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Kia Ceed, MGTF, Various Jeeps new and old, FIAT 500
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2011 Kia Ceed Ecodynamics – Long Term Review

Given that I have now sold my Kia Ceed and I have been a high mileage user, I thought it would be good to write a review of the car and provide some of the facts and figures I have collected.

Obviously this is only my opinion.

The Car

My Ceed was registered in Dec 2010 and was a 2011MY vehicle in terms of specification. I bought the car in Jan 2011 from Ken Jervis Kia in Stoke-on-Trent and took delivery on Feb 1st. The car was being used by a salesman before I bought it. I wanted an Ecodynamics with the 2011 spec but was unable to find one immediately available in the UK but as I needed the car by Feb 1st I decided one of the dealers existing vehicles was the best option. The car had 1497 miles on the clock on delivery and was in Phoenix Silver (i.e. dark grey metallic).

When I disposed of the Ceed 26 months later the car had 63,676 miles on the clock.

About me

The car was bought for use in my business travel between UK and France several times a month. Previously I had leased “executive” cars in the £25k-£32k price range but as I was (a) due to take early retirement I wanted a car that I could buy outright; and (b) I wanted a greener car.

After a look at the market a several marques I chose the Kia based on price, equipment, quoted fuel consumption and Europe-wide warranty.

Comfort, Equipment, Trim and Build

The Ecodynamics is slightly higher specification than the “2” but lower specification than the “3”. It had all the things I wanted such as A/C, cruise control, bluetooth, MP3, USB and iPOD integration. The only items fitted to the “3” that I would have liked was the better interior lights. I am ambivalent about the need for Climate control and the lack of rear electric windows had no impact as the rear of the car was rarely used.

In terms of comfort despite many long journeys I found the seats and drivers position very comfortable and despite being prone to back-ache in some other cars I never suffered any problems in the Kia even on trips from France to Edinburgh.

I did find that the “canvas” type seat covering material difficult to keep clean despite it being treated with scotch-guard when new and it was a bit difficult too keep it black but instead it often looked a bit dusty grey.

I hate squeaks and rattles in a car and I am glad to say that the Kia despite having covered £63k miles was free of such problems.

In Car Entertainment

The factory fit stereo has it detractors and while it was not the best sounding unit I have had (that was a 400w, 9 speaker system in a Chrysler 300C) it certainly wasn't the worst (that was a Rover 75) especially for the price range, and with some fiddling with the EQ (setting loudness on, whacking up the bass and rolling-off the treble) it sounded decent enough to live with.

I found the USB MP3 system so easy and convenient I soon dispensed with the iPOD integration as unnecessary. The fact that the system does not have a complex library system (like FIAT's Blue&Me) you cannot do searches by artist etc but I felt this made the system quick and easy to use if you were simply a little organised with naming and structuring the directories. Very occasionally the USB port seemed to hang and displayed a track title without playing. This required the ignition turned off and on to reset but other than that the system was ideal.

The bluetooth system was another matter. As a business user I wanted to make and receive calls in the car. The system on the Ceed is seriously deficient and basically only has the option to receive a call or call the last number. There is no phone directory integration, no voice activation and no ability to use the phones voice activation. I had a better system on a 2004 Rover 75.

Reliability

For me this was one of the cars weaknesses.

I would consider reliability on two levels firstly whether a fault occurs that stops you using the car, or the car actually breaks down, does not start or leaves you stranded and secondly if other none critical faults occur that don't stop you using the car but need repairing.

I am glad to say on the first level the car never let me down and I could always make or complete a journey. Since buying or owning new cars or company cars since circa 1985 only two have broken down leaving me stranded: a Fiat Tempra in 1993 (Head Gasket) and Rover 75 in 2004 (Clutch bearing).

However at the second level considering none critical faults I have had quite a few. These are: Knocking rear suspension at 3k mls, faulty passenger side electric window, faulty cruise control, knocking rear shock absorbers at 55k, faulty front wheel bearing at 60k. These 5 faults have all been repaired under warranty (but not always at the first attempt) requiring in total 9 visits to the dealers. It has been suggested by some on this site that this is reasonable given the mileage, but I disagree and is far worse than that I have experienced with any other cars with similar mileage and similar ages in the last 13 or so years. For example Audi A4 (1), Saab 93 (1), Saab 95 (0), Alfa 166 (0), Rover 75 (1), Mondeo Ghia X (0), Chrysler 300C (0), Jeep (1).

Therefore for me this was not a particularly reliable car which does seem to agree with the 2011 JD Power Survey which suggest the Ceed had slipped badly in terms of customer satisfaction and reliability having moved from 4th in 2010 to 46th in 2011.

