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Volvo V40 vs Kia Cee’d GT

Volvo V40

Volvo V40

If you’re in the market for a premium compact car you’ll undoubtedly have been bombarded with Golf’s, more Golf’s and yep, you guessed it, more Golf’s. Well venture into something a bit more out of the ordinary and you’ll soon be surprised about what your hard earned cash can get you. The Volvo V40 is one of the alternatives to the Golf, A-Class and BMW 1 series, providing a beautiful car both inside and out with more technology on board than what you could shake a stick at.

Volvo, renowned for developing ground-breaking safety technology has spared no expense on the V40 and it really shows. Starting off with what Volvo’s are known for, their safety, you’ll be pleased to know that the V40 achieves a fantastic 5 star Euro-NCAP award for safety, in fact, it’s the safest car ever tested by the organisation with 100% safety assist rating and a 98% safety rating for adult occupants.
Some of the safety features you get as standard with the V40 are Safety Assist along with a pedestrian airbag.

So for safety, you know you’re in safe hands (no pun intended) but what about reliability, comfort and style? Well, Style wise, you’ll set yourself aside from the crowd for all the right reasons. The V40 draws inspiration from other cars in the Volvo range, but it works, it looks fantastic with its wide and low stance.
Looking at the interior, the V40 feels light and airy with rather supportive seats and a well-positioned driving position, however the V40 is let down sadly by the computer system. I found it to be too cluttered with menus and submenus meaning it’s difficult to operate at a standstill let alone when driving. There is plenty of space for 5 adults in the V40 with a 60:40 rear bench split however the V40 didn’t impress with its boot space of only 335 litres with the rear seats upright and 1,032 litres with them folded down, although the rear seats down fold completely flat.

Performance wise, the V40 is really comfortable and does exceptionally well as a motorway cruiser but it’s perfectly capable of being an in-city run-around too thanks to a range of engines. The engine we felt best suited the V40 though with a fantastic blend of performance and economy was the D4 Diesel engine churning out 187bhp meaning you have all the power needed while getting a very impressive 74.3mpg and 99g/km on emissions.


The V40 looks great, drives great and has plenty of trim levels to suit you although the base spec one comes well equipped enough with things like alloy wheels and a plethora of safety technology. It may seem expensive for a hatchback, but comparing it to what else is on the market in the same segment, it all starts to make sense especially since running costs aren’t going to break the bank.

Kia Cee’d GT

Kia Cee’d GT

It may not seem like the most obvious choice for a head to head, but long gone are the days of Kia’s less than desired designs as now, the Korean manufacture is providing great looking cars with perfectly reasonable price tags and very desirable motors that you’d be happy to drive.

Much like the V40, the Cee’d GT looks fantastic from the outside, with a ‘tiger nose’ front grill, Ice-cube day running lights and more, all coupled with more muscular lines, it oozes with attitude and style while also setting itself apart from the common Golf’s and 1-Series BMW’s making the Cee’d GT in essence, more exclusive.

One of the first things we noticed about the Cee’d GT was how low it was as well as the bigger brakes over the standard model. The Kia Cee’d GT definitely looks the part then, at least on the outside, but what about the interior?
Greeting you is a full black interior that feels and looks of high quality but the real show stoppers are the front seats. Part-leather and part-alcantara Recaro seats benefitting from red stitching. Red stitching can also be found on the steering wheel and the gear lever making the inside of the Cee’d GT feel more sporty and more high quality.
Where the V40 has a higher spec interior compared to the Cee’d GT, we couldn’t help but feel that the Cee’d GT’s interior felt more focused to the driver although we soon ran out of fingers and toes to count how many buttons there were!

Actual driving of the Kia Cee’d GT isn’t too bad, however it isn’t exactly what we’d call captivating. Low speed driving can be rather jittery due to the stiffened suspension and with the Cee’d GT’s steering system, steering feels numb with little to no useful feedback from the front wheels. Once you get back up to speed though, the ride settles down but when a car looks the way the Cee’d GT does, but drives how it does, you can’t help but left slightly sour as you’d expect it to perform brilliantly in the handling department. It does however feel like it’s been put together properly with the absence of any rattles or things of the sort.

The Cee’d GT’s engine churns out a rather healthy 201bhp, which is a fair bit more than our recommended D4 engine on the Volvo V40, however the extra horsepower doesn’t necessarily make it a better car. With only up to 38.2mpg expected and emits 171g/km making the Volvo V40’s D4 engine considerably better all round and with the Kia’s 53-litre tank, that means you’ll realistically only get around 400 miles from a tank.


Both the V40 and Cee’d GT are good cars, beating each other in certain areas but for us, the better car out of the two would be the V40 with the D4 diesel engine. All round capabilities with the fantastic safety levels expected from Volvo gets our vote. Even though the Cee’d GT only starts from £20,495 compared to the V40’s on the road price of £25,770 for the V40 SE Nav model, the Volvo is simply more car with better tech on board. 

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