What is it?
According to Kia, the Xceed is a Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) that slots between its conventional Ceed hatchback and more traditional SUV models such as the Sportage and Stonic. At a glance it looks very much like a standard Ceed that’s been treated to a raised ride height and a smattering of tough-looking plastic body cladding in a bid to sate the appetites of buyers who seemingly can’t get enough of the whole off-roader vibe. So far, so predictable.
Yet look closer and you’ll discover that there’s actually very little carryover - in fact, only the front door skins are the same. The rest of the sheet metal is all new and the coupé-tinged Xceed breaks the measuring tape at 4395mm, which is 85mm longer than the Ceed. Much of that extra length is aft of the rear axle, resulting in a healthy 426-litre boot, which is 31 litres up on the Ceed. That said, the wheelbase remains the same, meaning there’s no more space for occupants - although the Kia is hardly cramped in this regard, easily matching most in the family hatchback class. As you’d expect, the Xceed is taller than its five-door counterpart, with the raised ride height delivering between 172mm and 184mm of ground clearance depending on whether the car is fitted with 17 or 18in wheels.
Mechanically the Xceed is less bold, with perhaps the most intriguing addition being the adoption of hydraulic bump stops for the front suspension. These have been added to boost comfort and control, allowing the spring rates at the front to be lowered by 7% (those at rear are dropped by 4%) - the usual trick on cars where the ride height and centre of gravity have been raised is to stiffen the suspension to counter the extra roll. This emphasis on comfort is further enhanced by the addition to the rear suspension crossmember of a new dynamic damper, which promises to quell both noise and vibration. The rest of the all-independent set-up’s hardware is pure Ceed.
It’s the same under the longer bonnet, with the choice of two petrol engines (turbocharged 1.0-litre or 1.4-litre units, the latter expected to be the biggest seller in the UK) and a single 1.6-litre CRDi diesel, all of which will be familiar to Ceed owners. As are the six-speed manual and seven-speed twin-clutch gearboxes, both of which drive the front wheels. The fitment of either Michelin (17in) or Continential (18in) summer rubber also confirms the Xceed’s road focus - it might look the part as an off-roader, but heading off the beaten track is not part of this car’s remit.