Published on July 2nd, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Kia Ceed, A Korean For All Seasons
Here is the 3rd generation all-new Kia Ceed – designed, developed, engineered and built in Europe – strengthens Kia’s presence in the European C-segment with a mature and athletic new design, innovative new technologies, and a more engaging drive.
The Kia Ceed range has been designed at the brand’s European design centre in Frankfurt, Germany, under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, European Head of Design, and Peter Schreyer, President of Design and Chief Design Officer. Carrying over the sporty, emotional design character of the Stinger, the Ceed conveys a more self-confident new look – one that is both emotive and precise in its execution.
Lower, wider, and with a longer rear overhang than the car it replaces, the Ceed’s cab-rearward silhouette exhibits a more mature sense of athleticism. Straight lines replace the rounded-off edges of its predecessor, evolving the front of the car with a wider ‘tiger-nose’ grille and lower air intake, and precise, linear shapes framing its ‘face’. The new model features ‘ice cube’ LED daytime running lights as standard, echoing the appearance of earlier Kia GT and GT Line models. In profile, the sharp, straight lines visually lengthen the bonnet and give the car a more upright stance. A greater sense of maturity and strength is created in its shoulder line, which now runs along a more horizontal plane. The new model adopts the wide C-pillar that has become a hallmark of Kia design in recent years, enhancing its cab-rearward stance. This also gives the upper window-line a sleek new ‘half-moon’ shape. At the rear, new LED daytime running lights give the Kia Ceed greater visibility – and recognition – on the road.
Constructed on Kia’s new ‘K2’ platform, the Ceed five-door hatchback is 20mm wider (1,800mm) and 23mm lower (1,447mm) than the outgoing model. Its wheelbase remains the same at 2,650mm, with the front overhang shortened by 20mm (to 880mm), and rear overhang extended by 20mm (now 780mm). Its wider dimensions and longer rear overhang create a more assertive and sporty stance, for a more confident presence on the road.
Sharing near-identical dimensions to the five-door hatchback, the Ceed Sportswagon features a longer cargo area and rear overhang. Extending the straight lines of the bodywork, and capped with a subtle tailgate spoiler, the Kia Ceed Sportswagon joins its five-door hatchback sibling in presenting a stable, sporty aesthetic. The rear overhang is extended by 115mm (now 1,070mm) compared to the outgoing model. At 4,600mm in overall length – 95mm longer than its predecessor – the new model offers significantly more cargo space.
From launch, the Ceed range will be available in a choice of 11 paint finishes. A selection of wheels and designs are available, with buyers able to choose from 15-inch steel wheels, 16-inch steel or aluminium wheels, and 17-inch two-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels.
Inside the cabin, the Ceed is more ergonomic than ever, and with higher-quality materials used throughout. The cabin architecture from the most recent Kia vehicles has been adapted for the new Kia Ceed, with the dashboard laid out horizontally for a more sculptural, seamless and slimline appearance. This design also creates greater space and a sense of openness for the front passenger, creating more room in the footwell and a clearer view ahead.
For all models, the dash is split into an upper area – for the ‘floating’ touchscreen infotainment system – and lower area, housing controls for audio and heating and ventilation. Driver-centric in its layout, the centre console is angled slightly towards the driver’s seat for ease of use on the move. The interior is finished in a higher proportion of sophisticated soft-touch materials throughout, subtly intensifying the refined and upscale ambience of the cabin. Surfaces are finished with metallic or satin chrome trim, with buyers able to choose from a range of cloth, synthetic leather or genuine leather upholstery. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearstick are also available as an option.
The new platform supports the Ceed’s more efficient packaging, with a more spacious cabin than before, in both hatchback and Sportswagon models. The wider body creates greater shoulder room for rear passengers (increased by 34mm to 1,406mm), while a 16mm-lower seating position in the rear creates sufficient knee and leg room for passengers in the second row. Despite the lower roofline, the platform and lowered front seating position create greater front-row headroom than before (now 987mm). The lower rear bench also ensures similar levels of headroom for rear passengers.
While the Ceed five-door hatchback occupies a similar on-road footprint to its predecessor, it boasts a larger 395-litre boot – increased in size by 15-litres. The boot lip is also substantially lower than before – the lift-over height is reduced by 87mm compared to the outgoing cee’d, making it easier to load heavier items into the boot. A split-level boot floor allows owners to lower or raise the height of the boot floor, to accommodate larger cargo or create a hidden compartment beneath.
The Kia Ceed Sportswagon also boasts significantly higher cargo capacity than ever before. The boot is 97 litres (18 per cent) larger than the outgoing model, expanding to 625 litres in capacity – larger than most D-segment tourers. The boot lip is also substantially lower – the lower lift-over height makes it easier to load heavier items into the boot.
