Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV (2020-2021) engines, drive & performance

The Ceed Sportswagon isn't as fast or as good to drive as its rivals, but it is pretty comfortable, particularly around town

Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance rating

2.5 out of 5

Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol
0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower

Although they tend to be a little heavier than their petrol and diesel counterparts due to the presence of battery and electric-motor hardware, plug-in hybrids also tend to be quite fun to drive due to the instant low-down torque provided by the motor, boosting the internal-combustion engine.

The Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV is something of an exception to this rule, unfortunately, always feeling a bit sluggish when you put your foot down. It's actually at its best when you're cruising around and accelerating gently in electric mode; when the petrol engine fires up, it adds a harsh and unpleasant roar to proceedings when you're accelerating, without ever feeling particularly fast.

A six-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission is the only gearbox choice; its shifts are slightly harsh but quick enough. Regenerative braking also features; this recaptures some of the energy that would otherwise be lost when slowing down, and allows for a degree of 'one-pedal' driving, where you only have to lift your foot off the accelerator to feel a slowing effect.

Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

The Ceed has pretty modest on-paper acceleration and top-speed figures of 10.5 seconds and 106mph respectively. It's no traffic-light Grand Prix winner or autobahn speed-record holder;  if you like the Ceed Sportswagon bodystyle but want a bit more pep, the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol version – with an 8.8-second 0-62mph time despite a near-identical power output – is probably a better bet.


At lower speeds around town, the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV is very pleasant to drive. The effective hybrid system isn't too eager to call on the petrol engine when you accelerate, so most of the time you enjoy the smooth and silent power on offer from the electric motor, as well as the nicely comfortable ride quality courtesy of soft but controlled suspension.

At higher speeds on the motorway or a twisty back road, things are less impressive. The Ceed doesn't feel unduly strained at 70mph, but there's a fair bit of wind and tyre noise audible. Tackle a series of bends with enthusiasm and the Ceed won't do anything to concern you, but equally won't offer much in the way of involvement or excitement. The Ford Focus Estate (which isn't available as a plug-in hybrid) is a much better choice in this regard.

Most Popular

New Polestar 3 electric SUV priced from £79,845
Polestar 3

New Polestar 3 electric SUV priced from £79,845

Specs for the first Polestar SUV have surfaced online, with the Tesla Model X rival boasting a 380-mile range from its 111kWh battery
20 Sep 2022
Best home electric car chargers 2022: how to choose the right EV wallbox
BP pulse charger
Your questions answered

Best home electric car chargers 2022: how to choose the right EV wallbox

If you're buying an electric or plug-in hybrid car and you have a driveway or off-street parking adjacent to your property, then you'll want a home EV…
12 Sep 2022
Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2022
Best seven-seater electric and hybrids
Best cars

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2022

If the regular crop of electrified SUVs and family cars don’t provide enough practicality for you, then take a closer look at the range of electric an…
12 Sep 2022