What is it?
Just remember, whatever else you take from this, that one of the primary purposes of this new Kia Xceed 1.6 GDi PHEV is to save fuel and curb CO2. With its combined fuel consumption of more than 200mpg, an electric-only range of 36 miles and a carbon output of just 32g/km, you could hardly miss the fact.
What’s unusual is that all this energy-saving stuff is wrapped into the body of a so-called sports crossover, the fourth member of the weirdly named Ceed family whose rakish profile (that’s the sports bit) rides higher than other coupés (that’s the crossover) and thus provides you with both a sporty driving position and an elevated eye line at the same time. It’s an interesting combination.
What's it like?
Designed in Europe for European showrooms, the Xceed plug-in hybrid (PHEV) comes instantly as compact, good looking and well put together, with all of the panel fit and paint quality we’ve become used to from Kia, plus the interior attention to detail that befits a company that employs hi-fi designers for its switchgear and can afford to cover its cars with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Mind you, this is a conventional Ceed in most ways, with a 4.4m overall length sitting on the 'family' 2.65m wheelbase, and its transverse front-drive powertrain consisting of a 104bhp petrol 1.6-litre four-pot engine. However, this engine is assisted by a 29bhp transmission-mounted electric motor that is claimed to be able to propel the car for 36 miles in the city on power alone, driving (promisingly for keen drivers) through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission instead of the CVT that’s often used in cars like these.