2 January 2022
8 Mins read

Kia Ceed Sportswagon 2021 UK Review

The Kia Ceed Sportswagon is a well equipped, strong estate but does it live up to the promise of the five-door hatch?

While it seems that the latest version of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon has just had a light nip and tuck, the estate still remains a popular business car and family car choice in Kia’s long and impressive line-up. The Kia Ceed Sportswagon is a roomy family estate that is not only a competent and compact family hatchback-based hauler but also has the engine capacity and body of a sleek sports car.

The Sportswagon is actually one of two estate cars from Kia’s Ceed family found on the market. The Sportswagon is the more upright and traditional version and is better for those who regularly pack a car up to the rafters or are piling friends and families in the back for long journeys. While not exactly daring in its design, the Ceed Sportswagon is rather swoopy compared to the rectangular Octavia Estate, even more so following its recent 2021 facelift.

The Kia Ceed hatchback arrived in its third generation in 2018 and it didn’t take long for the Sportswagon estate version to follow afterwards. This impressive player in the UK market is a practical model that has matured into a real contender to competitors such as the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and even the venerable Volkswagen Golf Estate.

So what does the Kia Ceed Sportswagon 2021 have to offer? Let’s take a look!

What’s new?

The latest version of the Sportswagon has a sharper, more aggressive appearance, with distinctive LED daytime running lights that sit separately from the headlights for a cleaner appearance. The front end is branded with the Korean firm’s latest logo alongside a black gloss finish on Kia’s familiar tiger-nose grille. This latest version also receives two large side air intakes intended to create the car’s sportier appearance and there’s a light rear bumper refresh, too.

Every Kia Ceed Sportswagon model has a good range of adjustment and room for the driver’s seat and steering wheel, making them line up nicely with the pedals so you’re not forced to sit crooked. It has just about as much room in the back as a Ford Focus Estate or Volkswagen Golf Estate and offers a great range of equipment levels. The infotainment system with 10.25in touchscreen plus intuitive and helpful buttons make the system easy to navigate while driving.

The impressive tech doesn’t stop there. Alongside the ‘floating’ infotainment screen is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and sat nav with TomTom maps and traffic information as standard. The entry-level ‘2’ grade has cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and an eight-inch touchscreen. The flagship ‘3’ trim adds larger 17-inch alloy wheels and privacy glass, dual-zone climate control and even a fast charger for portable devices.

Overall, the interior quality of the Kia has gone in the right direction and is almost matching the class leaders for soft-touch materials and a sturdy feel. While it can be said that the addition of more volume in the back means there’s a little more interior noise when the load bay is empty but the well-sized 625-litre boot makes it easy to forgive.

How does it drive?

Two petrols and a sole diesel form the standard engine range in this Kia lineup, while a flagship plug-in hybrid petrol was introduced in mid-2020.

There’s a new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine which replaces the 1.4-litre of the older versions. The cheapest petrol engine for the Kia Ceed Sportswagon is the 118bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder. It provides the sort of pace most buyers will find pleasing even on the motorway.

If you expect your Sportswagon to be heavily loaded up, the 158bhp turbocharged 1.5 T-GDi petrol is a much better bet. Aside from some initial hesitation at low revs, it’s effective once you’ve wound it up, getting from 0-60mph in 8.3sec.

It’s a feisty engine that has enough pull for any type of road and works effortlessly with the seven-speed DCT. One of the issues commonly found is refinement.

Aside from minor chinks in its armour, you have a well-rounded, capable and agile car. The chassis has an unexpected level of finesse demonstrating control when cornering and composure (mostly) over less admirable roads. Our recommendation is the entry-level 1.0-litre T-GDI which is smooth for a three-cylinder engine and has plenty of power for both urban and long-distance driving. It can return up to 53.3mpg and is the most affordable option for both business and private buyers.