14,000 miles in the Kia Cee’d Sportswagon and it still feels like new, despite the high-speed mile-eating life it’s living with me.
That’s modern cars for you: built to last a lifetime (certainly to last seven years of Kia’s market-leading warranty) and feels nowhere near as bad at the end of it as cars from yore. Remember the rattles even five-year old cars used to suffer? Shudder?
The Kia has become particularly nice in some of the areas that I grumbled about at the start. The gearchange: no longer notchy, it’s now snickety and precise and while not BMW-like, it’s still rewarding.
Now I’ve discovered how much power lies beyond the bumpstop of the throttle pedal, its progress has picked up pace, and economy has improved when I’m not chasing Audi A4 2.0 TDIs. I haven’t altered the weight of the steering once in 13,000 miles and not really wanted to: although it’s not Focus-like, I do appreciate the pointy accuracy of the front end.
The ‘getting back into it after driving other cars’ test also frequently throws up surprises I forget I like about the Kia. The seats are very well bolstered and firmly supportive. The dials are immaculately clear. The ride is well controlled and both the boot and the interior practicality are first rate.
There are irritations. Auto wipers become a pain in the arse when they do a default sweep each time you start it up. Why can’t you default-off the sat nav voice? Why should we have to wait until a car is completely stopped in 2013 to select reverse gear without a crunch?
Generally, the diary is full of green ticks, though. I could quite happily carry on living with this Kia. For a lifetime? Maybe not that far. But certainly until the end of its time with us at the end of the year.