21: Kia Ceed – Snapping at the heels of Ford and VW hatchback leaders

Top cars for 2019: Quietly styled, excellent quality and just very good at doing lots of things

Kia Ceed is snapping ever harder at the hatchback heels of Ford and VW

Kia Ceed is snapping ever harder at the hatchback heels of Ford and VW

 

Thankfully Kia has seen fit to ditch the awkward and unnecessary apostrophe’d and uncapitalised c’eed badge of old, which at least takes the pressure off spell-check. It doesn’t take the pressure of the Ford Focus and VW Golf, though, as the Kia is snapping ever harder at their hatchback heels.

It’s not a knock-it-out-of-the-park performer, the Ceed, but rather is just very good at doing lots of things. So it’s a bit quietly styled, inside and out, but the quality is excellent.

The handling is, perhaps, not that exciting, but equally it’s closer to matching the new Focus than Ford might care to admit. The 1.0-litre turbo petrol, and new 1.6 diesel, engines are excellent, and the SW estate model is enormous and enormously practical. Plus it’s warrantied for seven years. Standard multilink rear suspension gives it an edge on its Hyundai sibling, the i30.

Best model: Ceed Sportwagon 1.0 T-GDI K3 for €25,295

Price range: €22,695 to €28,090. Finance from €258 per month.

Co2 emissions: 99 to 132g/km

Sum up: Now properly punctuated.