From March 2008 issue

List price when tested: £14,995
Kerbweight: 1419kg
85% match: 1206kg
Max towing weight: 1400kg
Towball limit: 75kg
30-60mph: 17seconds
30-0mph: 11.5m

THE KIA Cee’d SW is great value for money. Many rivals diesel estates will set you back significantly more, without beating the Cee’d SW’s 534-litre luggage capacity.

The Cee’d tows well, too, so long as you’re not in too much of a rush. The 1.6-litre diesel engine puts out 113bhp and 188lb.ft of torque, and pulled the Kia and a Sprite caravan (with an MTPLM of 1220kg) from 30-60mph in a leisurely 17 seconds. Overtaking needs a long straight, good visibility and a heavy right foot. However, we found the Cee’d was happy enough at 60mph on the motorway.

Straight and true

Suspension that’s on the comfortable side of firm makes for good stability. At the legal limit the outfit stayed straight and true with little input from the driver, and through our lane-change test the Cee’d was composed. Only when changing direction aggressively at higher speeds could we feel the caravan beginning to shove the back of the car a little, but this never became alarming.

Our trip to the test track took place on a rainy day, and wet conditions can make hill starts very tricky for front-wheel-drive cars like the Cee’d. The handbrake held the outfit still with no need for a really hard pull and the Kia climbed the hill with only slight wheelspin.

With or without a caravan in tow, the Cee’d SW makes a practical family car. There’s plenty of leg and headroom, front and rear, and we’ve already mentioned the impressive boot space.

The Cee’d may not ride as comfortably as a VW Golf or corner with the poise of a Ford Focus but for many buyers, the seven-year warranty will be far more important.

We say
Towing: 3/5
Solo: 3/5
Practicality: 4/5
Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 4/5 – A capable and practical towcar, albeit a slow one.

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