Kia Cee'd Estate: the lowdown
Kia is rapidly making inroads into European markets. This new Cee'd estate is light years away from the shonky Kias of old - and it'll go on sale in August for around £500 more than the hatchback. At 4.5m long, it's 235mm longer than the hatch and has a marginally stretched wheelbase to free up some more space for family clobber. The boot's pretty big, too - at 534 litres, it'll swallow a couple of hundred more than the hatch.
It's pretty big then for a Golf-class estate...
It sure is. Kia is making lots of noises about its tailgate hinging system, claiming the bracket is so far forward that the boot rises way above head height, making it easy to load. No more banged heads, it seems. The Cee'd is the first Kia designed and built in Europe and represents a step change in the Koreans' thinking. Okay, so it's not going to set your pants on fire - it's still a blandbox, just one that does rather a lot of things rather well.
But it's a Kia... it's so sensible!
Yep, the Cee'd appeals to the head, much more than the heart. But it should be a stress-free ownership proposition: that seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty is a welcome safety net and Kia does well in customer satisfaction surveys. There's little spec detail been confirmed yet, but bank on engines from 1.6 to 2.0 litres and three trim levels, with generous-for-the-class kit. Will there ever be a sexier Cee'd? We somehow doubt it, but rumours abound of a convertible version under development. Watch this space.