Sportswagon 1.6 CRDi 7-DCT GT-Line
sharp-looking all-new ceed
Sportswagon estate enters 2016
with a few pleasant surprises, not
least the seven-speed, dual-clutch
automatic gearbox partnering its
more powerful 134bhp 1.6 turbo-
ALL-NEW SECOND-GENERATION MID-SIZED ESTATE also comes with a new name
Sportswagon. Which nicely sums up its character for buyers on the lookout for
a stylish and accommodating estate car. Especially one with a manageable 'footprint':
from nose to tail the Sportswagon measures 4.5 metres, making it perfectly fit
For the majority of potential buyers the most important figures will be 510
and 1,642 litres capacity respectively of the boot and the full
loadbay with the 60:40-split rear seats folded down.
making sure that there's sufficient power in the engine room to propel the Sportswagon
however much of all that load space is being used (be it for people
or packages) is an upgraded 1.6-litre CRDi engine with 134bhp
that's backed-up by more torque: 206lb ft in manual versions and 221lb ft with
the new dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
the move the 1.6-litre CRDi works well with Kia's new DCT transmission because
whereas most dual-clutch 'boxes are used for added sportiness, left to its own
devices Kia's is more about helping make life as easy as it can be. Which will
be especially appreciated by all those drivers for whom relaxed, refined progress
is a primary requirement.
the move the
1.6-litre CRDi works well
with Kias new dual-
clutch autobox left to
its own devices the
seven-speeder makes life
behind the wheel as
smooth as it can be...
For those times when you want to 'press on' it's equally on the ball as it can
be used in manual mode (via the selector lever or the steering wheel paddle-shifters)
to fully access the performance. You can, of course, use the kickdown, which
is well managed and which, thankfully, isn't at all 'trigger happy' and picks
exactly the right gear for the right degree of extra acceleration.
However, when going down the DIY gearchange route most 'hands-on' dual-clutch
autobox drivers prefer to use the wheel-mounted paddles to select the ratio
they wish to exploit. Whatever shifting mode you choose man or
machine the seven-speed DCT will carry out your orders faithfully
The turbodiesel follows where the DCT leads, revving sweetly as it gets into
its stride around 1,750rpm when its maximum 221lb ft of torque really comes
alive. Another plus point is that it doesn't shout about it, being agreeably
muted for an oil-burner.
Also reaping the benefits from this new DCT-turbodiesel partnership is the Blue
Planet: compared with the previous conventional six-speed autobox, the new dual-clutch
transmission's emissions fall by almost 25% from 145 to 109g/km
with real-world fuel economy averaging 50mpg.
Partner or car, everyone wants a 'good-looker'. Responding to human nature,
Kia have introduced the GT-Line spec for buyers who want the sporty styling
and trim of the flagship GT models but with lower fuel, insurance and taxation
models certainly look the 'biz' and are identified by a deep front bumper and
standout 'ice cube'-style LED daytime running lights housed in high-gloss black
panels flanking a unique black lower grille, neatly topped off by a high-gloss
black mesh main grille with a graphite chrome surround.
or car, everyone
wants a good-looker.
Responding to human
nature, Kia have
introduced the GT-Line
spec for buyers who want
the sporty styling
and trim of the flagship
GT models but with lower
touches continue at the tail with an equally sporty rear bumper and double-barrelled
tailpipes. The number plate and rear foglights are also encased in black high-gloss
panels while the rear lamps are full LED units. Externally, the GT-Line package
is finished off with a set of bespoke dark metallic grey, five-double-spoke
17-inch alloy wheels. All of which makes for a far more eye-catching wagon than
most of its class rivals.
Inside, the GT-Line upgrades continue with striking two-tone upholstery plus
powered lumbar adjustment for both the driver and front passenger. Time spent
behind the wheel is improved by a sporty leather steering-wheel with a perforated
grip and silver stitching that's echoed on the trim and seats.
Look down and there's also a set of sleek alloy pedals. A matt black finish
demarcates the touchscreen surround; the console tray, air vent surrounds and
door trims are embellished in contrasting high-gloss black and faux black leather
inserts add extra garnish to the doors.
While the focus of our review is the 1.6-litre turbodiesel, we should point
out that diesel isn't the only flavour petrol is also an option,
with 1.4 and 1.6-litre engines, as well as a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder ecoTurbo
Open the door and climb inside the GT-Line cabin's style upgrade
makes an immediate impact. The black-and-grey fabric seats with quilt-effect,
cross-stitched centre panels look very comfy and they are.
It's easy to set a spot-on driving position and once you've done that you'll
enjoy clear views out in all directions. Long seat bases provide good under-knee
support; the bolstering is also comfortably firm and the smart-looking seats
are supportively comfy for extended drives.
dash is attractively laid out around a seven-inch touchscreen that controls
the infotainment systems. Ergonomics are good, with crisp and clear, chrome-edged
dials. Bracketed by a rev-counter on the left and fuel gauge to the right, the
large speedometer also shows key driver information on its integral LCD display.
infotainment menus are
intuitive and simple to
use, made even better by
a raft of new connected
services powered by
camera locations, live
traffic updates, weather
and local search
touchscreen's entertainment and navigation menus are intuitive and simple to
use, made even better by a raft of new 'connected' services powered by TomTom
these include live traffic updates, speed camera locations, and
weather information as well as providing local search functionality. Shortcut
buttons around the touchscreen take you directly into the main menus.
