A higher-set version of Kia’s next-generation Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf rival, it will slot between the smaller Stonic and larger Sportage, capitalising on a segment that now accounts for more than a quarter of car sales.
Borrowing design cues from its SUV siblings, it will face the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca and share a range of powertrains with the regular third-generation Cee’d when it is revealed towards the end of 2018.
The current Cee’d engine range is bookended by a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre turbocharged diesel. The next-generation car is likely to retain these options, albeit in updated, more efficient forms that conform to the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations.
Along with the Cee’d SUV, the third-generation model range will gain a new line-up-topping shooting brake variant. Previewed by the striking Procee'd concept of the Frankfurt motor show in September (pictured above), this swept-back model has five doors, essentially making it an answer to the Mercedes-Benz CLA.
However, the Korean car will cost significantly less than the Mercedes in order to increase its reach, and will open with the brand’s smallest three-cylinder engine.
The Cee’d range shake-up will also include changes for the regular hatchback. The car will be launched exclusively with five doors, with the three-door entry-level model ditched in a move that reflects market demand. Kia has also given the car a higher-standard interior, with a spy photo of a test car's cabin (see gallery) showing a simplified centre console design that features a touchscreen.