Just three months after the arrival of the stylish all-new Kia cee’d hatchback a second model joins the family – the Kia cee’d Sportswagon on-sale at all Kia dealerships from the 10th September. Replacing the former cee’d SW, it introduces a new model name which perfectly captures the new car’s character: adventurous, sporty, modern and technologically advanced, but with even more of the practicality and value which made its predecessor a major success in the UK fleet and business market.
The cee’d Sportswagon was revealed alongside the cee’d hatchback at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and matches it throughout for style, quality, technology, equipment and safety. Like its predecessor, it was designed and engineered at Kia’s Frankfurt design studios and technical centre, and is made at the company’s Žilina plant in Slovakia. The cee’d Sportswagon is exclusively for European markets.
The cee’d SW has been one of Kia’s leading models in the fleet market, and this year it is outselling the hatchback among business users. With more daring styling and advanced technology features, the cee’d Sportswagon is expected to have even more widespread appeal among user-choosers.
With the fleet market so dominant, the cee’d Sportswagon will be sold exclusively in the UK with advanced and highly efficient turbodiesel engines. With their high torque outputs and low operating and running costs, they are ideally suited to the heavy loads and high mileages often inflicted on estate cars by business operators.
The entry-level 89bhp 1.4 CRDi engine develops 220Nm of torque from just 1500rpm, while the 126bhp 1.6 CRDi raises the torque output to 260Nm from only 1900rpm. Both transmissions, including the automatic offered with the 1.6-litre engine, are six-speed units, while manual-gearbox models are fitted with Kia’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) fuel-saving, emissions-reducing engine stop/start technology.
As a result the 1.4-litre cee’d Sportswagon is capable of 67.3mpg and has CO2 emissions as low as 109g/km, which means a Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) taxation rate of 15 per cent in 2012-13. Manual 1.6-litre versions, with CO2 emissions of 116g/km, fall into the 17 per cent BIK band, and are almost as sparing in their use of fuel, with official combined economy of 64.2mpg. With prices starting at £16,895 and rising to £24,795, and low maintenance and insurance costs, the new Kia cee’d Sportswagon will be an inexpensive car to run for business motorists and fleet operators, as well as private consumers.
On a practical level the new cee’d Sportswagon will also appeal to those looking for a stylish and capacious estate car with the smallest possible footprint. At just over 4.5 metres long the cee’d Sportswagon is more compact than its major European rivals, and just 15mm longer than the cee’d SW. Yet it offers greater luggage capacity than the majority of the competition – 528 litres up to the load cover with all seats upright and 1642 litres up to the roof with the 60:40 split rear seats folded flat.
Ease of loading has also been taken into consideration. The boot floor is flush with the tailgate opening and 60:40 split rear seat bases and backrests fold to ensure a completely flat load deck. Every version of the cee’d Sportswagon has an under-floor storage compartment and side load areas, a retractable luggage cover, load-securing net hooks, a boot light and a 12-volt boot-mounted power socket.
Higher-specification models also have sliding aluminium luggage area rails and straps plus a high-level luggage barrier net to secure objects and prevent them from falling into the passenger compartment. Roof rails are standard on every model so that extra cargo can be carried outside the car. The cee’d Sportswagon has a payload of up to 500kg and can tow a braked trailer of 1500kg (manual versions).
Putting the ‘sports’ into Sportswagon
To ensure that the cee’d Sportswagon has the lean, lithe silhouette that its name suggests, it is not only a fraction longer than the previous cee’d SW but also 10mm narrower and 40mm lower, while still managing to offer full five-seater family space. Unusually for an estate car in its class, it has different rear doors to the cee’d hatchback so that the stylish upward sweep of the lower window graphic can continue all the way to the rear of the car without making the cabin dark or claustrophobic for passengers travelling in the back.
As with the new cee’d hatchback, the wheelbase – one of the longest in class at 2650mm – is unchanged, but the track widths have increased by 17mm at the front and 27mm at the rear to give the car a sportier stance and, along with revised suspension geometry, greater high-speed stability and cornering prowess. The cee’d Sportswagon remains unusual in its class in having fully independent front and rear suspension, with inherent advantages for ride and handling. These have been honed even further in the new car.
