Kia’s rival to the Golf and Focus was shown at the Geneva motor show alongside an estate version

Kia is taking a direct aim at the Volkswagen Golf with the new Ceed, which it claims will be the most high-tech car in its class. UK sales begin in August and Kia has now confirmed specs and pricing, which starts from £18,295.

The new price is a £2390 increase on the previous Ceed’s £15,365 starting figure, although Kia claims a boost in material quality, packing and features. Entry-level 2 trim features a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine and standard kit includes cruise control, automatic headlights, 16in alloy wheels and a 7.0in touchscreen with a reversing camera, DAB radio, Bluetooth and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Safety tech such as high beam assist, driver attention warning and forward collision avoidance assist are also thrown in.

The Ceed will also be offered with a 1.6-litre diesel engine, with prices starting at £18,295. The car will be available in both five-door hatch form and Sportswagon estate guise. A limited-run Blue Edition, featuring the 1.4 T-GDi petrol engine and special design features, will cost £21,095. Kia has yet to announce prices for the higher-level 3 and First Edition trims.

First shown at the Geneva motor show, the five-door hatchback is the first from a new family of Ceed models that also includes the also unveiled Sportswagen estate and a shooting brake that's due in 2019. Beyond that, an SUV is due to complete the line-up.

The new Ceed GT has been revealed - take a look

Although now outsold by the Sportage and Sorento SUVs in Britain, the Ceed remains a key contributor to Kia’s growing European market share, which last year reached 3% — a level that has doubled since the first Ceed launched in 2006. This year, Kia is aiming to surpass 500,000 car sales in Europe for the first time.

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Kia Cee'd

The Kia Cee’d is more than good enough to harry the opposition, which is an achievement in itself for the fiercely competitive family hatchback class

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Talking at the new model's reveal in Munich, European marketing boss Artur Martins told Autocar that the Ceed can hold its own in a market gradually shifting towards SUVs. He said that the Ceed “will continue to grow” in demand at the same time as new SUV models, such as the Stonic, “reach new customers”. He said the Ceed ""attracts a different sort of buyer" to its higher-riding siblings.

The new five-door has been given a more mature look, with straighter lines and less clutter than its predecessor. At the back, oval tail-lights share some lines with those fitted to Kia's top model, the Stinger, while the car’s new LED day running lights mimic those fitted to higher-spec GT models. The Ceed comes with wheels of 15in, 16in or 17in in diameter — the latter of which are the two-tone diamond-cut aluminium ones pictured here.

Top 10 best family hatchbacks 2018

Built on Kia’s latest K2 platform and developed at the brand’s European base in Frankfurt, the latest model offers improved interior space and a 15-litre increase in boot capacity (at 395 litres), as a result of tighter packaging and a 20mm wider footprint than its predecessor. The new Ceed also promises to be more agile, thanks to the platform's lower centre of gravity, with the car 23mm shorter and sitting on fully independent suspension that’s been honed on European roads, including some tuning in Britain.

Albert Biermann, the boss of vehicle testing at Kia's parent company Hyundai Motor Group and the man behind the new Hyundai i30N hot hatch, said to "expect a good step up for driving fun, precision, agility and so on compared with the previous Ceed" during a conversation with Autocar late last year.

Autocar has already driven a prototype 2018 Ceed. Click here to read the review

Power for the new Ceed comes from a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel, which are shared with the model's twin from sister brand Hyundai, the i30. The smallest petrol is an updated version of a 1.0-litre T-GDi unit that produces 118bhp, while a 1.4-litre T-GDi engine replaces the old car’s 1.6 petrol and comes in 99bhp and 138bhp forms. Just one 1.6-litre diesel CRDi is offered but it's new and comes in 113bhp and 134bhp guises. Kia expects the cleanest version of the oil-burner to produce less than 110g/km of CO2, thanks to a new selective catalytic reduction system.

Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual as standard, with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox available as an option on the 1.4 petrol and 1.6 diesel.

A 48v mild hybrid version will be added to the range next year – the same year Ford introduces a 48v mild hybrid version of its rival, the Focus – while Martins told Autocar that a plug-in hybrid version is “under consideration”. Martins said a fully electric version is also possible but unlikely because the K2 platform would need modifying, which could “impact interior space”.

Two drive modes, Normal and Sport, are available via the Ceed’s Drive Mode Select system. The former maximises fuel efficiency, while the latter sharpens throttle response and adds weight to the steering. An optional Eco pack adds an active air flap to the car’s front grille, which closes to reduce drag and opens to enhance engine cooling. The pack also includes an underbody cover and lowered suspension to smooth airflow beneath the car, as well as lower rolling resistance Michelin tyres.

Inside, the car comes with a new infotainment display of 5.0in or 7.0in in size, depending on the specification, or an 8.0in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in top models. The Ceed gets Bluetooth smartphone integration, automatic lights and keyless entry as standard, while buyers are offered options such as a JBL premium sound system, wireless phone charger and heated windscreen.

The Ceed has a new Level 2 autonomous system called Lane Following Assist, which can take control of the car’s steering, throttle and brakes in traffic and even suggest the changing of lanes to maintain progress in heavy congestion. Also available is adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a stop, blindspot and rear cross-traffic warning, as well as a parking assist function and pedestrian recognition technology that works with the car's forward collision avoidance technology.

