From £12,230
Kia’s first double clutch transmission is preferable to an auto, but the manual’s still best

Our Verdict

Kia Cee'd

The Kia Cee’d is more than good enough to harry the opposition

Andrew Frankel Autocar
12 April 2012

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

Join the debate

Comments
11

17 April 2012

Whoops, a non too quick petrol £20,500 Kia with a flaky gearbox. Is this a case of Kia overstretching their technical ability?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

17 April 2012

[quote xxxx]Whoops, a non too quick petrol £20,500 Kia with a flaky gearbox. Is this a case of Kia overstretching their technical ability?[/quote]

I agree. I really want to like this car in the same way that I really liked its predecessor, but it's getting just too expensive to justify in my opinion.

Myk

17 April 2012

[quote Fidji]

I agree. I really want to like this car in the same way that I really liked its predecessor, but it's getting just too expensive to justify in my opinion.

[/quote]

Count me in with that too. I love watching Kia's match up-market, and think this new C'eed looks really good, but suddenly a Kia looks over-priced for what you get. Not what I'm used to with Kia at all.

17 April 2012

its obviously way too expensive, but that seems to be a trend that is running though many new cars these days. Which makes the Dacia range seem all the more appealing. Why is this TWICE the price of the base Duster?

Kia were once a bargain basement range. I can understand them wanting to move up, but they dont have the products for their new prices yet. Knock 20% off the list and it might seem nearer the mark.

As for this car, the engine and gearbox combo just seems wrong, and pointless at this price

17 April 2012

[quote xxxx]Whoops, a non too quick petrol £20,500 Kia with a flaky gearbox. Is this a case of Kia overstretching their technical ability?[/quote]

You have to remember ALL car prices are rising due partly to the weak pound.

To buy a Golf with the 122 hp 1.4 engine with a similar spec will set you back over £25k!

The Golf range starts at £16.5k, 5 door, with an 85 hp engine and goes up to over £32k. The Kia starts from £13.5k and the most expensive model is the one tested here fitted with many items that are cost options on the Golf.

17 April 2012

[quote Myk]I love watching Kia's match up-market, and think this new C'eed looks really good, but suddenly a Kia looks over-priced for what you get. Not what I'm used to with Kia at all.[/quote]

I think this is an extremely valid point - it's a question of what people are used to.

Whilst I am fascinated with Kia's evolution from bargain-basement cars to mixing it (in many respects) with the best in class, there remains a perception held amongst a significant percentage of the car-buying public that Kia (and to a similar extent, Hyundai) are "cheaper" cars (even though that same percentage of the car buying public would objectively struggle to find any significant quality differences between the C'eed and a Golf or Focus).

But its the "subjectivity" that's the issue - £19k to £20k plus for a Golf seems to be acceptable to many people, probably due to perceived quality and (for private buyers expecially) residuals. £19k to £20k for a C'eed? I guess there's a psychological barrier there that is still a generation away from being comfortably swept aside.

17 April 2012

Never quite understood what the objection is re manual mode pushing forward to change up, pulling back to change down. My VW DSG (on a diesel) is set up this way, and I find it works just fine for me. Come to think of it, in a manual car you have to push forward or pull back to change up. How illogical is that?

I most often use the manual mode to hold a gear or change down only, so a quick "snick" backwards is great (and great fun too with the well judged throttle blip you get with each change). To change up, I put back into auto mode for a moment, because then the up changes are at their smoothest, or simply run to red line and it will change up there. Great pity Kia are not offering DCT on their diesel - possibly the torque limit of the 'box has something to do with it?

17 April 2012

[quote Maxycat][quote xxxx]Whoops, a non too quick petrol £20,500 Kia with a flaky gearbox. Is this a case of Kia overstretching their technical ability?[/quote]

You have to remember ALL car prices are rising due partly to the weak pound.

[/quote]

My issue wasn't just the price it was to point out that Kia are overstretching their technical ability with this DCT version that they're then trying to pump out at over £20,000.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

18 April 2012

How much! £20,500 for a 1.6 petrol with an auto box. I'll take the base model Alfa with a manual box thanks. I'm sure its a perfectly good car, but where is the USP?

20 April 2012

The whole Kia / Hyundai group seem to be suffering the difficult second album syndrome on a multitude of levels with their vehicles.

Had this transmission been produced on the first generation Cee'd then it would have probably been acceptable. As it stands now though on a product, that from the outside at least looks to be a lot more polished, it is not really good enough.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq