Kia Cee’d 1.6d Estate 2010

Ever since I heard about Lewis Opel closing its doors in Portlaoise I’ve been thinking about why there are car dealers still going out of business when there’s a supposed upturn in the car industry. When a car dealer sells a new car, even with the scrappage scheme, the dealership makes very little money, sometimes only a couple of hundred euro. The real money comes from the trade in, but in the case of a scrappage scheme there is no trade in. So with all these new cars being sold there’s no second hand cars for the dealers to make a bit of money out of. A big main dealer can’t run on new cars alone, and with no second hand cars in stock they quickly run out of options.

There’s another side that’s been pointed out to me by Shane Teskey of Motorcheck, with the huge drop in people trading in a car for resale there’s going to be a shortage of decent used cars on the dealers’ forecourts, the car industry might not be far out of the woods just yet.

Onto today’s car, the Kia Cee’d, not just any Cee’d, the estate one. The Korean car company Kia was at one point a bit of a joke within the car industry, they made cars that were made of a very thin metal, totally uncomfortable, very vague steering didn’t help matters. When the Cee’d replaced the Cerato the joke wore very thin indeed. The Cee’d with its “Tiger nose” started to look like a reasonably priced decent alternative to the class leaders. This trend has meant that Topgear has made is part of their show, putting it in as the reasonably priced car, last week we saw none other than Cameron Diaz drive it and Tom Cruise try his best to turn it over.

This estate or SW as Kia call it, I’m driving today isn’t quite as sporty as its hatchback brother but it isn’t a bad looking car, it’s also the last of the outgoing model.

The boot space is 534ltrs with the seats up and 1664ltrs with them down, there’s a flat floor and no boot lip so getting things in and out is easy, there’s a bit of intrusion from the wheel arches but other than that it’s a good square shape. The back seat has plenty of room for 3 adults, the optional half leather seats are in this model and they are comfy.

Up front the plastics used are a little harsh, and there’s a bit of a tinny sound when you shut any of the doors, that said this car is built to a price. The equipment level is great, air con, iPod connector, CD player, electric windows all around. The steering wheel controls are a little fussy for me, there’s just too many big buttons but that’s a minor niggle.

The 115bhp 1.6lt CRDI engine is quiet enough and get’s the car around, there’s plenty of power in it too, you should have no problems loading the car to the hilt and setting off. There’s a 5 speed gear box that seems happy enough at any speed, shame there isn’t a 6th gear for motorway cruising, still you can get a combined figure of 57mpg. The steering is on the vague side of light, the steering wheel leather is too smooth and gets a little slippy, and it needs some finger bumps on the back.

Driving the Cee’d gives you a nice feeling, the cabin is a good place to be, it’s bright and comfortable, although the drivers’ seat squab is a little short for me but then I have long legs. The gear shift is short and there’s lots of torque throughout the rev range, the suspension is firm enough without being harsh. I rather like the Cee’d, it’s functional without being too fussy, it’s not over styled and you could get a ton of stuff plus the kids on the back without any trouble.

There are two really big factors in this car to think about, the biggest being the 7 year warranty, if you bought this car today, you would still be under warranty in 2017, there are no other brands out there that come any where near that, it shows the confidence of the Kia brand. The other factor is the price, at €18,750 for an ex-demo model to this spec it’s a cheap estate. You do have to compromise on the quality of the plastics used but if you consider all the factors, you can buy a 2010 estate car with all the extras, only €156.00 tax a year and a 7 year warranty for the price of most European hatchbacks and that can’t be a bad thing.

The car I drove is available from Portlaoise Kia, you can see it here on Carzone