Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Similar interior to regular Ceed
  • But with some techy touches
  • Quality feel and user-friendly

If you’ve been in any Kia model lately, you’ll feel at home in the XCeed. That means you get a logically laid-out dashboard that feels solidly put together, with some neat and useful design touches. It’s not quite challenging Audi for quality (yet), but there are a few changes over the regular Ceed that make it look and feel a more premium offering, and justify the jump in price. It certainly feels a nicer place to be than a Ford Focus Active.

The biggest news is in front of the driver with a 12.3-inch digital display – it’s the first Kia model in Europe to feature one. As you’d expect, it’s quite a simple setup that changes depending on the driving mode you’re in, but you can tweak what’s displayed in the centre of it like you can on any current Kia model fitted with a smaller screen between the dials.

It looks crisp and sharp with a clean design, but it’s not quite as advanced as the virtual cockpit systems you’ll find in a SEAT or Volkswagen, but then it’s also refreshing that it isn’t as complicated to operate.

One oddity though is that the rev counter shows a digital readout of the engine RPM when the car is in Sport mode. We're not really sure this is particularly useful and can be a bit distracting.

The firm’s touchscreen infotainment system remains perched on top of the dashboard, this time with an updated operating system and a new 10.25-inch widescreen display on models higher up the range.

It’s always been a pleasingly simple system, so it’s good to report it hasn’t been changed dramatically, it just looks a bit more tech-filled now, and very much up to date. Online services such as petrol price info, parking availability and weather and traffic reports are included for seven years, as are any updates made to the system in that time.

A row of touch-sensitive shortcut keys run along the bottom of the screen – much easier and slicker to operate than those found in something like a Peugeot 3008 – while a set of simple heating controls are set below on the dashboard that’s angled slightly towards the driver.

Below that (depending on specification) is a very neatly integrated wireless phone charging tray - unlike others we've used this holds onto your device and doesn't require moving around to find the right spot to charge it. You simply drop it in and go.

In all, it’s unfussy with a neat design and high quality feel, and it’s all the better for it. It’s one of the easiest interiors to operate in a hurry, with clear buttons and controls and a user-friendly layout.

Is it comfortable?

  • Excellent driving position
  • Very easy to get comfortable
  • Cushioning ride that’s not wallowy

The regular Kia Ceed hatchback manages to offer a high level of comfort compared with many of its rivals, and the XCeed has inherited this trait.

In terms of interior comfort, all seats available are nicely supportive without hemming you in too much, with a cushioning feel to the seat base and a good level of adjustability to find the right position. The driving position itself is spot on too. It’s very hatchback-like, so you sit noticeably lower than in something like a Nissan Qashqai, but there’s a wide range of adjustment, the controls are all within easy reach and long stints behind the wheel shouldn’t throw up any issues – we found the seats to offer a fine blend of comfort and supportiveness across the range.

Ride comfort is impressive too, with bumps smoothed out well, isolating the occupants from any nasty imperfections in the road. The XCeed also features more sound insulation than the regular Ceed, and as such remains very quiet unless you’re on particularly rough roads. The tyres are larger than on an equivalent VW T-Roc, but it manages to be a quieter place to be than the VW.

The 3 and First Edition cars both get 18-inch alloys and while the car in general is still very comfortable in the way it rides, you are aware of those larger wheels thumping into potholes and over expansion joints.