What is it?

This is a minor update to the Kia Ceed Sportswagon. It remains a popular choice for business cars in Kia’s lineup despite the Kia XCeed’s arrival in 2019, which will undoubtedly cannibalise some estate buyers.

Sportswagon accounts for more than a tenth Ceed sales. However, that figure is heavily influenced by the addition to the family of the Xceed, which now represents a staggering half the overall Ceed sales.

What’s new? What’s new?

The new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol is now available. It replaces the 1.4 litre. This is due to stricter emissions regulations. There is also a 1.0-litre petrol entry level and a 1.6-litre diesel with mild combination for fleet use. However, this powertrain will be most popular among retail buyers.

The 1.4-litre engine produces 20bhp less than the 158bhp version. It also has a wider torque range, producing 197 lbft at 1,500 to 3,500 rpm. Our dual-clutch version (DCT), emits 134g/km CO2.

It’s what?

The engine is feisty and has enough power to handle any road. It also works well with the seven-speed DCT. It’s a problem with refinement. The engine is gruff when it’s being used and hardly noticeable when it’s not.

Another criticism is the general noise level in the cabin. The engine is also a problem. While you can adapt to this, insulation should be a priority for the next-generation model.

You get a car that is capable, agile, and well-rounded. The chassis is remarkably agile and has a surprising level of finesse, demonstrating control in corners and composure (mostly), on less-appealing roads. Although the steering is lacking in feedback, it feels solid and accurate. However, it doesn’t have the same balance as the Skoda Octavia Estate.

The interior quality is excellent, but the plastics in the upper compartment feel a little too scratchy. It’s still a far cry from Kias in the past. It’s intuitive to use the infotainment system, which has a 10.25in touchscreen and joyously, tactual buttons, on our model. The Octavia is the clear winner here thanks to its Volkswagen Group roots. However, the Ceed remains a pleasant place to be. The 625-litre boot is spacious with plenty of storage space under the floor. It’s almost as large as the Octavia, which holds 640 litres.

As tested, the ‘3’ trim is the most popular. It includes 17in alloy wheels and privacy glass. Additional equipment includes dual-zone air conditioning, reverse camera system, and Apple CarPlay/Android compatibility. Heated seats are the only thing missing from this vast array of equipment.

Do I need one?

Although the Ceed SW may not be the best choice for estate space, it is worth considering. It is more fun to drive than you might expect from a fairly quiet wagon. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it offers comfort, space, and equipment that many buyers are seeking. Kia offers a seven-year warranty, which is an added benefit.

This model is still competitive in a highly competitive class but it can’t beat the Octavia for overall appeal or the dynamic Ford Focus.