The SatNav comes with European mapping, a Traffic Messaging Channel, the choice
of fast, short or economical route-planning and painless full UK postcode destination
entry, speaks directions in good time and shows clear junction views and enhanced
lane guidance graphics that are especially useful (and welcome) when your route
takes you along busy motorways.
And when you're parking, the touchscreen makes life easier by switching to a
reversing camera view complete with a positioning grid. And, just to be sure,
audible rear parking sensors are also fitted (an automated parking pilot is
optional). Keeping your cool is another prerequisite when driving and the dual-zone
climate control system does a great job of keeping the driver and passengers
cool, chilly, warm, or hot, as requested.
The recent range upgrades, boosted by the GT-Line trappings and combined with
fine fit-and-finish, a well-judged mix of trim textures and some classy detailing
(chrome, high-gloss and silky-satin black) create a cabin that drivers and passengers
will enjoy spending time in.
It's also easy to keep it at its spick and span best thanks to plenty of storage
solutions including a roomy cooled glovebox, drop-down sunglasses case, cupholders,
a large 'cave' below the fascia with AUX and USB connectivity plus room for
your portable devices, and large bins in the front doors that will easily hold
a bottle of Prosecco!
we mention that the sporty-looking, all-black steering wheel is multifunction?
Well it is, and it makes it as safe as possible while on the move to control
the audio, phone, cruise, speed limiter, and the driver's information display.
And when you're not doing that, there are shapely cut-outs for your thumbs.
isnt all about those occupying the front
seats inside the rear
cabin you sit higher than
those ahead of you and
with room for adults to
relax, it favours the
and cargo requirements
of family life...
must-haves such as an illuminated aluminium engine Start/Stop button, keyless
Smart Entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, powerfold door mirrors (on demand
and automatically on locking and leaving), Bluetooth with music streaming, DAB
radio (with MP3 compatibility), auto lights and wipes, one-shot up/down windows,
tinted glass, tyre pressure monitoring and drive-away automatic door locking
are all included.
But the Sportswagon isn't just about pampering those occupying the front seats.
Its rising waistline or, to be correct, 'beltline'
gives the impression of a sloping roofline but in fact it's not as acute as
it appears and consequently inside the rear cabin there's inches of headroom
for passengers even though they sit higher than those in the front two seats.
With room for adults to relax, the Sportswagon favours the mix-and-match seating
and cargo requirements of family life. The absence of a central transmission
tunnel leaves plenty of foot room so three in a row is definitely doable although
the big, wide, well-padded centre armrest (with twin built-in cupholders) and
nicely contoured outer rear seats probably means two will the prime number travelling
in the back row.
Getting in and out is a breeze courtesy of the fairly large door openings and
there are damped grabs just in case. Drinkies are on the menu because bottles
can be safely stowed in the door bins, and there are magazine pockets ahead
of your knees.
The Sportswagon is also plenty accommodating when it comes to working in its
estate mode its 510-litre boot is impressively large but fold
the 60:40-split rear seatbacks (the bases flip-up and tumble forwards with their
headrests in-situ) and you'll be faced with a huge, seamlessly flat-floored
cargo bay of 1,642 litres. A nice timesaving touch: when the back seats are
dropped (or raised) the rear seatbelts stay out of the way.
is straightforward as in addition to the wide-opening rear doors there's a high-opening
tailgate with a matched boot floor/rear bumper sill that facilitates hassle-free
loading. Naturally, bag hooks and tie-down rings are provided while a smooth-running
roller blind keeps the boot's contents shielded from prying eyes. A space-saver
spare wheel is stored under the boot floor and above it sits a very practical,
multi-compartment storage tray boosted by deep pockets either side.
retuned power steering and torque vectoring now fitted to minimise understeer
in hard cornering, the Sportswagon has ample grip and more than enough
ability to press on with purpose along twistier roads...
you know that everything has a place and that there's a place for everything
inside the Sportswagon, how does this latest cee'd estate travel? Like its load-lugging
abilities, when it comes to a comfortable ride the Sportswagon delivers. Whether
its motorway, city street or country lane you're driving over, the ride is very
Kia has fettled the fully independent suspension but not for hot-hatch
sportiness as they have for the new GT cee'd and pro_cee'd versions
but for ride quality; and driving the estate you can feel that the tweaks have
been worthwhile. And at higher speeds, where you can also appreciate the cabin's
refinement, the Sportswagon feels reassuringly settled.
So does that mean it's too soft to tango? Not a bit of it the
retuned motor-driven power steering can be set at Comfort, Normal or Sport and
delivers enough feedback in Sport for you to drive with some gusto along twistier
roads. With torque vectoring now fitted to minimise understeer in hard cornering,
the Sportswagon has ample grip and more than enough ability to press on with
purpose. However, for unruffled journeys you can't do better than to park the
selector lever in Drive and just soak up the supple ride.
Kia's transferable seven-year warranty package is the best in the business but
that alone has not been the reason for over a million cee'd sales to date. In
1.6 turbodiesel-DCT guise the Sportswagon estate makes a convincing alternative
to the best in class; choose the GT-Line spec and you also get pizzazz to go!
Kia cee'd Sportswagon 1.6 CRDi 7-DCT GT-Line
Maximum speed: 122mph | 0-60mph: 10.5 seconds | Test Average: 49.1mpg
Power: 134bhp | Torque: 221lb ft | CO2: 109g/km