Impressive new Kia Ceed arrives in August

The new third generation Kia Ceed has been launched and will be on sale here in August.

Prices will start at €22,695 and there are four trim levels, with the price rising to €28,595 for the top specification.

The new Ceed has been designed, developed, and engineered in Germany, and is also being built in Slovakia, so it is an all European car. It strengthens Kia’s presence in the European C-segment with a mature and athletic new design, innovative new technologies, and a more engaging drive.

Since the first-generation Kia Ceed started production at Kia’s new Slovakian manufacturing facility in December 2006, more than 1.28 million units have been built. Interestingly, a new naming format is part of the change of model, with the current apostrophe version of cee’d set to become Ceed. This stands for ‘Community of Europe, with European Design’, and Kia says the new model further consolidates its reputation. Kia expects the new Ceed will account for an even greater proportion of Kia’s European sales.

The new model is longer and wider with sharper lines than the outgoing model. It also features a more dynamic and sporty design. The interior has also been upgraded with a lower driving position giving more headroom and the boot space has grown. So has the Ceed sportswagon, with a luggage space that is greater than the Skoda Octavia Combi. The SW version is 25cm longer than the current model.

A shooting brake version (the style of a coupe/sports car with the practicality of a hatchback/ estate ) for more upmarket option will follow late this year. There will also be a GT Line version by the end of the year and the new Ceed GTi will be launched at the Paris Motor Show in October. Important news from Kia is that "electrification" will be part of all future models. The Ceed will get a mild hybrid pack to cut down on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. So expect hybrid, EV, and plug-in EV versions across the model range, while staying with internal combustion engines.

The steering and suspension have been upgraded in the new Ceed, and this results in less body roll, a great balance between enhanced comfort and improved drivability with a more direct steering feedback. Cabin noise has been reduced and it contributes towards a more refined driving experience.

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 will include high beam assist, driver attention warning, and lane keeping assist with forward collision-avoidance assist. There is extensive use of high-strength steel, increasing body stiffness by 30 per cent, while still managing to reduce the overall weight by 23 kilos.

Standard specification includes forward collision assist, lane-keeping assist, driver attention warning and a vehicle stability assist. Level two gets 16" alloy wheels, reversing camera, 7" display and Bluetooth voice recognition, while level 3 adds LED lights, wireless phone charger, parking sensors and electric parking brake.

Inside the cabin, the Ceed is more ergonomic t han ever, and with higher-quality materials used throughout. The cabin architecture from the most recent Kia vehicles has been adapted for the new Ceed, driver-centric in its layout, the centre console is angled slightly towards the driver’s seat for ease of use on the move.

In addition to looking great inside and out, the new Ceed has the advantage of seven years or 150,000-kilometre factory warranty, which instills great consumer trust, and it also offers affordable maintenance costs.

Kia expects petrol engines will account for 70 per cent of sales, and options include an updated version of the popular 1.0-litre T-GDi (turbocharged and direct injection ) engine. The engine produces 120ps and 172Nm torque, with emissions from 125g/km, or 122g/km with the optional eco pack (WLTP combined, converted back to NEDC 2.0 ). A new Kappa 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit replaces the earlier 1.6-litre GDI engine and produces 140ps - four per cent more than its predecessor despite its lower displacement.

The new Ceed will also be available with Kia’s new U3 1.6-litre CRDi (common-rail direct injection ) diesel engine and uses selective catalytic reduction (SCR ) active emissions control technology to significantly reduce emissions. The new engine therefore produces less carbon dioxide, particulate matter and NOx compared to earlier Kia diesel engines. Available with a choice of power outputs (115 and 136ps ), the new 1.6-litre diesel produces 280 or 300Nm torque in its lower state of tune when paired with manual or double-clutch transmissions respectively. The 136ps version also produces 280Nm when paired with a six-speed manual transmission, and 320 Nm with a super seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

In 2019, the new Ceed will be available with Kia’s new ‘EcoDynamics+’ 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, to further reduce CO2 emissions. The ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain supplements acceleration with power from a 48-volt battery, while a new ‘mild-hybrid starter-generator’ unit extends engine ‘off time’ with a moving stop and start function.

Even with the new Ford Focus, Opel Astra and Volkswagen Golfs on the way this year, I expect the new Kia Ceed to be a hit with Irish motorists in a segment that is losing sales to crossovers/SUVs. Having driven all available versions of the new Ceed at the European press launch, I expect Kia Ireland will indeed achieve 1,000 Ceed sales next year.

Check it out for yourself when it arrive next month.

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