Ian Lamming gets a warm fuzzy glow from the latest Kia Ceed Sportswagon
Ian Lamming gets a warm fuzzy glow from the latest Kia Ceed Sportswagon

IT’S cold and miserable outside, like living in a silent movie, the colour leeched from the world by a tiresome and protracted winter.

But I’m comfortable enough thanks to the generous specification of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon which has two key features that warm the cockles of my heart – namely heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

Don’t ever think of these two luxuries as mere fripperies; in my book they are essentials not incidentals and vital to my mental and physical wellbeing.

When you sit in the car as long as I do the heated elements are pivotal to comfort and welfare. When you are cold the blood flow moves around your major organs and leaves your extremities to fend for themselves.

So the heated steering wheel is particularly welcome as it does a magnificent job at rectifying my body’s failings and keeps the chaps off my digits. The heat seated concentrates the warmth on the small of your back sending a comforting glow up your spine and all is well with the monochromatic world.

Ceed is like that. It is a workhorse that could be easily overlooked but shouldn’t be because it’s an absolute gem.

Stationwagon means estate car to you and me and it boasts a sizeable rump for excess baggage, even the odd bit of furniture and loads of recycling.

It may be a load-lugger but that’s not to say it is in anyway utilitarian. Attractive visage and curvaceous lines leave the Ceed looking very smart and appealing. Good proportions and a decent set of big alloys add oodles to the overall aesthetic so no complaints from me.

Like all Kias it has a sheen of quality about it and the boastful claim of having a seven year warranty is proof that it’s not all just for show.

Inside is comfort personified. The soft touch materials are tactile and beautifully made. The fabric seats are very supportive. The tech is there in abundance – yes, there’s all that required touchscreen gubbins – but it is easy to use and there are still buttons and switches for their crucial stuff.

Looks great, fab inside, what else? Well, it’s equally good to drive. The 1.5 litre petrol engine comes with a turbocharger so performance is excellent. Almost 160 horses propel the stationwagon to 60 in a very impressive 8.6 seconds and on to a 130mph top speed, though economy is close to 50mpg. That’s another big tick from me then.

Ride is exemplary too. It is taut and controlled at speed, with well-weighted steering, so enjoys the twisty stuff. It glides down the motorway with minimal intrusion from wind, engine or road noise. When you do stray into the worst vagaries of British roads it does a fair job of soaking up the myriad craters that are spreading like smallpox across the country.

We do a lot of miles in our daily lives and when the test vehicle isn’t well suited then it becomes a very long week. The fact that time with the Kia goes by in a flash speaks volumes for the talents and personality of this stalwart motor car. No wonder it evokes a warm fuzzy glow.

Fact File

Kia Ceed SW 3

Engine: 1.5 turbo petrol

Power: 158BHP

0-60mph: 8.6 secs

Top speed: 130mph

Combined MPG: 48.7

Transmission: six-speed manual

CO2 g/km: 131

Price: £26,840