A new naming format for the latest generation car – cee’d becomes Ceed – consolidates its reputation as a car for the Community of Europe, with European Design. As it enters its third iteration, the all-new Ceed is expected to account for an even greater proportion of Kia’s European sales.
Like its predecessors, the Ceed has been designed, developed and engineered in Frankfurt by Kia’s European design, product development and R&D teams. It will be manufactured at the brand’s production facility in Žilina, Slovakia, alongside the Sportage and Venga models.
In 2017, the C-segment accounted for 22 per cent of all European vehicle sales and is consistently one of the two largest segments by volume. The outgoing cee’d accounted for 16 per cent of Kia’s total European sales and ten per cent of UK sales in 2017 it is regularly ranked alongside the Sportage as one of the brand’s best-selling models in Europe in recent years.
Since the introduction of the cee’d, Kia’s annual European sales have more than doubled, from 225,000 in 2006 to more than 472,000 in 2017. In the medium term, Kia is targeting annual sales of more than 500,000 vehicles. The Ceed model family will therefore continue to underpin the sustained growth of the Kia brand for years to come, remaining one of Kia’s best-selling product lines. The Ceed occupies a unique position in the Kia line-up, perceived by buyers as the most dynamic and sporty volume car to drive, while also being one of the most reliable, practical and recognisable.
All-New Kia Ceed is lower, wider and with a dynamic and sportier appearance
The Ceed has been designed at the brand’s European design centre in Frankfurt, Germany, under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, European Head of Design, and Peter Schreyer, President of Design and Chief Design Officer. Carrying over the sporty, emotional design character of the Stinger, the Ceed conveys a more self-confident new look – one that is both emotive and precise in its execution.
Lower, wider, and with a longer rear overhang than the car it replaces, the Ceed’s cab-rearward silhouette exhibits a more mature sense of athleticism. Straight lines replace the rounded-off edges of its predecessor, evolving the front of the car with a wider ‘tiger-nose’ grille and lower air intake, and precise, linear shapes framing its ‘face’. The new model features ‘ice cube’ LED daytime running lights as standard, echoing the appearance of earlier cee’d GT and ‘GT-Line’ models.
In profile, the sharp, straight lines visually lengthen the bonnet. A greater sense of maturity and strength is created in its shoulder line, which now runs along a more horizontal plane. The model adopts the wide C-pillar that has become a hallmark of Kia design in recent years, enhancing its cab-rearward stance. This also gives the upper window-line a sleek new ‘half-moon’ shape. At the rear, new LED daytime running lights give the Ceed greater visibility – and recognition – on the road. Paired with straight lines in the bodywork and a subtle rear boot spoiler, the Ceed presents a more stable overall appearance.
Constructed on Kia’s new ‘K2’ platform, the Ceed is 20mm wider (1,800mm) and 23mm lower (1,447mm) than the outgoing model. Its wheelbase remains the same at 2,650mm, with the front overhang shortened by 20mm (to 880mm), and rear overhang extended by 20mm (now 780mm). The new platform supports the Ceed’s more efficient packaging. The model boasts a larger, 395-litre boot, as well as greater shoulder room for rear passengers, more headroom in the front row, and a lower driving position.
From launch, the Ceed five-door hatchback will be available in the UK with a choice of seven paint finishes. 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels, or 17-inch two-tone diamond cut aluminium alloy wheels are available.
There are 11 versions of the Ceed, based on four trim levels –‘2’, ‘Blue Edition’, ‘3’, ‘First Edition’. All models are front-wheel-drive and feature a practical five-door hatchback bodystyle. This car is the first of a whole all-new family of Ceed models to be launched over the next two years.
Interior inspired by Stinger
Inside the cabin, the Ceed is more ergonomic than ever, and with higher-quality materials used throughout. The cabin architecture from the most recent Kia vehicles has been adapted for the Ceed, with the dashboard laid out horizontally for a more sculptural, seamless and slimline appearance. This design also creates greater space and a sense of openness for the front passenger, allowing more space in the footwell and a clearer view ahead.
