Kia Ceed vs Volkswagen Golf vs Hyundai i30


When we look back on this decade, there is every chance that it will be seen partly as the time when South Korea took over the world of consumers.

Companies that make everything from TV, smart phones and, most importantly here, cars report massive sales to the whole world, and with good reason. Kia is one company that makes big jumps in a short period of time, and the brand new Ceed family's hold aims to continue that trend.

• The best hatchback for sale

Following the latest Kia main models is the most established rival in this class: Volkswagen Golf. It practically creates a segment that still dominates today, so in that sense it is a benchmark for new Ceed.

But Kia also had to defeat competition from far closer to home in the form of the Hyundai i30. We tested it here on the N-Line + new trim, which looks sporty and matches the Kia First Edition for the kit, but it's cheaper. Does one of these Korean hatchers have what it takes to defeat Golf? And if so, which one is better bought?

Kia Ceed

Model: Kia Ceed 1.4 T-GDi DCT First Edition
Price: £ 26,850
Machine: 1.4 liter gasoline 4cil turbo, 138bhp
0-60mph: 8.8 seconds
Economic Test: 38.0mpg / 8.4mpl
CO2: 127 g / km
Annual Road Tax: 140 pounds

This is the new Kia Ceed. The brand has removed the quotes from the previous model's name, in part to help customers search online to find it more easily. The car we tested was a top-spec First Edition model with a 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engine and automatic gearbox, with prices starting at £ 26,850.

Changes made by Kia to improve Ceed's driving dynamics have paid off. Where the previous model was quite comfortable, it was not too pleasant, but it has all changed now because of driving and handling almost the same as Golf.

This suits and absorbs lumps and bumps well, although greater imperfections will still disturb Kia where Golf remains calm. But at the same time, the body roll is well controlled, direct steering, there is a lot of grip from sticky tires and even a touch of adjustment at the throttle. This is not a Ford Focus, but the Ceed award is pushed hard in the previous version – and even its twin car, the Hyundai i30 – not at all.

It's a pity then that this automatic dual-clutch transmission model reduces its appeal. The gearbox is not swift to change, nor is it as smooth as low speed, like the DSG at the VW Golf. We chose manual Ceed instead, although the same applies to Golf. The 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is not as smooth as the 1.5-liter gasoline owned by Golf, but it sounds okay and flexible too. You can tune it hard if you want to enjoy the stretch of road, but the low torque is strong enough so you can do it easily if you want.

The Kia automatic double clutch is much better applied than similar units at Hyundai here. This is not perfect because, like DSG VW, it sometimes produces clumsy changes, but overall it's smooth and swaps the ratio neatly. Ceed is a tenth of a second faster than i30 from 30-50mph in third and fourth gear, respectively at 3.3 and 4.5 seconds, but one tenth slower than 50-70mph in fifth position, taking 6.6 seconds.

Golf is faster than both rivals in all of these tests, although Korea is faster than VW from 50-70mph in upper gear, with Kia and Hyundai taking 10.4 and 10.2 seconds respectively to beat Golf 11.0 seconds.

Test Note: "The equation between Kia and Hyundai is very clear. Both have the same engine and gearbox, and even the infotainment system is very similar, but Kia is better driven. "

Volkswagen Golf

Model: Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo 150 DSG GT 5dr
Price: £ 26,090
Machine: 1.5 liters of gasoline 4cil turbo, 148bhp
0-60mph: 7.8 seconds
Economic Test: 38.6mpg / 8.5mpl
CO2: 119 g / km
Annual Road Tax: 140 pounds

The Volkswagen Golf is our favorite family hatchback and is a benchmark in this class, offering incredible versatility. Here we tested it in the form of TSI DSG 1.5, in GT trim (although the car you see in our image is the SE Nav-spec model). The GT costs £ 26,090, so does £ 760 cheaper than Ceed First Edition.

The 1.5 TSI gasoline engine in Golf is the strongest here, with 148bhp compared to 138bhp in both rivals. It has slightly more torque, at 250Nm while the Korean duo has 242Nm.

In testing our trajectory, Golf performed well, recording 6.8 seconds 30-70mph through gears, which was faster than the two competitors.

In fact, Golf is faster than 0-60mph from Ceed and i30 too, it only takes 7.8 seconds to complete the sprint benchmark. Plus, 3.2 seconds from 30-50mph in the third gear is very impressive, once again beating both Korean models.

• The best family car

While the 1.4-liter engine used in Kia and Hyundai is calm at idle, the Golf engine is quieter when you turn on the revs, and it's quieter with speed than its rival motorbike. It's not pleasant enough to rev up as a unit on the Ceed and i30, but the extra performance will make it up for many buyers.

DSG Golf automatic boxes are smoother than DCT transmissions installed in Kia and Hyundai in most situations. The changes are faster in manual mode, and the extra response is important when you drive quickly, because you rarely leave waiting for changes in VW. However, the gearbox is not perfect, and at low speeds it can feel a little jerky. If you really want a car, Golf boxes are the best, but we will save money and buy manuals.

