Relatively clattery diesel engines have been a cause of criticism of Kia’s cars over the past 20 years, but the Ceed’s new diesel seems to be cut from a different cloth.
The new-generation U3 diesel feels as well isolated in the nose of the Ceed as almost any like-for-like diesel in the hatchback class. And although there’s a faintly rough quality to the timbre of the noise that it makes when it’s working, the Ceed’s engine proves highly competitive for outright measurable quantity of noise: it’s quieter at 50mph, by our measurements, than an equivalent diesel-powered Renault Mégane, Vauxhall Astra and Mazda 3.
Next, after that improved mechanical refinement, you might notice how long-geared the Ceed seems. A longer final drive ratio is something that Kia Europe offers as part of an optional Eco pack available on the 1.0-litre turbo petrol and 1.6-litre diesel versions of the car. However, rather than complicate the buying process and miss out on the ‘standard’ taxable emissions gains it delivers, Kia UK simply fits the pack as standard on its lower-grade petrol and diesel derivatives.
If you want a 99g/km Ceed, then, you have to buy a Ceed 1.6 CRDi 2; and if you want to avoid the long cruising legs, low-resistance tyres and lowered suspension springs necessary to optimise the car’s efficiency, you simply buy 3 specification or above.