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Sunday, 22 September 2019
THE all-new Kia Ceed could be the shape of things to come in the car industry in one important respect.
For as the European economic model seems under chronic attack, this car — a third generation Ceed — proudly bristles with European credentials.
Kia describes it as a “car for the Community of Europe, with European Design”. Kia also says the all-new Ceed is “expected to account for an even greater proportion of Kia’s European sales”.
Like its predecessors, the Ceed has been designed, developed and engineered in Frankfurt by Kia’s European design, product and research and development teams.
It will be produced at the carmaker’s facility in Zilina, Slovakia, alongside the Sportage and Venga.
Since the introduction of the formerly named cee’d, Kia’s annual European sales have more than doubled — from 225,000 in 2006 to more than 472,000 in 2017.
But we should not feel left out, at least not yet. The Kia Ceed is an important car to the South Korean carmaker and so, too, is the UK car market.
The Ceed is important here for Kia because it’s the carmaker’s third best-selling model behind the Sportage and Picanto. It accounts for almost 10 per cent of the company’s sales.
So with this positive Euro-wide outlook in the background — the honest view is that we do not know how the UK car market is going to shape up in years to come — this week I have been driving the Kia Ceed 1.6 T-GDI GT.
This is frankly another excellent model from Kia which has changed throughout as a company in recent years.
So what’s new about the third generation Kia Ceed and what can those who already know the car expect from the all-new model?
Well, for 2019 GT-Line, GT-Line S and GT models have been added to the range.
This is a 32-model range based on two body styles, five engines, two transmissions and seven trim grades.
The Ceed GT has a fine, sporty feel to it, without sacrificing comfort and interior space. The idea is for a sportier interior ambience to separate it from non-GT models in the Ceed line-up.
Surfaces are finished in soft-touch materials and metallic trim, while the dashboard is angled towards the driver, making it easier to use on the move.
Kia’s “floating” touchscreen infotainment system — 8ins wide — with audio and heating and ventilation controls situated below, dominates the dashboard.
A black roofliner replaces the grey cloth found in standard Ceed models. Every GT model features a D-shaped steering wheel bearing the GT logo, as well as aluminium driver pedals.
Models equipped with Kia’s dual-clutch auto transmission feature new stainless-steel shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
New sport seats for front passengers provide larger, firmer side and thigh bolsters compared to the original cee’d GT.
Seats are trimmed in black leather and suede and finished with red stitching and a red-stitched GT logo in the seat back. It’s good to know that despite this being a sporty version, Kia does not forget the fact that for many drivers, a performance hatchback has to be able to fit into their daily lives.
So practicality is also to the fore. The Ceed GT features the same large 395-litre boot as non-GT variants of the Ceed.
A split-level floor allows owners to lower or raise the height of the boot floor, to accommodate larger loads or create a hidden compartment beneath — and 60:40 split-fold rear seats are fitted as standard.
The new model also features “ice cube” LED daytime running lights as standard.
There is another “Ceed” emerging. The all-new Kia XCeed crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is a sporty alternative to traditional larger SUVs.
The swept-back, coupé-like appearance of the Kia XCeed is again a product of the brand’s European design centre in Frankfurt.
Kia says the combination of its “elevated ride height and lower hip point” give the car a sportier driving position than a traditional SUV.
Its raised driving position offers a clearer view of the road ahead than a conventional family hatchback. I hope to review this new car and report back in the near future.
Kia Ceed 1.6 T-GDI GT
• Price: £25,850 on the road
• 0-60mph: 7.2 seconds
• Top speed: 143mph
• Combined economy: 38.2mpg
• CO2 emissions: 163 g/km
• Eight-inch touchscreen satnav with European mapping
• Six -speaker audio system
• DAB radio with MP3 compatibility
• Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
• Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
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