Parkers overall rating: 3.6 out of 5 3.6
  • Logical cabin layout
  • Materials are high-quality
  • A bit dark and dingy

The Ceed Sportswagon's dashboard is identical to the regular Ceed’s, and by extension the ProCeed and XCeed models too. By and large, that’s a good thing.

Kia’s dashboard layouts are among the most intuitive in the business – there’s very little ambiguity about what controls do, all the functions you use regularly are given discrete buttons, making it very easy to adjust things like the climate control while on the move.

Everything’s also very easy to see, particularly the instrument dials, which are high-contrast white-on-black. Kia also fits an easy-to-access brightness control which adjusts the instrument panel, infotainment touchscreen and button backlighting all at once – a real boon for those who prefer a dark car when driving at night.

Material quality is good too, and the car certainly feels as though it will last for the duration of its seven-year warranty with no shakes or rattles. There’s a range of pleasant soft-touch materials even on entry-level cars, though as you move down the dashboard some cheaper plastics do make themselves known.

The colour palette is steadfastly monochrome, with blacks and greys the order of the day. This does have a tendency to make the Ceed Sportswagon feel a little bit dark and dingy, especially in the back.

Infotainment

Entry-level cars get a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, while the other available trim levels – 2 Nav and 3 – get a 10.25-inch screen. Both are refreshingly straightforward, though the interface isn’t as attractive or intuitive as a Volkswagen Golf’s. It knocks the Vauxhall Astra into a cocked hat in terms of functionality and straightforwardness.

The basic specification does without a built-in sat-nav, but that’s not really a problem since there’s a USB input and Apple Carplay and Android Auto both come fitted as standard, allowing you to plug in your phone to use as a navigator.

Plug-in hybrid cars get a separate page on the multimedia screen with information on battery range, how economical your driving is and whether the electric or petrol motor is driving the wheels.

Comfort

The Ceed Sportswagon doesn’t have the same supple quality to its ride as a Ford Focus, but it’s reasonably cushioned nonetheless and, especially on the smaller wheels of basic-spec cars, it deals well with potholes and road imperfections.

There’s quite a bit of body lean in the corners, though, and the seats aren’t especially supportive, so if you take the bends in a spirited fashion you might find yourself sliding about in the driver’s seat – or making your kids in the back a little car sick.

There’s plenty of adjustment in the driving position, and Kia allows its seats to be slid much further back than the norm, which is great for tall drivers.