The cee’d Sportswagon has a more sporty and premium look and feel than its predecessor, emphasised by its radically different proportions. It has a more cab-forward design and a rakish, coupé-like roofline which gives it a sportier stance and greater presence. Even the Kia badge is new – simpler, sleeker and more modern, with ‘Kia’ script in a raised section. At the front it is now mounted on the bonnet rather than in the radiator grille – another premium-class upgrade.
Kia’s Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer says: ‘We wanted to build on the strengths that made the first-generation model such a success, but with added emotion and character and improved proportions and stance.’
No stone has been left unturned in the quest to ensure the cee’d Sportswagon is more than a match for its European rivals. Every detail of the previous model came under scrutiny. If something needed to be changed, it was. One seemingly insignificant detail is the fuel-filler flap. In the Far East and America buyers like a separate release lever inside the car, while Europeans prefer it to be linked to the central locking system so that it can be opened with just a push – so that’s what you will find.
European quality, safety and technology
The improvements in quality in the cee’d Sportswagon are actual as well as perceived. The tight shutlines would not look out of place on a premium-price luxury car, while most versions have an elegant chrome window surround. The entry-level model has a chromed grille surround, while all other versions have a graphite chrome surround with a black high-gloss mesh grille.
First impressions are matched when stepping into the cabin. Soft-touch surfaces, high-quality materials and lidded storage areas, subtle red ambient lighting, tactile door grab handles and precise panel gaps combine to give the interior of the cee’d Sportswagon a solid, mature, made-from-a-mould feel.
This is emphasised by the improved refinement of the latest car. Torsional body strength has been increased by 51 per cent over the previous model. The windscreen is now bonded in rather than mounted in a seal, thus shutting out more exterior noise and adding to body rigidity. There is more filling in the pillar areas, new-style weather strips around the door frames, restyled door mirrors and thicker front door glass. All play a part in adding to refinement. Even the sealing strips on the door sills have been modified to make it more difficult for noise to enter the cabin.
The stiffer bodyshell is the result of a comprehensive package of reinforcements in critical areas with the aim of making the new cee’d Sportswagon not just among the most efficient in its class, but also the safest. In total, 57 per cent of the new body is made from high-tensile steel, with ultra-high-tensile steel in the B-pillar structures.
There is an i-type subframe with a more rigid front apron, dashboard and side members. Horizontal and centre tunnel supports have been added in the dash area. The A-pillars, inner door rail and upper and lower body structures have been reinforced. New transverse cross-members link the front and rear suspension mounts, while the angle of the front side crash members has been decreased for better deformation. And there is a ring-type support around the rear roof rail and tailgate opening. The cee’d Sportswagon also provides better pedestrian protection in the event of a collision, and is easier and cheaper to repair after a low-speed (9mph or lower) accident.
The extensive standard active and passive safety equipment of the previous generation cee’d SW – including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and six airbags – has been supplemented with new features in the Sportswagon. All versions have Emergency Stop Signalling (ESS), which causes the rear brake lamps to flash in an emergency stop to alert following drivers. Depending on model, static and active cornering lights, a colour reversing camera, a Parallel Park Assist System (PPAS) which automatically steers the car into kerbside spaces and a Lane Departure Warning System are also available.
Driver and passenger comfort have also been substantially upgraded. Most models now have a Flex Steer function within the standard Motor Driven Power Steering with three settings – Comfort, Normal and Sport – so that the level of assistance can be increased when parking and decreased to make the car more stable at highway speeds.
An electronic parking brake, a heated steering wheel, automatic lights and wipers, larger vents to deliver more air to the rear footwells, dual-zone automatic air conditioning with soft and fast air-flow modes, 10-way adjustable driver’s memory seat and electric lumbar support are all new features for Kia’s mid-sized estate car.
