reaching 62mph from a standstill in 12.3 seconds. The more powerful version feels peppier than its 118mph and 10.7 second time suggest.

Diesel alternatives

Fancy a diesel? If you opt for the 89bhp 1.4-litre CRDi it will get from zero to 62mph in 13.5 seconds and has a top speed of 105mph, so you’d really have to value economy over performance to choose it.

From launch the 1.6-litre CRDi delivered 126bhp but this increased to 134bhp following the late 2015 refresh. Torque increased too, nudging 280Nm at 1,500rpm for the six-speed manual, and 300Nm at 1,750rpm for the new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Opt for the manual in lower-specification Ceeds and the revised 1.6-litre CRDi will reach 117mph and complete the 0-62mph sprint in 9.5 seconds; go for a higher trim and these become 122mph and 9.8 seconds, respectively.

Automatic versions will go even quicker at 124mph, but the acceleration test takes 10.2 seconds.

Kia Ceed performance is competent and you’ll get to your journey's end in an unflustered manner but if it’s a car that’s going to make you smile and engage you on B-roads then it’s best to opt for a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.

Kia Ceed handling is still not as sharp as a Ford Focus or even a Volkswagen Golf. Yes, the driving dynamics are an improvement over the previous generation but there is still work to do in this area.

For 80% of the customer base this may not matter. It’s a shame that the Kia Ceed does not deliver the goods and although there is a decent amount of grip and it’s agile in the corners, steering feel and feedback is where the car is really below par. The Flex Steer system should address this but it's still not engaging enough.

You can choose between three modes on the Flex Steer system, Comfort, Normal and Sporty. This gives the driver three settings of steering assistance and feedback, from a light steering to a heavier feel in Sporty. Even though the steering does weight up it feels artificial and you never get the feeling that you are at one with the car.