Kia has unveiled its third-generation Ceed hatch that’s likely the closest look yet at what Australia’s new Cerato hatch will look like when it arrives here later this year. Set to debut at the Geneva motor show next month the new hatch will be joined by an all-new and so far unrevealed body style that’s tipped to be a wagon.
Dropping a clumsy apostrophe from its previous Cee’d name, the new vehicle comes with revised styling inside and out along with new technology including the South Korean brand’s first implementation of Level 2 autonomous-capable lane following assist.
Designed, developed and engineered in Europe, the Slovakian-built Ceed is based on Kia’s new K2 platform and retains the same wheelbase but is lower and wider with a longer rear overhang that grows boot space to 395 litres.
The ride has been comprehensively overhauled with independent suspension, revised damper and spring rates plus optional underbody cover and lower suspension in a special ECO pack that adds automatic closing grille flaps for increased aerodynamics. However, it’s unlikely Australia will receive the full under-skin tweaks and instead carryover the current Cerato’s torsion beam rear-end.
Styling is also expected to change slightly, keeping some of the main elements on the Europe-bound model shown but with different front and rear bumpers.
The Euro model gets Kia’s latest ‘tiger nose’ grille design, cube LED headlights, short front overhang, rear boot spoiler, a range of 16-17-inch alloy wheel designs and a flatter hip line with wide C-pillar kink.
Inside, the Ceed has been redesigned to represent Kia’s latest uncluttered and horizontal design philosophy with a driver centric focus and centrally mounted floating infotainment system. Variants receive the option of 5, 7 or 8-inch infotainment screens with JBL sound system and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.
Power is supplied from a range of efficient 1.0 to 1.6-litre engines mated to six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions while Australia is likely to retain its 2.0-litre engine line-up with the possibility of bringing in a 1.6-litre turbo sport-oriented model.
Technology gets a boost with Kia’s first-ever implementation of Level 2 autonomous lane following assist that tracks and follows traffic ahead. It’s joined by lane keeping assist, AEB, adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, high beam assist and haptic steering wheel feedback for forward collision warning.
The new model strengthens the South Korean brand’s expansion into the European market.
“The all-new Ceed offers a truly contemporary and recognisable design, and advanced technologies to enhance comfort, convenience and safety. Its new engines and suspension will make it more enjoyable and engaging to drive, and will continue to offer the same high quality that customers expect from Kia. This will be one of the most innovative cars in its class,” said Michael Cole, Kia Motors Europe COO.
The new Ceed will go on sale in Europe during the second quarter of 2018 and Kia Australia has confirmed the new Cerato hatch will arrive here later this year.
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