Kia's facelifted hatch gets the firm's first stop-start system

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.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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TegTypeR 3 September 2009

Re: Kia Cee'd 1.6 CRDi

The new grill just doesn't do it for me. I think the biggest problem is that the original car was unpretentious in design, it was what it was - a cleanly designed car that wasn't trying to be anything other than a great value mid price contender in its sector of the market. It had a certain charm, a youthful image.

This grill smacks of "lets move it up market a bit", lets become another generic European style brand. That's not what Kia is all about, Hyundai occupy that place in the market. In fact look at this car and the i30 now - a little too close in concept.

As for the rest of the car, I am glad to see they've worked hard on improving key areas such as ride. Makes a great value for money car even better.

Zeddy 2 September 2009

Re: Kia Cee'd 1.6 CRDi

First drive data

How much?

  • Price as tested £11,445
  • Price as tested £9,000
Hmmmm, those second hand values aren't looking too good.

JonathanLGardner 2 September 2009

Re: Kia Cee'd 1.6 CRDi


When I first saw the facelifted Cee'd a few months back, I was really quite dissapointed as I felt the already ok looking model had been ruined...however, seeing the latest images of it has restored my confidence in Kia's design team! It's really growing on me. The sharper front makes it look alot more mature and smarter, also the new steering wheel looks g r e a t!

I can't wait to see what the new Sportage and Magentis will look like. If they look anything like the new Sorento and the stunning new Cerato (aka Forte - not currently available in the UK) they should be real lookers (especially if the Magentis takes after the VG concept)