C-segment tourer customers’ expectations go beyond cargo capacity, so Kia’s designers have ensured versatility and usability are key strengths for the Ceed Sportswagon, making it one of the most practical cars in its class. The split-fold rear seats are fitted in a 40:20:40 configuration and can be folded remotely with a single touch from a lever just inside the tailgate. With the seats folded, the boot floor is completely flat. Every Ceed Sportswagon features an underfloor box to secure or hide smaller items, as well as a tonneau cover and a bag hook to prevent groceries and other items rolling around the load bay. Integrated roof rails are also fitted as standard to facilitate supplementary stowage.
Sportswagon customers can also specify a Smart Power Tailgate, which opens automatically when it detects the Kia Ceed’s smart key in close proximity to the tailgate, for occasions when users’ hands are full with heavy cargo. A safety barrier net – between the cabin and the boot – is also available, as well as a net to secure small items, and a luggage floor rail system.
Ride, handling and NVH
The Ceed has been engineered exclusively for European roads, with European buyers in mind. The ride and handling characteristics of the new model have been tuned to elevate the Ceed over its predecessor in terms of dynamism and driver engagement. At the same time, a focus throughout the new model’s development on eliminating noise and vibrations means the cabin of the Ceed is more refined than ever.
The new fully-independent suspension system provides drivers with more agile and immediate handling responses, complemented by revised spring and damper rates. The ride has been developed on Europe’s wide variety of road surfaces, remaining comfortable while giving drivers the confidence of tighter body control under cornering and stability at higher speeds.
The front springs are now 40 per cent stiffer and the torsional rigidity of the front stabiliser is reduced by 22 per cent. In addition to accommodating the lighter range of engines, these modifications enable more immediate handling responses and a flatter ride under cornering, reducing understeer and producing greater mechanical grip. The front suspension is aided by a new damper valve system to absorb smaller vibrations. Conversely, the rear spring rate has been relaxed by 10 per cent, absorbing small vibrations and giving the Kia Ceed a relaxed gait at a cruise or over broken road surfaces. The adoption of a newly designed rear stabiliser, new trailing arm bushings, and optimised shock absorber bushings ensures maximum body control under cornering.
The Ceed sports a 17 per cent more direct steering rack than its predecessor, with a 12.7:1 ratio from its electric motor-driven power steering system. Requiring just 2.44 turns of the wheel from lock-to-lock, the new model provides a more incisive response to drivers’ steering inputs.
In addition to the stiffer front springs, the Ceed’s responsive and engaging handling is supported by optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres for buyers specifying 17-inch wheels, allowing higher yaw velocity than key rivals in the C-segment.
Technology in the Ceed also plays a role in enhancing driver enjoyment, as well as safety. The front-wheel drive Kia Ceed features Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system as standard. This enables the inclusion of Torque Vectoring by Braking technology, an additional electronic driver support feature which intelligently brakes the inside wheels to reduce understeer around corners – making the Ceed more enjoyable and confidence-inspiring to drive.
Refinement and the suppression of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) was a principal focus during the Ceed’s development. Engineers analysed every element of cabin, engine and suspension insulation and ‘transfer paths’ for NVH. Compared to the outgoing cee’d, the new model features thicker, more insulating dashboard padding, new, more sound-absorbent insulation around the rear wheel arches, and a new insulation layer beneath the cabin carpet, reducing engine and road noise. Reshaped windscreen side mouldings and new, more comprehensive sealing around the doors have led to a reduction in wind noise. The Ceed is therefore quieter than its predecessor at every engine speed, with road noise at 60 kph reduced from 67.5 to 66.5 dB. Wind noise is also reduced, with 63 dB registering in the cabin at 110 kph, compared to 64 dB in the second-generation model.
The chassis and bodyshell also contribute to lower levels of vibration from poor road surfaces. A thicker rear crossmember and additional reinforcement beneath the rear cabin and boot floors reduce the effect of vibrations from the rear axle. New anti-vibration pads are also fitted to the upper cowl, at the base of the windshield, reducing the effect of engine vibrations on the cabin.
The Kia Ceed’s 1.6-litre ‘U3’ diesel engine features a range of additional components designed to improve sound insulation and refinement. These include a timing belt cover and more insulated cylinder block cover, engine undercover, and oil pan cover.
