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.
First DriveThe Sportswagon estate version of the Kia Cee'd is a creditable contender, but lacks class-leading sparkle
What is it?
In theory a double clutch transmission should suit Kia’s new Cee’d to perfection. After all the Cee’d is the most sophisticated car we’ve yet seen from Europe’s fastest growing car brand so the most sophisticated form of automated transmission should prove a natural fit.
What’s it like
However and as with the Cee’d in general, something has gone slightly awry between concept and execution. The first disappointment is that if you want this ‘DCT’ gearbox you’ll have to buy the 1.6-litre petrol Cee’d. It’s unavailable on the diesels that’ll make up the bulk of sales or the smaller 1.4-litre petrol. A conventional six speed auto is available as an alternative.
Secondly if you buy a DSG gearbox for your Volkswagen Golf it will actually slightly improve your fuel consumption and emissions with no measurable effect on performance. By contrast adding DCT to your Cee’d will add half a second to your 0-62mph time, cost 2.5mpg and up the CO2 by 5g/100km.
That said, on the road the gearbox works quite well. If you place it into manual mode (and forgive the fact that, like most manufacturers it makes you push forward to change up) the shifts are quick and smooth. In automatic it sets similarly high standards so long as you’re just wafting around. But if you drive fast but not furiously, the gearbox holds onto lower ratios too long exposing you to too much of the engine’s rather tuneless high rev exertions. On the quieter, lower revving diesel model it would probably have worked a treat.
Should I buy one?
The point here is that the 1.6-litre diesel Cee’d is so far preferable to the petrol equivalent that it is the latter’s inevitably lower purchase price that provides the only real reason to consider it. But if to that price you then add the four figure sum Kia is bound to charge for its double clutch auto, that advantage will, in full or very substantial part, be negated. In short the idea of a double clutch Cee’d is somewhat more appealing than the reality.
Kia Cee’d 1.6 GDI 4 DCT
Price: £20,500; 0-62mph: 10.4sec; Top speed: 121mph; Economy: 46.3mpg; Co2: 140g/km; Kerbweight: 1193kg; Engine type: front, transverse, 4cyls, 1591cc; Power: 133bhp at 6300rpm; Torque: 116lb ft at 4850rpm; Gearbox: 6-speed double clutch