For a long time the estate was one of the most joyless of cars. Largely devoid of style and flair, it was, for many, simply a large, practical rectangular box on wheels – something you could never fall in love with.
However, in recent years car designers have started to take note of the style potential of the humble estate and have started working on transforming this ugly duckling into a graceful swan.
The Kia cee’d Sportswagon is one such swan. It’s a beautiful car, both inside and out. And it’s also beautiful to drive.
On the outside, the Kia cee’d Sportswagon is a big, beautiful, confident looking car, with nice curves and distinctive looking angular windows, with the package topped off with chrome roof rails.
Privacy glass was fitted in the rear windows of the top of the range 1.6-litre EX model I was driving. It also had cornering lights.
Inside the spacious five-seater, the wavy design continues in the undulating dashboard.
The cabin is well laid out and the test car was well specced, with cruise control/limiter; Bluetooth, air conditioning, a cooler glove compartment and steering wheel mounted controls, to name but a few features.
As you’d expect in an estate car, the boot in the Kia cee’d Sportswagon is massive and there are loads of cubbies within that boot, including underfloor storage. The rear seats also fold flat to extend cargo space.
Hill start assist and a gear shift indicator are also standard and the car doors lock automatically once the car reaches a certain speed.
Kia’s Flex Steer system was also fitted in this car. It basically allows the driver to vary the steering wheel touch by picking their own drive mode, with a choice of comfort (lightest), normal (medium) and sport (heaviest).
The test car was a six-speed manual 1.6-litre 128bhp diesel and we took it all over the place – through the city, on urban motorway and out into the countryside. I loved driving it.
On all routes it offered a lovely, smooth drive. Acceleration was good and it was fast at the lights.
It was great fun to drive on the winding country roads. The car was responsive and agile and at no point did you feel like you were driving a big estate.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Kia cee’d Sportswagon. It’s a beautiful, sleek, smart looking estate that means you don’t have to sacrifice style for practicality.
The Kia cee’d Sportswagon is available in Ireland in two trim levels with a choice of a 1.4 or a 1.6-litre diesel engine. Prices for the entry level 1.4-litre TX start from €22,450. The top of the range EX model I was driving costs from €24,850. It also comes with Kia’s seven year warranty.
Engine: 1.6CRDi 128bhp (diesel)
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 11.2seconds
Maximum Speed: 193kph
Fuel Economy: 4.5l/100km
CO2 emissions: 117g/km
Annual road tax: €200
Kia sows cee’d of success