More than one million British customers have bought a Kia over the last 30 years and if the car quality continues to get better and better the next million will be here a lot quicker than the first.
It was 1991 when the brand was first launched in the UK when a Kia Pride hit the roads and in that first year a total of 1,768 were brought by British motorists.
Last year the number of Prides almost reached the million mark around the world and coincidentally the millionth Kia came to the UK.
Kia started in the UK with sensible, budget-focused vehicles but during the last decade their customer-base has grown on the back of outstanding design, unmatchable quality and the reassurance of their industry-leading seven year warranty.
There are 14 different models with the 14th joining the fleet being the XCeed. This is another SUV to join the more than 100 models which are on the market but you can only get it in front wheel drive mode.
Kia’s biggest selling car in the UK is the Sportage with 250,000 sold since 1995. Picanto ranks second with 200,000 sold since 2004 and cee’d has sold 140,00 since its launch in 2007. The XCeed should break into the their top three.
The XCeed range is both simple and easy to understand. There are three levels and two petrol engines and two diesels. The 118bhp 1.0-litre and 138bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrols are joined by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel with 114bhp or 134bhp.
A choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes is available.
As with all Kia vehicles their standard equipment is both generous and of a good quality.
The entry-level 2 gets 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, cruise control and a parking camera, plus android auto and Apple Car play connectivity and on level three there is bigger wheels, a larger 10.25-inch infotainment system and reasonable fake leather trim alongside heating for the steering wheel, front seats and rear-view mirrors.
It drives well with a good suspension, performs nicely on narrow lanes and a joy on the motorway.
There is a large boot, which is even bigger than the Ceed hatchback to which it is closely related and based on the same platform with the same engines.
The experts reckon that XCeed is better to drive than the Ceed hatch. The electric power steering system remains tight and is the same as was in the Ceed with a similar six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The 1.4-litre petrol is likely to be the biggest seller with 0-60mph in nine seconds and a top speed of just over 120mph. The 1.0-litre petrol is equally as good and its performance is similar – 0-60mph in 11 seconds and a top speed is 115mph. Improvements in fuel economy and CO2 emissions are also similar. The 1.6 diesel is also similar but has 55mpg and 138g/km of CO2 on the emission front.
The petrol model will give you an average of around 45mpg from the 1.0-litre unit while the 1.4-litre returns is just a little less.
The XCeed will be worth 40 per cent of its value after three years and there is always a range of good finance offers with all Kia models. The Kia scrappage scheme continues and is available with 5.9 per cent APR finance but is in lieu of all other offers.