Warranty

I was surprised ( I should have checked) to find that although the warranty was 7 years the recovery was only for 1 year.

In terms of the repairs I never had any problem with the work needed being done under warranty. However where the warranty fell down was that it was supposed to be Europe-wide which was important for me. However, when I took the car to a garage in France while the garage was willing to do any work it soon became clear that there was no pan-european logistics for parts and obtaining a part for a RHD car in France took 7 weeks and even simple parts were RHD specific (or at least the part numbers where). Luckily this was to fix a window problem and nothing critical. I tried writing to Kia UK and Kia France both who referred me back to the other. I had intended keeping the car when I retired and registering it in France but given the problems getting simple warranty or service work done and the number of small faults we had experienced we decided to sell it.

Economy

This was a second perceived weakness with the Ceed for me. For why I say it was perceived see section on costs below.

The quoted combined MPG for the Ecodynamics is 67. I know this is partially theoretic, but I do have a light right foot and ever since this method of fuel consumption had been reported I have found that I have achieved a figure close to the quoted number.

During my ownership of the Ceed I have achieved consumption up to 63 MPG and as low as 52 MPG. Over the 62,179 miles I have done I have averaged 57 MPG. I feel this is quite a variation (circa 15%). It would seem that dissatisfaction with fuel consumption is much more common on the Ceed forum than other car forums I visit (in fact on the Fiat 500 forum the main discussion seems to be how much better consumption people are obtaining above the quoted figure, similar for the Jeep Patriot CRDi).

While 57 MPG is not bad I have had bigger and larger engined cars that have achieved 55MPG (Rover 75 and Mondeo GHIA X both 2.0 and more powerful with between 130 and 136ps) and I therefore expected better of the smaller “Eco” Kia.

I am not sure how effective ISG is in terms of fuel economy unless you travel at rush hour through a city like Edinburgh or Manchester (when 4 miles can take an hour) it still does in my opinion have the environmental benefits of stopping fumes and noise when stuck in traffic jams. However having driven several cars with stop/start or similar the Kia Ceed version is the best I have tried. It is fast to stop and start and hardly ever gets confused and so I felt very confident using it.

Costs

Difference Between Purchase and Sale Price = £7495

Service Costs = £590

Breakdown Cover = £130 (£60pa)

None Service Items = £38 (Bulbs and cabin pollen filter)

Tyres = £ 291 (Two due to wear and one unrepairable puncture).

Insurance = £617 (£285 pa)

Fuel = 4098 litres = £7166 (at today's prices)

VED= £44 (£20pa)

Total = £16,371 while equals 26.3p per mile or £629 per month.

According to the AA the running cost for a Diesel car costing under £16k at this mileage should be 28.98p per mile.

Despite the fuel economy concerns, this overall cost shows there is a good financial argument for the Kia Ceed.
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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Good review. I agree that the reliability is not good, and worrying that you had 9 visits to the dealer for 5 faults. I think that I have had a total of 5 warranty-covered problems is almost 50 years of motoring, all of them were minor and fixed at the first attempt during normal servicing.

57 MPG ain't bad, although I see that your fuel is quite pricey (A$2.55/litre for diesel). Our standard petrol is about $A1.50/litre, a bit cheaper with shopper dockets!

WEEKLY PETROL PRICES REPORT
 

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Interesting review, a few observations if I may in comparison with our experiences with a MY2011 Ceed SW “3” CRDi 115.

Comfort

Agree regarding seats, trips of over 400 miles have never left me with any aches. In a perfect world I would like the steering wheel to come an inch closer to me but that’s about it. We have cruise on our “3” and would never buy a car without it again. On long motorway trips it means you can concentrate on the road rather than concentrating on keeping to your chosen speed, it’s especially useful in motorway roadworks average speed zones.

ICE

Find the radio fine but never tried playing MP3’s via a USB or MP3 player, still use CD’s.
The Bluetooth does exactly what I want i.e. it enables me to answer a call should I need to legally. Never make calls when I am driving thus its lack of features compared to some upmarket systems is irrelevant to me.

Reliability

Ours has only needed to visit the dealer for 2 services so far plus an hour having a minor paint defect sorted the week after we took delivery. Very happy. Personally I don’t think 5 faults in 63,000 miles is too bad (had similar experiences with VW’s and Fords - it would not stop me buying another Kia) but it is unfortunate that some have taken more than one visit to sort, suppose that is inevitable since dealers stock very few parts these days. Since our dealer is only about 2 miles away our trips to the dealer have been hassle free.

