It seems a refreshing event when a manufacturer reveals an all-new car that isn't an SUV these days. So ignoring the new Kia Ceed’s sensible overtones, the fact that it stays true to the traditional low-riding family hatch template could be seen as a plus in itself. That Kia also says the new Ceed has channeled some of the Kia Stinger’s dynamic qualities could make it even more of an interesting proposition.
Initial signs look promising as this Ceed, like its predecessor, has been designed and developed in Europe (Frankfurt, to be precise). Lower, wider and longer than the old car, the new Ceed features a more cab-rear silhouette than before; a design theme typified by shortened front and lengthened rear overhangs. The Ceed has been designed under the watchful eye of Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer for Kia and Hyundai and the man responsible for the Korean brand’s increased focus on attractive design in recent years.
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Under the skin, the new Kia Ceed is built on the new K2 platform, with all models benefiting from independent rear suspension. The European development team was tasked with making the Ceed Kia’s most dynamic hatchback yet, laying down some solid foundations for a possible future performance version. Previously, the three-door Kia Ceed (or pro_cee’d as it was called) was offered in a warm GT variant, but with the new models like the Stinger GT, as well as sister company Hyundai’s rather excellent i30 N, having emerged from the stable since, it’s not too big a stretch to imagine a proper hot hatch variant in the model's future.
Initially though, the Ceed will be available with three petrol and two diesel engines with power outputs varying between 99bhp and 138bhp. All engines will be connected to a 6-speed manual gearbox, although the top-level petrol and diesel models will also have a 7-speed dual clutch option.
As is the trend these days, a high mounted floating infotainment screen largely dominates the interior. The overall design is definitely in the 'OK' rather than interesting basket, but looks solid and well appointed. Space should be bang on average too, although don’t expect a cavernous rear seating area thanks to the space-sapping multi-link rear suspension.
The Kia Ceed at this point then is hardly an evo-centric car, but then as opposed to the influx of compact SUVs, and with the possibility of a warmer future offering in the pipeline, we’ll take one of these over a dull compact SUV any day. Production will start in May, with UK prices and an on-sale date still to be confirmed.