The car will enter production in May in left-hand-drive form, with right-hand-drive cars following later in the summer ahead of first deliveries in the autumn. The estate will mirror the hatchback's launch and production schedule but the shooting brake, which will be inspired by the striking Proceed concept of 2017, isn’t expected to arrive on roads until early next year, following its anticipated reveal in the second half of 2018. That car will also likely be the most expensive.

Kia has dropped the apostrophe in car's name (the previous model was called Cee'd) to emphasise its European focus. Kia said the letters in the name stand for ‘car of Europe, with European design’. The model is only sold in Europe; it has surpassed 1.28 million units through two previous generations.

Read more

Kia Ceed 2018 prototype review

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Comments
22

15 February 2018

This new Ceed looks ok but it's not as great looking as the previous model while it's yet another car in the class which is taking its inspiration from the VW Golf, resulting in a rather low-key and conservative looking car. Only the striking front end really stands out and looks great IMO although it seems at odds with the conervative looks of the rest of the car. And despite many cars in this class trying to the follow the Golf's styling traits, the VW still looks the best by far for me, the original and still the best looking. At least the interior looks a lot better, and more premium, that the previous C'eed which I always felt looked a bit tacky, a tad messy and cheap looking. A shame about that stuck-on screen which seems common place nowadays!

15 February 2018
Lanehogger wrote:

This new Ceed looks ok but it's not as great looking as the previous model while it's yet another car in the class which is taking its inspiration from the VW Golf, resulting in a rather low-key and conservative looking car. Only the striking front end really stands out and looks great IMO although it seems at odds with the conervative looks of the rest of the car. And despite many cars in this class trying to the follow the Golf's styling traits, the VW still looks the best by far for me, the original and still the best looking. At least the interior looks a lot better, and more premium, that the previous C'eed which I always felt looked a bit tacky, a tad messy and cheap looking. A shame about that stuck-on screen which seems common place nowadays!

Are you serious? This new Ceed looks great, so much more attractive, desirable and prestigious than the Golf. The Golf looks bland, dull, cheap, ill-proprtioned and as desirable as a house brick. As for the interior I agree it looks better than the previous model but it also looks miles better than the Golf's dull, sobre and uninspiring design while the Kia will continue to feature superior material quality too as the previous model did. And overall the Kia will be a much better built car than the notoriously unreliable VW, backed up by the fact VW could never offer a 7 year warranty because they know their cars are as reliable as a chocolate fireguard.

15 February 2018

Looks a bit dated already. What's strange is the engine line-up a '1.0-litre T-GDi 118bhp and a 1.4-litre T-GDi engine 99bhp form' why would you get the bigger less powerful 1.4 T-GDI? Even the torque figures wouldn't differ much.

I think their newer looking Stonic SUV will outsell it, especially as the starting price is only a £1,000 or so more

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

15 February 2018
xxxx wrote:

Looks a bit dated already. What's strange is the engine line-up a '1.0-litre T-GDi 118bhp and a 1.4-litre T-GDi engine 99bhp form' why would you get the bigger less powerful 1.4 T-GDI? Even the torque figures wouldn't differ much.

I think their newer looking Stonic SUV will outsell it, especially as the starting price is only a £1,000 or so more

I suspect the 99bhp 1.4 does without a turbo so wouldn't actually be a T-GDI.

15 February 2018

Disappointingly cheap detailing outside, especially at bumper level and below....which renders it immediately blander than it should be and, medium-term, lost 'in the noise'. The warranty and reliability will be its salvation which, by now, you'd have thought Kia would have built on to reach greater heights.  Artificially held back by Hyundai perhaps ?

BertoniBertone

15 February 2018

Disappointingly cheap detailing outside, especially at bumper level and below....which renders it immediately blander than it should be and, medium-term, lost 'in the noise'. The warranty and reliability will be its salvation which, by now, you'd have thought Kia would have built on to reach greater heights.  Artificially held back by Hyundai perhaps ?

BertoniBertone

Myk

15 February 2018

I think this could signal a blander trend creeping into Kia's design.  When Peter Schreyer took over the design it was relatively easy for him to make a big impression.  He could start with a clean sheet, not being burdened by an historic family design direction, and as a result we had a string of good looking cars.  Now that we've gone through at least one cycle of re-designs the styling appears to be stagnating.  Kia are becoming more conservative so that they don't lose the market they've built up, and we're going to see blander cars from them overall. Bit of a shame.

15 February 2018
Myk wrote:

I think this could signal a blander trend creeping into Kia's design.

I think the latest Sportage and Rio signalled that. Yes, this is nothing special, but  what in sector is?  Its smart enough, and if Kia have spent time and money on the driving dynamics (the i30N is giving me hope here) and less on the styling then that could be a good thing. The interior looks nice too, and if we have to have a touchscreen I'd rather it be high up like this one. At least Kia are still keeping the climate and radio volume controls seperate, which some other manufacturers should take note of.

15 February 2018

Near indistinguishable from the Hyundai i30, really. What is the point? 

15 February 2018

I have to agree with the posters above that the styling is nothing to get excited about, but this part of the market doesn't want exciting (look at the changes to the new C4 Cactus) and it looks smart enough. However, if Kia can deliver a strong all round package combined with sensible prices and running costs and then throw in the 7 year warranty, this could be a very compelling family hatch. 

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