Warranty

Agree that the one year recovery is a bit mean but since we already have a policy that covers us for all our cars (£60 a year with Aviva) it did not affect our decision. VW had a scheme back in the 90’s that was great, when you had the car serviced at the main dealer they extended the recovery for another year FOC for the first 5 years and for a small addition sum it included other cars in the family.

Economy

This is where people’s expectations are rarely met. They look at the figures quoted in brochures and believe them, we don’t, we are realistic. Over 25,000 miles the best tank full we have seen is 57 mpg, the worst 42 mpg with an average of 51 mpg. These are calculated not taken from the dash display which in fairness does appear pretty accurate. We are delighted.

You bought the Eco model but with your high mileage the one “noted” feature fitted to that model i.e. the ISG has virtually no effect on your actual mpg. It also has little effect on cars used in town, our BMW fitted with a similar system only stop/starts about 4 times in busy traffic on a good day, after that the battery is below the required charge and the car reverts to a normal car, it’s a sales gimmick. In truth the Ceed without ISG would have done as many mpg as your Eco version.

Your average of 57 mpg against the official figure of 67 mpg is 15% less. Our average of 51 mpg against the official average of 60 mpg is 15% less. That looks consistent at least. We are very happy with this for several reasons. The Mondeo TDCi 130 we owned only averaged 39 mpg for the 3 years we owned it, 17% less than the official figure. The Focus C-Max 1.6 TDCi 110 that followed it averaged 45 mpg for the 5 years we owned it, 21% less than the official figure. The Ceed SW is as big inside as the Mondeo and far more economical, in fairness the Mondeo did have more grunt. The Ceed SW is bigger inside than the Focus C-Max, has far more grunt (the Focus was a bit of a slug) and it is far more economical.

So we have a reliable, comfortable big car with sufficient grunt and the best economy we have ever seen, we cannot complain about that. Hope it continues for another few years.

Really like to looks of the new Ceed SW. Not driven one yet but if it drove like our existing one I would be interested. If it is the improvement the press talk about think it would be game, set and match providing the dealer talked sensible money. But would I expect to achieve the extra 5 mpg that the official figures suggest, of course not. Its more powerful and probably heavier (all new models are) plus the improvement in official figures is probably down to the ISG that is now fitted. It may be slightly better on motorways since it does look more aerodynamic but if we bought one and got the same mpg we currently get I would still be happy.
 

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Kia Ceed
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I think that I have had a total of 5 warranty-covered problems is almost 50 years of motoring, all of them were minor and fixed at the first attempt during normal servicing.
Wow, you have been lucky. Just had a quick add up from memory and over the past 35 years myself and the wife have had 14 new cars that have done about 550,000 miles in total. The first 8 of those only had 1 year warranties, the first with a 3 year warranty was a Ford Mondeo in 2002.

The eight with 1 year warranties certainly clocked up over 21 warranty repairs some of which would have been done before the first service was due. In a couple of instances the cars were off the road for over a week.

The six we have bought since 2002 have had a total of approx. 15 warranty repairs carried out. Five of those were paint shop visits with a Mondeo and three were to cure oil leaks on a Mini Cooper. Every time the Mondeo was in the body shop it was there a week, the Mini was in the workshop 2 weeks on one occation.
 

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Cee'd 2 CRDi(126)
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I've just traded in my 13 year old Nissan 200 SX, which I owned from new and accumulated 82k miles in all. The only warranty repair was to the fuel level sender. Out of warranty repair was limited to a new intercooler pipe (£500) and a new petrol pump (£30). Otherwise it's just been regular servicing and wear and tear items like tyres, brake parts, wipers and one exhaust. It never failed an MOT.

The trade in was against a nearly new (85 miles on the clock) Ceed 2 CRDi(126). So far I've only added ~500 miles to it and all is going well. Comfort is good and I hope reliability proves every bit as strong as the Nissan.
 

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Kia Ceed, MGTF, Various Jeeps new and old, FIAT 500
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
worrying that you had 9 visits to the dealer for 5 faults
To be fair there were 3 visits to fix an intermittent electric window fault which was eventuality tracked down to a fault on the loom but which remained unfixed when I sold the car as the part is still awaited at the dealership

So that leaves 6 visits for 4 faults. Mainly due to the fact that it is one visit to get the fault diagnosed and where the part could not be obtained the next day and I could leave the car overnight (twice), second visit (twice) to actually get the part fitted.

