ISG is at its best in the city; the more powerful diesel is better out of town
The car gets the Kia family grille, known as the Schreyer grille
The test car was in mid range 2 trim
Steering feel is a bit lacking out on B-roads
The suspension on the facelifted model has been tuned on UK roads
Expect to see this badge on more Kias in the future
The front seats are comfortable and a decent driving position is fairly easy to find
The Cee'd's interior is now much improved
First DriveThe new Kia Ceed gets a new platform, new engines and - shock horror - loses its apostrophe in a complete redesign. Can it compete with the Ford Focus?
First DriveKia facelifts its Cee'd and drops its six-speed torque converter in favour of a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox in the process.
What is it?
This is the first model to be launched under Kia’s new environmentally friendly EcoDynamics sub-brand.
The Cee’d 1.6 CRDi EcoDynamics is also the first Kia car to be fitted with the firm’s new ISG stop-start system, which helps to give it CO2 emissions of 110g/km and a combined fuel economy of 67.3mpg.
It also benefits from the facelift applied to other models in the range, as well as the redesigned interior and reworked suspension set-up. You can read more about how the standard facelifted model drives here.
Kia expects a 50/50 split of sales between diesel and petrol models within the facelifted Cee’d range and 60 per cent of those diesel sales are expected to be the ISG model.
Kia says the ISG tech can be applied to any engine in its range, but it’s only currently available with the 89bhp 1.6-litre CRDi unit in mid-range 2 trim. If the model is a success and well received, expect to see ISG rolled out on other models in the firm’s range.
What’s it like?
Kia’s ISG system is certainly one of the better stop-start systems on the market. It kicks in when the car’s speed drops below 3mph, the clutch is released and the car is in neutral. It restarts again when the clutch pedal is pressed down.
The 1.6-litre diesel is quite a noisy unit, even at idle, so the ISG is a peaceful as well as practical addition when driving through traffic. On the whole it works very well.
It is quick to kick in without causing the car to come to an abrupt stop, and the only time you really notice it being an issue is when it kicks in when stopping on a hill. This causes the car to judder sharply forward, but this is more an issue of physics rather than one of dynamics.
So the stop part is fine, but hat about the starting part? ISG restarts the engine when the clutch is depressed by just 10 per cent. This is a quick process so the engine is already up and running again by the time you’re in first gear and ready to pull away, no matter how fast you do this.
Should I buy one?
The ISG system is a welcome addition to the excellent diesel side of the facelifted Cee’d range.
Kia has given the EcoDynamics model the same price as the 113bhp 1.6-litre CRDi model, giving buyers a simple choice between more power and better economy.
If you spend most of your time away from the city and on the motorway then the 113bhp diesel probably makes more sense. But if you spend more time in the city then the excellent ISG model is the way to go.