As the hugely popular SUV market continues to grow, so does the wonderful range of vehicles South Korean manufacturer Kia has to offer. This month here at The Gentleman Select I was lucky enough to test drive Kia’s newest addition, the XCeed, around the very cool streets of Berlin.
A city packed with creativity and style, Berlin has it all. From quirky restaurants to stylish bars it was the ideal place for the Pan-European launch of the new XCeed. Kia, Roughly translated as “rising from the east” sees the companies first entry into the very popular crossover market with the XCeed model.
After we had checked in at the minimalistic and very stylish 25hrs Hotel Bikini Berlin, it was time to head to the car park to see the car itself. For me, the first impressions were really good. The SUV has presence. Especially when lined up next to its brothers and sisters in a selection of colours. Specifically we decided to go for the 1.6 T-GDI 7 DCT model in a striking Blue Flame exterior colour. Within the cabin Kia had keyed in some very cool points of interest on the wide, 12.3-inch HD touchscreen located on the centre console. Along with incorporating the likes of Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay, you can actually run three apps at once on it. This was ideal as we cycled through some music whilst still keeping track of our map location.
For me this was my first time in Berlin so it was great to see as much as possible. As we drove through the city the XCeed felt very comfortable indeed. The seats offer a sporty, figure hugging position that sits high with a good view of the road. Additionally, these seats are heated. Perfect for when the temperature takes a little dip in the winter time. Traveling along, we basked in the retro music delivered by the JBL Premium sound system. It was sharp and clear. The perfect accompaniment for a trip through Berlin.
Our first destination on the sat-nav was an abandoned car park and on arrival, it felt very Berlin indeed. Constructed like a toy garage with its winding pathways, there was graffiti and art installations dotted around each floor. I parked on the second top floor to be welcomed by the sounds of a JBL DJ booth. Here you could take some mixing lessons next to a gleaming XCeed model. I thought it was awesome with both the music and car complimenting each other well. Exploring further we reached the top level where I had the opportunity to take a drone selfie with the new XCeed. The car positioned in the middle of some nifty street art made for a very cool shot indeed. Furthermore you could actually venture higher in the building which made for some excellent photographs of said model.
Having throughly explored the abandoned car park it was time to move on. The Gasometer was our next stop. Located in the Schoneberg district of Berlin, it is a huge iron construction which once supplied the surrounding streets with gas. Nowadays it houses a conference centre and various art projects. A site certainly worth exploring if you are visiting the city.
I manoeuvred around and out the car park to exit with ease thanks to the XCeed’s various sensors and rear camera whilst reversing. It’s worth noting the SUV is packed full of many tech features as standard. Being honest I have never felt more at ease driving through a city. The combination of a smooth ride and Berlin’s relaxed nature were perfect. Before we knew it, we had arrived at our destination in good time.
At the Gasometer there was an XCeed model, in striking Quantum Yellow, parked up next to a very cool sculpture on the street. As we sat with some delicious street food in hand, I took in the surrounding sites and structures along with the Kia XCeed model which sat in front of me. From behind the muscly SUV looks very tidy indeed. Strong lines running horizontally are perfectly in unison with the modern LED lights. Below that, a very sporty bumper and two impressive exhausts further enhance the XCeed’s good looks. It certainly is a good looking car whether it is static or moving down the road.
Whilst at the Gasometer there was a very cool option to climb up said structure. Given however we were keen to explore the city further and also drive the XCeed more, we opted to head back out on the road. Personally I had always wanted to see the Berlin wall so we quickly decided that was our next stop.
The Eastside Gallery is certainly quite the site to see. Simply put it is the longest open-air gallery in the world. Featuring incredible works of street art which adorn the surface of the Berlin wall. I parked the car in front of a particular section of the wall and we exited to take in this incredible site. At 1,316m long we didn’t manage to take in the full length of it, however standing across the road gave me a wonderful perspective of both subjects.
After I had taken plenty of pictures of both XCeed and wall it was time to head off. We rendezvoused back at the 25hrs Hotel Bikini Berlin and after spending some time in my cool, industrial room I made my way to dinner. Situated on the roof of the hotel, it was a hip, floor to ceiling with glass room with stunning panoramic views of the city. For me it was the perfect way to round off an incredible day with Kia.
If I’m being honest I could have driven around the streets of Berlin all day and night in the XCeed. There is just so much to see and do in which I couldn’t think of a better equipped, more comfortable car to do it in. Kia have delivered a seriously impressive SUV. It is packed full of features many of you will love. For me as well, its very hard to see past Kia’s comprehensive seven year warranty. This is a fantastic feature for todays drivers to take advantage of.
Personally I’am looking forward to hopefully driving the Kia XCeed once again and visiting Berlin too.
This collaborative post is in partnership with Kia UK. All words and opinions are my own.