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.
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.
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.
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.