Since the city driving part of our test drive changed our perception about the revised engine for the better, we were expecting similar results in the "Open Road" category also. Turns out we were a bit mislead by the previous numbers, because the minute we arrived on the highway it became apparent that 90 horsepower are, after all... only 90 horsepower.
The rather long ratios of the transmission, though good for fuel economy, aren't exactly a best friend of acceleration. The 13 seconds necessary from zero to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) don't seem that slow on paper, especially for a car with 90 horsepower and a minimum weight of over 1350 kilograms (about 2980 pounds) including driver. In reality though, the sprint from 90 km/h (56 mph) to 120 km/h (75 mph) seems to take ages and the car struggles to reach higher cruising speeds, regardles of what gear you're in.
OK, so these were the car's "Open Road" downsides, but what about its good points? Well, for one thing, this facelift brings improved sound cushioning, so the interior noise levels are far better than in the old Cee'd.
If that's not enough we must tell you that we were absolutely flabbergasted of the difference in handling, considering we didn't read a single Korean marketing mumbo-jumbo about improvements to the suspension. We can now honestly say that we found the Cee'd facelift to have similar, if not even better in some areas, handling than what most people consider the standard in this class, the Volkswagen Golf.
Sporty and responsive when "given' the whip" on back roads, while keeping the above-average level of comfort at high levels. We suspect the main difference in the car's handling comes from the improved gas-shocks, by the way. Also, the steering seemed a bit more precise, but that may be just a placebo effect thanks to the sportier-shaped and thicker steering wheel.
As far as the fuel consumption, we averaged around 6 liters per 100 kilometers (US 39.2 mpg) – not that far from the official 5.1 liters per 100 km (US 46.1 mpg). Keep in mind we did this with a car that only had 12 kilometers (7 miles) on the tachometer at the start of the test drive, so these numbers are bound to improve once the car is thoroughly broken in. We should also add the fact that our test car was fitted with some Cee'd-exclusive (as far as we know) "green" tires from Michelin, with low rolling resistance. Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
OK, last time I learned that Kia is NOT a Japanese watchmaker, nor a sports apparel brand. I also became acquainted with the fact that Koreans aren't just awesome World of Warcraft players, but they also make pretty good cars (yes, I have a kid brother who's a WoW fanatic).
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