Engines and transmissions
The Ceed range is powered by a wide choice of powertrains developed to meet diverse buyer needs. Petrol options include an updated version of Kia’s popular 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine. The engine produces 120ps and 172 Nm torque, with emissions from 125 g/km, or 122 g/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, 4 per cent more than its predecessor despite its lower displacement. The engine’s turbocharger ensures a wider torque band than the earlier 1.6-litre engine, making it more responsive in a wider range of driving conditions – while also reducing emissions. 242 Nm torque is available from 1,500 to 3,200 rpm, with combined emissions (on the WLTP cycle converted back to NEDC 2.0) as low as 125 g/km when fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Manual models emit 130 g/km, or 128 g/km with the ECO Pack.
Both 1.0- and 1.4-litre T-GDi engines are fitted with a petrol particulate filter to further reduce tailpipe emissions, ensuring the Ceed goes beyond the requirements of the Euro 6d TEMP standard.
A 100ps 1.4-litre MPi (multi-point injection) engine is also available, with 134 Nm torque. The 1.4-litre MPI emits 142 g /km carbon dioxide on the combined cycle (WLTP converted back to NEDC 2.0), or 137 g/km when equipped with the ECO Pack.
The Ceed is also available with Kia’s all-new ‘U3’ diesel engine. Designed to go beyond the stricter limits laid down by the latest Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard, the new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (common-rail direct injection) 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 300 Nm torque in its lower state of tune when paired with manual or dual-clutch transmissions (DCT) respectively. The 136ps version also produces 280 Nm when paired with a six-speed manual transmission, and 320 Nm with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The new engine emits less CO2 than others in the Kia Ceed line-up. With a six-speed manual transmission, the 115 ps version emits just 101 g/km (combined, WLTP, converted back to NEDC 2.0), or 99 g/km with the ECO Pack. Models fitted with a dual-clutch transmission produce 105 g/km for the low-powered engine. Emissions for the higher-powered engine are as low as from 106 g/km (104 g/km with Eco ECO) for manual models, and 109 g/km when paired with Kia’s dual-clutch transmission.
Every engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while the new 1.4-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi engines are available with Kia’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
In 2019, the 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 & Start’ function.
Technologies and features
Innovation sits at the heart of the Kia Ceed, which will become the most high-tech car in its class when sales commence.
The cabin features a wide range of new technologies to enhance comfort and convenience for occupants. The ‘floating’ infotainment system is available as either a 7.0-inch touchscreen audio system or 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system, with navigation and Kia Connected Services powered by TomTom®. The system enables full smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. Android Auto™ is designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. The Ceed’s Apple CarPlay™ system is compatible with the iPhone 5 and every iPhone released since.
Buyers can also specify a powerful JBL® Premium sound system with Clari-Fi music restoration technology. Standard technologies include full Bluetooth smartphone integration, as well as automatic lights and keyless entry.
A Drive Mode Select system will enable owners to tailor their driving experience, with Normal and Sport mode. Drivers can use Drive Mode Select to alter the level of effort required to steer the car, while each mode subtly changes the character of the engine. Normal mode maximises the potential for greater fuel efficiency and offers more relaxed steering inputs. Sport mode enhances throttle responses, enables faster acceleration – from a standstill and at speed – and adapts the steering to offer additional weight and more decisive responses to driver inputs.
An optional heated windshield – with nearly-imperceptible wires to gently heat the glass – makes the Kia Ceed easier to live with in colder months. The first time this technology has featured in a Kia, it melts away frost, ice and windscreen mist at the push of a button. A wireless smartphone charger, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats are also available. Ceed Sportswagon buyers can specify Kia’s Smart Power Tailgate, which can be opened hands-free for added tourer practicality.
On the outside, the Ceed is fitted with newly-designed ‘ice cube’ style LED daytime running lights (DRL) as standard. Previously, these were only featured on Kia GT and GT Line models, embedded into the front bumper – the ‘ice cube’ DRLs are now integrated into the headlamp units on every model in the Ceed range. Full LED headlamps are also available as an option.
The Kia Ceed’s optional ECO Pack features an Active Air Flap, which closes and opens depending on engine cooling requirements, enhancing the car’s aerodynamic efficiency for greater fuel economy. The ECO Pack also features an underbody cover and lower suspension, aiding air flow beneath the vehicle, as well as low rolling resistance Michelin tyres. Both the Ceed five-door hatchback and Sportswagon are available with the ECO Pack.
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, Lane Keeping Assist with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist.
A first for any Kia sold in Europe, the Ceed is available with Lane Following Assist, a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology. Lane Following Assist tracks vehicles in front of the Ceed in traffic, and detects road markings to keep the car in its lane on the motorway. The system controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the convoy of vehicles in front, using radar sensors to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Lane Following Assist operates between 0 and 130 kph.
Additional available technologies include Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Smart Parking Assist, and pedestrian recognition with haptic steering wheel warnings for the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system.
Every Kia Ceed is equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM). VSM ensures stability when braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) if it detects a loss of traction.