Even optional Golf without adaptive dampers are comfortable, and not too upset because of the hard impact, even when cornering. However, we still choose improvement, because it turns Golf into one of the best cars in its class.

That means VW is the best car for motorbike travel, because it is enhanced with speed, but it is also fun to drive on winding roads. There is no driver who feels, but it is quite direct to enjoy, and there is no rival here who has a better arrangement. Grips are also strong, although sportier tires mounted on both competitors mean they have a bit better than Volkswagen.

Test Note: "Add an Active Info Display of £ 495 to the specification list to get a 12.3-inch display, not a traditional analog dial. This is one of the best systems of its kind and is a hi-tech option that is worth having. "

Hyundai i30

Model: Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi DCT N-Line +
Price: £ 24,255
Machine: 1.4 liter gasoline 4cil turbo, 138bhp
0-60mph: 8.5 seconds
Economic Test: 32.6mpg / 7.2mpl
CO2: 129g / km
Annual Road Tax: 140 pounds

The Hyundai i30 family group never stood out in this crowded class. Although practical and offering good technology, the disappointing driving dynamics have held it back. But can this N-Line + model (with prices starting at £ 24,255 in the form of D-GD T-GDi 1.4) change it?

While most Hyundai i30 models ride smoothly, large wheels and suspensions that are reset on the N-Line have compromised quality a bit, while doing little to add to the boring driving experience.

Hyundai did not ride or handle as well as Kia or Golf, because the steering was numb and suspension was not appropriate. However, the premium rubber in our car means it's very grippy, but the shock in the corner irritates the I30 more than Kia because of the more sophisticated and less sophisticated settings.

• The best hot springs

In short, the N-Line trade improves quality for an increase in driver involvement that is barely visible, and the two rivals here are more fun to drive. This at least shares the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine as Kia, which has strong low torque while still enjoying revs. There are no hot droplets, but there is a hint of sportiness in the dumps, at least.

Even though the i30 has the same seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as Kia, it behaves very differently at Hyundai. From rest, the i30 allows more revs before making a clutch, which helps increase the time from 0-60mph; it defeated Ceed with three tenths of a second. But the transmission is frustrating when on the road because it stops, then glides forward at the intersection if you ask for a fairly fast vacation.

Plus, the sporty aspirations of the i30 on the N-Line trim have been filtered into the gearbox, and even though it's changing gears quickly (Hyundai takes 7.5 seconds to go from 30-70mph through gear, half a second faster than Ceed), too interested in hold on to the ratio and finally not calibrated as well as Kia. DSG on Golf, along with a slightly more powerful engine, means that VW is more than half a second faster than the i30 in the same test.

A slightly bumpy ride means the i30 is the most uncomfortable car to travel with a motorbike, though not by a large margin. The sound of wind and roads does tend to accumulate quickly, but the engine is very quiet at idle.

Tester's notes

"If you want to buy a sporty i30, then consider buying an i30 N instead. The superiority of the i30 range is only slightly more expensive than this N-Line + car and is significantly more fun to drive. "


First place: Volkswagen Golf

The Golf offers almost everything you want from a family hold. Practical and economical, there is plenty of space in it and a ride soaks up nicely, even on the roughest streets. At the same time, driving is also fun, with good body control and a smooth but smooth gasoline engine. It doesn't have as many kits as Ceed, but it is cheaper and still has many features.

Second place: Kia Ceed

This new Ceed is the best version. It's really fun to drive, but balances it with a smooth ride and comfort. Kia isn't too well structured like Golf, but it goes closer than you think. Practical and get many packages, but held back here with a higher price in the form of the First Edition. Get the right specifications and Ceed is a very good choice.

Third place: Hyundai i30

The I30 is spacious, well equipped and has a very good infotainment system, but this N-Line model vehicle is disappointing. The handling isn't much improved, and it's hard to feel the link to the i30N. Even though you get a lot of equipment to match its competitors at a more affordable price, harder travel and a weaker gearbox means this is not the right choice in the i30 line up.


New: Ford Focus

Price: £ 23,440
Machine: 1.5 liter 4cyl, 148bhp

The Ford Focus is the best car in its class to drive, and will soon be available with a 1.5-liter engine to match Golf, along with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It is also well equipped in higher-spec Titanium trims.

Used: Audi A3 Sportback

Price: £ 24,500
Machine: 1.5 liter 4cyl, 148bhp

A more premium choice in this class, the Audi A3 is also available with a 1.5-liter gasoline engine owned by Golf. We found one example with shipping miles only for £ 24,500, which is competitive with its competitors in this test.


Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo 150 DSG GT 5dr Kia Ceed 1.4 T-GDi DCT First Edition Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi DCT N-Line +
On the road price / total as tested £ 26,090 / £ 26,090 £ 26,850, £ 26,850 £ 24,255 / £ 25,090
Residual value (after 3 years / 36,000) £ 10,593 / 40,6% £ 9,175 / 34.2% £ 8,450 / 34,8%
Depreciation £ 15,497 £ 17,675 £ 15,805
Std / higher level annual tax liability £ 1,242 / £ 2,483 £ 1,385 / £ 2,769 £ 1,250 / £ 2,500
Annual fuel cost (12 km / 20 km) £ 1,853 / £ 3,088 £ 1,882 / £ 3,137 £ 2,194 / £ 3,656
Insurance / quote / VED group 19 / £ 376 / £ 140 20 / £ 446 / £ 140 15 / £ 397 / £ 140
Service fee 1/2/3 164 pounds / 329 pounds / 164 pounds £ 429 (3 years) £ 129 / £ 222 / £ 136
Long / wheelbase 4,258 / 2,620mm 4,310 / 2,650mm 4,340 / 2,650mm
Wide width 1,492 / 1,799 1,447 / 1,800mm 1,455 / 1,795mm
Machine 4cyl in-line / 1.498cc 4cyl in-line / 1,353cc 4cyl in-line / 1,353cc
Peak strength / revs 148 / 5,000 bhp / rpm 138 / 6,000 bhp / rpm 138 / 6,000 bhp / rpm
Peak torque / revs 250 / 1,500 Nm / rpm 242 / 1,500 Nm / rpm 242 / 1,500 Nm / rpm
Transmission 7-SPD dual-clutch auto / FWD 7-spd DCT automatically / fwd 7-spd DCT automatically / fwd
Fuel tank capacity / spare wheel 50 liters / space saver 50 liters / space saver 50 liters / space saver
Boot capacity (seat up / down) 380 / 1,270 liters 395 / 1,291 liters 395 / 1,301 liters
Towing / weight / weight puller 1,317 / 568 / 1,500kg 1,345 / 505 / 1,000kg 1,388 / 610 / 1,400kg
Rotate the circle 10.9 meters T / A 10.6 meters
Basic warranty (miles) / recovery 3 years (60,000) / 3 years 7 years (100,000) / 1 year 5 years (unlimited) / 1 year
Power Driver manufacturer / post dealer. 5/18 8th / 7th 12/15
NCAP: Adult / child / ped. / Assist / star 94/89/65/71/5 (2012) T / A 88/84/64/68/5 (2017)
0-60 / 30-70mph 7.8 / 6.8 seconds 8.8 / 8.0 sec 8.5 / 7.5 sec
30-50mph in 3rd / 4th position 3.2 / 4.2 seconds 3.3 / 4.5 seconds 3.4 / 4.6 seconds
50-70mph in 5 / 6th / 7th / 8th 6.4 / 8.5 / 11.0 seconds 6.6 / 8.1 / 10.4 seconds 6.5 / 7.9 / 10.2 seconds
Highest speed / rpm at 70mph 134mph / 2.000rpm 128 mph / 2,100 rpm 127 mph / 2,100 rpm
Braking 70-0 / 60-0 / 30-0mph 48.3 / 38.0 / 11.5 million 50.5 / 32.4 / 8.9 m 46.2 / 35.4 / 9.1m
Outside / silent noise / 30/70mph 70/44/63 / 72dB 58/42/64 / 74dB 57/39/68 / 78dB
Automatic Ekon Express. (mpg / mpl) / range 38.6 / 8.5 / 425 miles 38.0 / 8.4 / 418 miles 32.6 / 7.2 / 359 miles
Urban / extra-urban / joint government 45.6 / 65.7 / 56.5mpg 42.8 / 57.6 / 50.4mpg 42.2 / 55.4 / 49.6mpg
Urban / extra-urban / joint government 10,0 / 14,5 / 12,4mpl 9.4 / 12.7 / 11.1 mpl 9.3 / 12.2 / 10.9mpl
Actual / claimed CO2 / tax bracket 169 / 119g / km / 24% 172 / 127g / km / 26% 200/129 g / km / 26%
Airbag / Isofix / park sensor / camera Seven / yes / yes / £ 340 Six / yes / yes / yes Six / yes / yes / yes
Auto box / lane-keep / blind spot / AEB Yes / £ 550 * / £ 1,120 * / yes Yes yes yes Yes / yes / no / yes
Climate ctrl / cruise / leather / hot seat £ 425 / yes / £ 1,900 / £ 400 * Yes yes yes Yes yes yes
Meet paint / LED / keyless / PWR tailgate £ 575 / £ 995 / £ 375 / no Yes / yes / yes / no £ 585 / yes / yes / no
Nav service / dig dash / DAB / connected Yes / £ 495 / yes / yes Yes / no / yes / yes £ 250 * / no / yes / £ 250 *
Wireless charging / CarPlay / Android Auto No / yes / yes Yes, Yes, Yes No / yes / yes


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