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Kia cee'd European inspiration Photo:
 
 
Steane Klose | Sep, 01 2007 | 3 Comments

The Kia cee?d hasn?t featured on CarUpdate yet and I have to confess that its all because of the name. You?re probably thinking that?s a faintly ridiculous reason but I just haven?t been able to come to grips with cee?d as a name. How do you say it? Should it sound like a sneeze? What does it mean? However, I?ve decided that this personal struggle shouldn?t get in the way of this handsomely styled little Kia featuring on this site, so here goes.

Stealing design cues from the competitions cooking model small fours, the cee?d has plenty of Mazda3 from the A-pillar back while opposing ends have been clearly inspired by the superceded Corolla. Wherever the inspiration has come from it has resulted in a handsomely styled car.

The folks at Kia have paid special attention to what Europeans want from their car and how they use them. They have even taken this to the extreme of watching how Europeans enter and exit a car. This attention to detail has resulted in doors that open in three stages (rather than the usual two) and a cabin that looks more European than Korean. Quality materials and soft touch plastics are the norm, not the exception as in many Korean cars.

kia-ceed-two-hatches.jpg

There are a number of engine options available on the European cee?d, including 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol four cylinders as well as a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel. There is also talk of a 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol hot-hatch variant, which is a topic for a whole new article. It is not yet known which engine options will be made available on Australian delivered cars.

Reports from Europe suggest that the cee?d is a polished performer, well built and good value ? not exactly attributes readily associated with a Kia, but the cee?d has been built by Kia to change those perceptions.

kia-ceed-wagon.jpg

The cee?d has just recently added another substantial string to its bow by gaining a Euro NCAP 5-star safety rating. In fact the cee?d achieved 5-stars for Adult Protection, 4-stars for Child Protection and 2-stars for Pedestrian Protection making it one of the safest cars in its class. Any doubts concerning Kia?s intentions with their new small car should be dispelled right there.

?The latest Euro NCAP result is a major landmark achievement for Kia. The cee?d is designed, engineered and built in Europe, to meet or surpass the expectations of European consumers in every respect ? including safety,? commented Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice President & COO, Kia Motors Corporation.

kia-ceed-interior.jpg

In addition to a 5-star Euro NCAP rating, the new cee?d also features a 7-year factory warranty. The super long warranty reflects Kia?s confidence in their product but is also part of the overall cee?d plan to attract new buyers to the marque. Known as ?conquest? customers Kia are hoping the cee?d and pro cee?d three door models will be enough to lure small four buyers to the Kia badge for the first time.

Built in Slovakia at a new plant established by Kia the idea that the cee?d is a Korean car is really a moot point?a bit like thinking your BMW X5 is german. Whilst the cee?d has been available in Europe for a while now, it has not made it to our shores yet although it is expected soon.

kia-ceed-silver-side-rear.jpg

There will be a number of variants, including the cee?d four-door hatch and wagon a three-door hatch called the pro_cee?d and a convertible version known as the ex_cee?d. When it eventually arrives in Australia the entry level 1.6-litre diesel manual cee?d is expected to retail somewhere near the $25,000 mark. This will not be the cheap and cheerful Kia that we are used to.

Australian?s will need to re-think their perception of Kia and recognise the new range for the European cars that they are. It looks like the only aspect of the whole cee?d project that Kia have buggered up is the name?but whats in a name heh?

One final thought. You like the new cee?d so much that you buy two. So do you have two cee?d?s or two cee?d or just a couple of Kia?s?

Steane

[Source: Kia and Car Magazine]

 
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