The audio systems have been upgraded and are now fully integrated into the dash for a higher-quality appearance, and feature improved functionality. They incorporate Bluetooth with voice recognition in 10 languages and music streaming, iPod connectivity through the original iPod cable and 600Mb of MP3 memory within the head unit. The high-grade Audio plus Navigation system now has a 20 per cent more powerful control unit and permits voice recognition in 13 languages, full UK postcode entry when setting navigation instructions, Traffic Messaging Channel information and full phone number download from the owner’s mobile telephone.
The cee’d Sportswagon in the UK
The cee’d Sportswagon is available in four trim grades – named ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘4’ in the now-customary Kia UK fashion – with the option of a ‘4 Tech’ version of the cee’d Sportswagon ‘4’.
All models from the ‘1’ feature a comprehensive list of standard equipment, including luggage area under-floor tray and side tray, a retractable and removable load cover, a boot light and a rear 12-volt power socket and roof rails. Also standard are electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, air conditioning, steering wheel-mounted controls, front electric windows with auto up and down function, daytime running lights, remote central locking, cooled glovebox, flat-folding 60:40 split rear seats, ambient front lighting, an iPod-compatible audio system with radio and CD player, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity, ESC and VSM, HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), six airbags, speed-sensitive auto door locking and alloy wheels on all 1.6-litre versions.
cee’d Sportswagon ‘2’ adds cornering lights, LED daytime running lights and rear combination lamps, electrically folding and heated door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, leather trim on the steering wheel, gearshifter and handbrake, greater use of chrome highlights, a rear centre armrest, all-round electric windows, luggage net, cruise control with speed limiter, reversing sensors and the Flex Steer function.
cee’d Sportswagon ‘3’ has in addition privacy glass, automatic headlights with a ‘follow-me-home’ function, rain-sensing front wipers with de-icing elements, a height-adjustable front passenger’s seat, electric lumbar support on both front seats, black and silver seat cloth, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone automatic air conditioning with two-step air-flow control and a seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping, UK postcode entry with built-in colour reversing camera.
cee’d Sportswagon ‘4’ introduces the luggage area rail and partition system and barrier net, larger (17-inch) alloys, exterior illumination on the front door handles, black leather seats with contrasting grey inserts and three-stage heating, a heated steering wheel and electronic parking brake, an engine stop/start button and smart entry system, rear air ventilation, a premium centre console with sliding cover and a speed and multi-function LCD high-definition colour display, while the cee’d ‘4 Tech’ is distinguished by its panoramic sunroof, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, Parallel Park Assist System including front parking sensors, Lane Departure Warning System and Xenon adaptive front lighting system with automatic levelling.
As with every Kia, the new cee’d Sportswagon comes with a fully transferable seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
UK cee’d Sportswagon line-up
|Average mpg||CO2 g/km|
|‘1’ 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG||89||220||13.4||106||67.3||109|
|‘1’ 1.6 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG||126||260||10.8||120||64.2||116|
|‘2’ 1.6 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG||126||260||10.8||120||64.2||116|
|‘2’ 1.6 CRDi 6-speed auto||126||260||11.7||115||50.4||149|
|‘3’ 1.6 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG||126||260||10.8||120||64.2||116|
|‘4’ 1.6 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG||126||260||10.8||120||64.2||116|
|‘4 Tech’ 1.6 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG||126||260||10.8||120||64.2||116|
cee’d Sportswagon pricing
|Engine||On The Road Price|
|‘1’ 1.4 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||£16,895|
|‘1’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||£17,695|
|‘2’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||£19,295|
|‘2’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed auto||£20,395|
|‘3’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||£21,095|
|‘4’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||£22,895|
|‘4 Tech’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||£24,795|
On The Road Price includes Delivery, Number Plates, 12 months Vehicle Excise Duty and Vehicle First Registration Fee.
Metallic paint is £445 option
|Engine||Group (1- 50)|
|‘1’ 1.4 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||6|
|‘1’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||12|
|‘2’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||13|
|‘2’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed auto||13|
|‘3’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||13|
|‘4’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||14|
|‘4 Tech’ 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual ISG||15|