Kia’s all-new third-generation Ceed should strengthen the Korean automaker’s presence within the European C-segment thanks to its improved comfort, convenience and safety features.
Just like its predecessor, the third-gen car was also designed and developed in Frankfurt, and will be manufactured at Kia’s facility in Zilina, Slovakia, alongside the Sportage and the Venga.
“The all-new Ceed offers a truly contemporary and recognisable design, and advanced technologies to enhance comfort, convenience and safety. Its new engines and suspension will make it more enjoyable and engaging to drive, and will continue to offer the same high quality that customers expect from Kia. This will be one of the most innovative cars in its class,” stated Kia Europe chief operating officer, Michael Cole.
The five-door hatchback will enter production in May, with sales scheduled to begin in Q2 of 2018 for LHD markets across Europe. UK buyers will have to wait a while longer in order to find out the Ceed’s on-sale date, pricing and specs with regards to them.
When it comes to looks, the all-new Kia Ceed is lower, wider and features a longer rear overhang than its predecessor. According to Kia, this helps the car exhibit a “more mature sense of athleticism.”
Gone are the rounded edges of the previous model, replaced by straight lines that complement the wider tiger-nose grille, lower air intake and standard ‘ice cube’ LED DRLs. At the rear, there is a pair of new LED taillights that supposedly offer improved visibility (and recognition), while the subtle rear boot spoiler helps with the road presence.
At first, buyers will be able to choose between 12 paint finishes, as well as a selection of wheels ranging from 15-inch steel ones to 16-inch steel or alloys and 17-inch two-tone diamond cut alloys.
Moving on to the interior, we get higher quality materials than before, plus more of a horizontal layout for the dashboard, mimicking the cabin architecture of other recent Kia models. Other design features include the floating touchscreen infotainment system, the center console that’s angled towards the driver and the metallic or satin chrome trim finishes. Buyers will also be able to choose between having cloth, synthetic leather or a genuine leather upholstery.
Built on Kia’s new K2 platform, the all-new Ceed is 20 mm wider (1,800 mm / 70.8 in) and 23 mm lower (1,447 mm / 56.9 in) than the outgoing model, while the wheelbase remains the same at 2,650 mm (104.3 in). In order to help the car look more sporty, the front overhang was shortened by 20 mm (0.7 in) to 880 mm (34.6 in) and the rear overhang was extended by 20 mm (0.7 in) to 780 mm (30.7 in). There’s also a larger 395-liter (13.9 cu.ft) trunk, more shoulder room for rear passengers, more headroom out in front and a lower driving position.
While behind the wheel, the driver will be able to operate either a 5.0-inch or 7.0-inch touchscreen audio system, or an 8.0-inch touchscreen sat-nav system. There is also a JBL Premium sound system available as an optional extra, while the full Bluetooth smartphone integration, automatic lights and keyless entry are all standard.
On the move, drivers can use the Drive Mode Select feature to choose between Normal and Sport modes, where the former leads to greater fuel efficiency and offers more relaxed steering inputs, whereas the latter enhances throttle responses and steering feel.
The all-new Ceed also comes with a heated windshield option, which marks the first time this technology has featured in a Kia. Also available is wireless smartphone charging, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.
As for its active safety tech, the Ceed boasts High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist – all standard.
Meanwhile, Lane Follow Assist (a Level 2 autonomous feature) is available for the first time on a Kia sold in Europe. Additional tech includes Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Smart Parking Assist, and pedestrian recognition with haptic steering wheel warnings for the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system.
Power will come from a range of petrol and diesel options that include an updated 1.0-liter T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection) engine producing 120 PS, as well as a new 140 PS 1.4-liter T-GDi unit. A less powerful 1.4-liter MPi unit will also be available. The all-new Ceed will get an all-new ‘U3’ 1.6-liter CRDi diesel engine, offering a choice of two power outputs at 115 PS and 136 PS.
Every engine will be mated with a six-speed manual transmission, although the newer 1.4-liter T-GDi and 1.6-liter CRDi can also be spec’d with the automaker’s 7-speed double-clutch automatic.
Post updated with live images from the Geneva Motor Show