The dashboard is split into an upper area – for the ‘floating’ touchscreen infotainment system – and lower level, housing controls for audio and heating and ventilation. Driver-centric in its layout, the centre console is angled slightly towards the driver’s seat for ease of use on the move. The interior is finished in a higher proportion of sophisticated soft-touch materials throughout, subtly intensifying the refined and upscale ambience of the cabin. Surfaces are finished with metallic or satin chrome trim. Cloth, cloth with faux leather bolsters or genuine leather upholstery is available depending on trim. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear stick are also available as standard.
Engineered for UK roads
Tested exhaustively on European roads – including the UK – Kia’s test tracks in Korea and at the infamous Nürburgring race circuit in Germany, the Kia Ceed will provide relaxed and safe family motoring and easy, economical long-distance motorway cruising for those who use their cars for business or travel.
The ride and handling characteristics of the Ceed have been tuned to elevate the Ceed over its predecessor in terms of dynamism and driver engagement. The new fully-independent suspension system will provide drivers with more agile and immediate handling responses, complemented by revised spring and damper rates and a faster steering rack. The ride has been developed on Europe’s wide variety of road surfaces, remaining comfortable while giving drivers the confidence of tighter body control under cornering and stability at higher speeds.
The Ceed range will be powered by a wide choice of powertrains developed to meet diverse buyer needs. Petrol options include an updated version of Kia’s popular 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine, producing 118bhp, as well as an all-new 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit. Replacing the earlier 1.6-litre GDi engine, the ‘Kappa’ 1.4-litre T-GDi engine produces 138bhp, four per cent more than its predecessor despite its lower displacement. The engine’s turbocharger ensures a wider torque band than the earlier 1.6-litre engine, making it more responsive in a wider range of driving conditions, while also reducing emissions.
The Ceed is also available with Kia’s all-new ‘U3’ diesel engine. Designed to go beyond the stricter limits laid down by the latest Euro-6d-Temp emissions standard, the ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) unit uses Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology to regulate emissions. The engine produces 114bhp and 280Nm of torque when paired with a manual gearbox or 300Nm of torque when fitted with Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) and is available with an ECO Pack on manual gearbox derivatives. Fitted with the ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi engine, the Ceed’s carbon dioxide emissions are designed to be as low as 99g/km using the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), when converted to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
On Ceed’s fitted with the ECO pack, an Active Air Flap opens and closes depending on engine cooling requirements, enhancing the car’s aerodynamic efficiency for greater fuel economy. The ECO Pack also features an underbody cover and lower suspension, aiding air flow beneath the vehicle, as well as low rolling resistance Michelin tyres.
Every engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while the 1.4-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi engines are also available with Kia’s seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT).
Technological innovation to enhance enjoyment
Innovation sits at the heart of the Kia Ceed, which will become the most high-tech car in its class. The cabin features a wide range of new technologies to enhance comfort and convenience for occupants. The ‘floating’ infotainment system is available as a 7-inch touchscreen audio system, or an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system. Standard technologies include full Bluetooth smartphone integration, Android Auto® and Apple CarPlay® smartphone compatibility. A powerful JBL® Premium sound system with Clari-Fi music restoration and a wireless smartphone charger is standard on the ‘First Edition’.
A Drive Mode Select system with Normal and Sport modes will enable owners to tailor their driving experience on ‘Blue Edition’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ grades with DCT transmission. Drivers can use Drive Mode Select to alter the level of effort required to steer the car, while each mode subtly changes the character of the engine. ‘Normal’ mode maximises the potential for greater fuel efficiency and offers more relaxed steering inputs, while ‘Sport’ enhances throttle responses, enables faster acceleration – from a standstill and at speed – and adapts the steering to offer additional weight and more decisive responses to driver inputs.
On the outside, the Ceed is fitted with newly-designed ‘ice cube’ style LED daytime running lights (DRLs) as standard. Previously, these were only featured on sportier models, embedded into the front bumper – the ‘ice cube’ DRLs are now integrated into the headlamp units on every variant in the range. Full LED headlamps are standard on ‘Blue Edition’ and ‘First Edition’ grades.
Advanced safety and driver assistance systems
In addition to the car’s seven standard airbags, advanced driver assistance technologies further enhance occupant protection, using active safety systems to mitigate the risk of collisions. Standard safety technologies include High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist - City (FCA).
