Kia Cee’d ED was the first Korean car designed in Europe, for Europe, together with its almost twin sister Hyundai i30. And look why it was a great success here in Europe, even in 2022.

Until these two cars arrived, the Kia Cee’d ED and the Hyundai i30, the korean’s presence on the European car market was as thin as the presence of students at optional classes. Sure we had Tucson and Sportage but that was about it. There were also Terracan and Galloper but those were in their one action movie, tailored for a very specific audience, and there was the occasional Sonata but that was about it. The ocean was poked a little by the Hyundai Accident, which was an honest car bought by those who wanted something other than a Cavalier but not much more expensive. Kind of like Astra+, if you’ll allow me. And then came the Kia Cee’d and the Hyundai i30.

Even if they are identical except for some visuals, I don’t understand why the first Cee’d was better received by the public than the first i30, and in the following degeneration the roles were reversed. But then again, there is a Trabant Fan Club or people who sincerely laugh at The Big Bang Theory so I shouldn’t be quick to judge, but I should continue to give oppinions on the house. Or to listen to some Mary J Blige vs Funkstar De Luxe. And no, not because it was some funk car and the Kia Cee’d ED didn’t revolutionize anything, it just brought the koreans to the same level as the europeans. At least in the looks and engines departments, because they still had to work on the interiors but eventually they will get there.

Kia Cee’d ED Engines


  • 1.4 Gamma MPI of 109 horsepower – By far the most popular petrol engine on the Kia Cee’d ED and you honestly don’t need more. Sure, it’s fuel economy isn’t that much better than that of the 2.0 and sounds like a tractor and some announce that they are preparing for retirement through a fight worthy of Logan Paul vs Floyd Mayweather. All in all, it is simple, reliable and resistant to abuse like Logan Paul. It’s noisy, it’s not particulary economical, the engine mounts wear out prematurely but it’s an all-round winner.
  • 1.6 Gamma MPI of 122 horsepower – Pretty much the same Gamma engine as the entry-level powerplant, albeit stretched to 1591 cc and 13 something extra horsepower. All you have to do in order to keep this engine happy is to change it’s oil on time.
  • 2.0 Beta II with 143 horsepower – Now we’re talking! Specifically about the entry level engine on the Tiburon, Tucson, Sportage, Elantra and many old school Hyundais and Kias. Definatelly a blast from the past which is ready to blast your socks. But only if you feed it with spark plugs, coil packs and oil on time.


  • 1.6 U-Line CRDi of 90, 116 and 128 horsepower – Behold,  VW’s old 1.9 TDI ALH Soju drinking korean cousin.It may not be the last word in performance and fuel economy, but this U-Line diesel more than makes up for it by munching them miles without needing much maintainance outside the standard stuff.    
  • 2.0 D-Line CRDI of 140 horsepower – Which makes me wonder if it’s worth the plunge to the 2 litre D-Line. Sure, it’s a must on bigger things such as the Tucson / Sportage, but for the Kia Cee’d ED the extra grunt is off-set by the running costs. Dual mass flywheel, clutch, particle filtre. Nope, just stick to the 1.6 diesel.


Kia Cee’d ED Common Issues

  • Most famous one would be the dashboard. More precisely, the fact that the dashboard peels off, starting from the base of the windshield and just peeling away until it’s gone. This is what happens when the car sits for too long with it’s eyes in the sun, like an CEO for whom the employees are like a family when it comes to work but not a family when it comes to compensation. The board slowly peels off until you are forced to stitch/glue it or replace it altogether. For the rest of the interior it’s the same mass of cheap and gray plastics that the koreans are used to. It’s the first step for the german Kia/Hyundai so please be patient.
  • As mentioned earlier, the engine mounts are a weak point for all the engines and the big issue here is that the entire engine frame has to be removed. So it won’t be the actual mounts that will be costly, it will be the labor.
  • Some of the wealthier models also have Start/Stop technology. Technology that is good in theory but not so good in practice.
  • 16″ and 17″ rims are not friends with the Kia Cee’d ED nor the Hyundai i30. So the only reason to go for 17″ rims and sports tires is the need to satisfy your sado-masochistic fetishes.
  • The air conditioning is the car equivalent of a smoker coughing through a straw, so get used to the idea, especially on a long drive.

Kia Cee’d ED Verdict

I said it before in the article about the i30 and I will say it again. Kia Cee’d ED is a korean Golf, cheaper in quality but more reliable and sturdier. I still don’t understand why the Cee’d sold much better than the first i30, but at least it’s good to know that you have a choice. And if you are looking for a classic compact, with 4 doors and a boot, which is decently reliable and which fits into the 3000-3500 euro budget, then it is easy to understand why the Cee’d was and is a best-buy car. Because it is an honest family car. The fact that you have a first-generation Cee’d won’t impress anyone, but people won’t judge you either. But if you look at something like that, there’s a good chance you’re at the age where you no longer care what others say. And it also comes in coupe flavor, which the i30 doesn’t!

Which engines do I recommend? For petrol the 109 horsepower naturally 1.4 MPI Gamma is all the engine you’ll ever need , but if you insist for diesel then pick the 115 horsepower 1.6 CRDi. Because it is an honest and simple car.