Kia XCeed PHEV engines, drive & performance
Unlike some plug-in hybrids, the XCeed PHEV isn't particularly fast or fun to drive
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The Kia XCeed PHEV uses an identical engine setup to the company's Niro PHEV SUV and Ceed Sportswagon PHEV estate models; a 1.6-litre petrol engine paired with a battery and electric motor for a total power output of 139bhp. It's not hugely powerful, then, and doesn't feel very fast in real-world driving.
At least the transition between electric and petrol running takes place smoothly, but that's more than can be said for the six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which feels a bi jerky, especially when changing down. The 'DSG' dual-clutch transmission used in many Volkswagen Group cars is superior in this respect.
Kia XCeed PHEV 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
The hybrid Kia XCeed's on-paper performance figures are underwhelming, with over 10 seconds needed to get from 0-62mph and top speed just nudging 100mph. It doesn't feel any faster in the real world, either, with some care needed to plan overtaking manoeuvres. It is at least quite sprightly and responsive at lower speeds in pure-electric mode, which pays dividends around town.
Efficiency, not driving fun, is what this car is all about, so if it's driving thrills you're after, look away now. At least those looking for comfort won't be disappointed; apart from some lumpiness over really bad bumps, the suspension takes most surfaces in its stride, keeping you well isolated from the road. There's impressively little body lean in corners, although this is not matched by any sense of precision and involvement coming through the steering wheel; the steering is precise, but lifeless.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Kia XCeed hybrid isn't sporty or satisfying to drive, but its mix of quality, style and affordable running costs mean it still has plenty of appeal
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe XCeed hybrid has decent official electric range and returns strong fuel economy in real-world driving
- 3Running costsCompany-car drivers benefit most from the XCeed's low CO2 emissions, but low-mileage private buyers will find it cost-effective, too
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingUnlike some plug-in hybrids, the XCeed PHEV isn't particularly fast or fun to drive
- 5Interior & comfortIt won't wow you with its design, but the XCeed hybrid's interior is solidly built, well laid-out and filled with impressive in-car technology
- 6PracticalityThe Kia XCeed isn't as practical as the hatchback or estate versions of the car, and the addition of hybrid hardware further reduces space inside
- 7Reliability & safetySafety and reliability have long been Kia watchwords, and things should be no different with this plug-in hybrid XCeed