I do think 5 faults it too many though, and it influences me against Kia in-future. But then I know people who had less reliable versions of a make and model of car that has been 100% reliable for us. I am always surprised when a manufacture such as Kia is near the top of a reliability table for one model year and much lower the following or vie versa. Although getting a bad press and improving reliability seems logical but losing quality seems perverse. Perhaps over-demand or cost cutting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I've just traded in my 13 year old Nissan 200 SX, which I owned from new and accumulated 82k miles in all. The only warranty repair was to the fuel level sender. Out of warranty repair was limited to a new intercooler pipe (£500) and a new petrol pump (£30). Otherwise it's just been regular servicing and wear and tear items like tyres, brake parts, wipers and one exhaust. It never failed an MOT.
Back in the early 1990s my wife had head on collision with a 4x4 (nor her fault) in a few week old super-mini (Mk1 SEAT Ibiza) and when the insurance money came in (£9k) she decided she wanted the biggest new car possible for the insurance money which was a Proton 1.5SE which was a re-worked Malaysian built previous model Mitsubishi Colt (so definitely a budget car). It came with a 3 year warranty and 3 years servicing and we extended this to 5. In 5 years not a single fault and the only expense other than fuel, insurance and MOT was a set of windscreen wipers. quite amazing for a cheap car. Around 2003 my then boss had a top of the range Range Rover company car that cost over £60k and it broke down on the motorway three times in its 1st three months, was off the road several times waiting for parts and had several other garage visits for small faults. It became a company joke. After just over a year it was sent back to the lease company and changed for a BMW X5.
 

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So far our Ceed has had zero faults and long may it continue. But to expect zero faults on every car is simply expecting the impossible. The important thing is how you are treated by the dealer when you report those faults. If they immediately accept them and sort it I would not let a few simple faults affect my opinion of the brand.

We had a couple of Fords before the Ceed and whilst reliable the few niggling faults we had always resulted in the same argument but eventually thay always agreed to sort it FOC. That is why we decided to try something different.

If I ruled out buying a brand I had owned in the past because it had minor faults sorted under warranty I would never buy the same brands again (except Kia at the moment).

Cars today are far more complicated than they were 30 years ago yet they are far more reliable. Fords I bought in the early 80's spent at least a day in the workshop every week for the first month being finished off, did not buy any more Fords for over 15 years after that.

Personally considering your mileage I don't think 4 faults is that bad. The best car I have ever owned (115,000 in 7 years) had a clutch and 2 water pumps under warranty within the first year (20,000 miles). Other than a brake caliper, exhaust battery and tyres (none of which even Kia cover) the only fault I had after the years warranty expired was a gearbox failure at 95,000 when the car was nearly 6 years old. Kia would have repaired that FOC, I had to pay. I followed that car with 2 more from the same manufacturer, both had minor niggles just as most cars do.

I guess we all have different expectations but if you set them too high you will find it impossible to be satisfied.
 

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Ceed 1.6crdi ('07)
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Comfort
Agree regarding seats, trips of over 400 miles have never left me with any aches. In a perfect world I would like the steering wheel to come an inch closer to me but that’s about it.
Shows you can't please all the people all the time. The seats are OK enough for long trips but have clearly been made with people with larger backsides in mind. I don't make any contact between the top of my legs and base of my spine and the side bolsters are too far apart for me to contact if I sit centrally. I keep looking at my wife's KA and wondering if I could swap the seats without her noticing.

The problem with the steering wheel is that I have it fully forward and at the lowest position. Since it doesn't go low enough in relation to the pedals, should I set the seat position so my legs are comfortable for the pedals or for my arms to be comfortable on the wheel? Naturally the steering wheel obscures the instruments, which means I don't notice when the indicators stay on when music's on.
[Edit. Subsequently, I realise that I set the seat height so that I can see the horizon over the door mirrors.]

Mind, the complete and utter uselessness of the auto climate control is usually more than enough to reduce seating issues to something of lesser consequence. The hardware functionality of the system is fine but the decisions programmed into the bit that makes it auto are the problem. Rather than reducing the need to adjust the ventilation, it has increased it. And in such a way that adjustments made don't produce a logical outcome.

ICE
Find the radio fine but never tried playing MP3’s via a USB or MP3 player, still use CD’s.
I always wondered what the point of providing CD *and* USB was. Now I know. I have never plugged a CD into the slot, even to test it.
 

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> I keep looking at my wife's KA and wondering if I could swap the seats without her noticing.
>> As long as the colour is the same, you can swap the whole wife's car without her noticing. :)
 

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> I keep looking at my wife's KA and wondering if I could swap the seats without her noticing.
>> As long as the colour is the same, you can swap the whole wife's car without her noticing. :)
Oh, I expect she would wonder how come the door mirrors have grown to block the view.
 
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