The Kia Cee'd is the automotive equivalent of a success story. In a very FUBU-like manner (For Us, By Us, Ed), the Korean model was created to satisfy the tastes of Europeans with not enough dough to buy the mother-of-all-compacts, the Volkswagen Golf. We didn't find it exactly Golf-beating, but given its lower price, industry-leading 7-year warranty, roomy interior and a nice quality overall feel, the Cee'd managed to win some of us over, albeit with a different, more fuel-efficient powerplant under the hood. The car's best asset, you ask? Well, we're not that determined to pick a clear winner, but the battle is fought between the humongous warranty and the highly spacious interior (given its compact exterior size).
Since we found that the Cee'd doesn't particularly excel at anything beside the two good things we mentioned above, the same can be said about its downsides. The bad part about the 1.6 GSL we tested was probably its Honda/Ferrari-like engine, with the maximum torque available from a stratospheric 4200 rpm. This can only mean that in the city the car really behaves like it's got only 90 hp, instead of the advertised 122 hp. There's a distinct lack of torque at low rpm, and by low we mean under 3000 rpm.
The ugly part about our Cee'd 1.6 GSL test car must have been the rather high fuel consumption for such a small engine. Plus, the car had a really odd way of calculating the medium mileage, since according to the onboard computer we used around 8.5-9 liters per 100 km at 110-120 km/h (US 27.7-26.1 mpg at 60-65 mph). While those numbers don't sound good, we should also tell you that the same onboard computer was showing at some points a BETTER fuel consumption during city driving. Obviously, we scrapped that misleading information and calculated ourselves, which resulted in an average of 9 liters per 100 km (US 26.1 mpg) in a combined highway/country roads/city driving (with around 70% of the driving being made in a crowded city).Continue reading