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First drive: Kia Cee’d SW – on sale now

Kia

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Review

Kia is steadily broadening its Cee’d range with additional variants. The newest addition is the Cee’d SW.

Initial volume expectations for the estate car are “modest”, admits sales director Yaser Shabsogh, as four-fifths of C-segment estate sales are in the fleet sector, where Kia is reducing its exposure. Shabsogh wants around 400 registrations this year, increasing to 1,000 units in 2008.

Kia will market the car as a lifestyle estate for young families who want flexibility but are concerned about running costs and environmental impact.

The line-up is being kept simple. A 1.6-litre petrol and turbodiesel are the only engines available, with the diesel offered as 89bhp and 113bhp. A 2.0-litre diesel may be added next year if there is demand.

Entry GS models are well equipped with alloy wheels, steering wheel audio controls, CD player, six airbags, leather detailing and a cooled glovebox.

LS models add climate control, reversing sensors, part-leather seats, rear electric windows and front fog lights as standard.

With the right marketing, Cee’d SW could tread on the toes of the Ford Focus estate and Vauxhall Astra estate.

It beats both on price and specification, and Cee’d SW owners will have no complaints about quality either.

This car is another step forward in design and finish for Kia, and is backed by the seven-year warranty.

Price: £12,995 - £14,995M
Engines: 1.6 120bhp petrol; 1.6 CRDi diesel, 89bhp and 113bhp
Performance: 0-62mph: 11.1-14.1 secs; top speed 106-119mph
Transmission: 5sp manual, 4sp auto
Efficiency: 40.9-57.6mpg; 128-165g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £3,800 (30%) – £4,425 (30%)
Rivals: Ford Focus estate, Vauxhall Astra estate, Peugeot 307 SW
Strengths: Value, styling, simplicity
Weaknesses: ESP only optional, poor residuals
Opportunity: Surprise
Threat: Crossover SUVs stealing the estate car customer
USP: Seven years stress-free family motoring

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