A first for any Kia sold in Europe, the Ceed is available with Lane Following Assist (LFA). Fitted as standard to ‘First Edition’ DCT models, Lane Following Assist tracks vehicles in front of the Ceed in traffic and identifies appropriate spaces in other lanes to move in to safely to gain more ground in heavy congestion. It detects road markings to keep the Ceed in its lane on the motorway, and controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the convoy of vehicles in front. The system uses external sensors to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, operating between 0 and 81mph.
Additional technologies on ‘First Edition’ grades include Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Smart Parking Assist System (SPAS) and pedestrian recognition with haptic steering wheel warnings for the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) system. Every Ceed is equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), ensuring stability when braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) if it detects a loss of traction.
All versions of the Ceed are comprehensively equipped and feature an extensive package of comfort, convenience and safety items which becomes progressively more luxurious with every step up the range.
Grade ‘2’ are fitted with many features that are usually a cost option on rivals, including cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, an alarm system, front wiper de-icer, electric windows all-round and automatic headlight control. Other features include 16-inch alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts, front fog lights, projection headlights and cornering lights, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors in body colour, a high gloss black front grille, chrome window surrounds and LED rear lights. Moving inside, there’s black premium cloth seat trim, a leather trimmed steering wheel, gearshift and hand brake and a rear centre armrest. A seven-inch touchscreen audio display is provided, along with a reversing camera system with dynamic guidelines, DAB radio, Bluetooth® with voice recognition and music streaming Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone compatibility with voice control. Safety has been given a high priority with Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist- City (FCA) all included as standard.
The ‘Blue Edition’ grade is a special version of the Ceed available from launch and is paired with the 1.4 T-GDi engine. It is finished in the premium launch colour, Blue Flame. It features all the equipment of the ‘2’ grade and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, rear parking sensors and LED bi-function headlights and cornering lights. Inside the Ceed ‘Blue Edition’, it comes kitted out with black cloth seat trim with black faux leather bolsters, stainless steel pedals and a USB fast charger in the front centre console. In addition, an eight-inch touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and traffic messaging channel is standard, along with Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® Live. Customers opting for the seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) version also have the benefit of drive mode select.
Grade ‘3’ builds on the comprehensive equipment levels you’ll find on grade ‘2’, with the addition of 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and rain sensing front wipers, in addition to black cloth seat trim with black faux leather bolsters and power lumbar support for the front seats. An eight-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with European mapping and traffic messaging channel is provided alongside Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® Live. Other equipment includes dual-zone automatic air conditioning, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and rear parking sensors, in addition to a 4.2-inch supervision colour cluster display, a USB fast charger in the front centre console and a dual-tone horn. The central fascia is in high gloss black, while the interior door handles have a satin chrome finish. Manual gearbox variants have the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system (FCA) upgraded to include pedestrian detection.
The ‘First Edition’ grade sits at the top-of-the Ceed range and is the model of choice for technology fans. A Smart Park Assist System (SPAS) integrates front and rear parking sensors with the ability to automatically park in parallel or perpendicular spaces, while smart cruise control with stop and go functionality and a Drive Mode Selector are featured when the seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) is chosen. There’s black leather seats with contrast grey stitching, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outer rear seats and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory. A wide electric tilt and slide sunroof with automatic roll blind also comes fitted to ‘First Edition’ grade, along with LED bi-function headlights and cornering lights, an electronic parking brake, heated steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, smart entry system with engine start/stop button and an eight-speaker JBL® premium sound system with wireless mobile phone charger. Extra safety systems include Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Following Assist (LFA) is on DCT models only.
Warranty and after-care
In keeping with every Kia, the Ceed comes with a unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached.
The Ceed is available with Kia’s ‘Kia Care’ service plans, which have been developed to provide customers with a wide range of service plan options for any Kia model within the first seven years of the vehicle’s life – matching its industry-leading seven-year warranty.
The service plans include a comprehensive range of options including the original, traditional, first three and five services, but in addition a customer can now purchase services up to and including the seventh service which matches the full length of the warranty. The plans are available for all Kia owners and can be purchased at any point of ownership for cars up to five years old.