Since the first-generation Kia cee’d started production at Kia’s new Slovakian manufacturing facility in December 2006, more than 1.3 million units have been built. More than 660,000 of the second-generation model have been built since production began in 2012. A new naming format for the latest generation car – cee’d becomes Ceed – consolidates its reputation as a car for the Community of Europe, with European Design. As it enters its third iteration, 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 development and R&D teams. It will be manufactured at the brand’s production facility in Žilina, Slovakia, alongside the Sportage and Venga models.
In 2017, the C-segment accounted for 22 per cent of all European vehicle sales and is consistently one of the two largest segments by volume. The outgoing cee’d accounted for 16 per cent of Kia’s total European sales in 2017 and has regularly ranked alongside the Sportage as one of the brand’s best-selling models in Europe in recent years.
Since the introduction of the cee’d, Kia’s annual European sales have more than doubled, from 225,000 in 2006 to more than 472,000 in 2017. In the medium term, Kia is targeting annual sales of more than 500,000 vehicles. The Ceed model family will therefore continue to underpin the sustained growth of the Kia brand for years to come, remaining one of Kia’s best-selling product lines. The Ceed occupies a unique position in the Kia line-up, perceived by buyers as the most dynamic and sporty volume car to drive, while also being one of the most reliable, practical and recognisable.
All-New Kia Ceed is lower, wider and with a dynamic and sportier appearance
The Ceed 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 cee’d ‘GT’ and ‘GT-Line’ models.
In profile, the sharp, straight lines visually lengthen the bonnet. A greater sense of maturity and strength is created in its shoulder line, which now runs along a more horizontal plane. The 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 Ceed greater visibility – and recognition – on the road. Paired with straight lines in the bodywork and a subtle rear boot spoiler, the Ceed presents a more stable overall appearance.
Constructed on Kia’s new ‘K2’ platform, the Ceed 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). The new platform supports the Ceed’s more efficient packaging. The model boasts a larger, 395-litre boot, as well as greater shoulder room for rear passengers, more headroom in the front row, and a lower driving position.
The Ceed five-door hatchback is available in the UK with a choice of 9 paint finishes. 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels, or 17-inch two-tone diamond cut aluminium alloy wheels are available, with even larger 18-inch alloy wheels fitted to ‘GT-Line S’ and ‘GT’ versions.
There are 17 variants of the Ceed, based on seven trim levels – ‘2’, ‘Blue Edition’, ‘3’, ‘First Edition’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘GT-Line S’ and flagship ‘GT’. All models are front-wheel-drive and feature a practical five-door hatchback bodystyle.
Interior inspired by Stinger
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 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, allowing more space in the footwell and a clearer view ahead.
The dashboard is split into an upper area – for the ‘floating’ touchscreen infotainment system – and lower level, 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. Cloth, cloth with faux leather bolsters, leather with faux suede or genuine leather upholstery are available depending on trim level. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear stick are also fitted as standard.
Engineered for UK roads
Tested exhaustively on European roads – including the UK – Kia’s test tracks in Korea and at the infamous Nürburgring race circuit in Germany, the Kia Ceed will provide relaxed and safe family motoring and easy, economical long-distance motorway cruising for those who use their cars for business or travel.
The ride and handling characteristics of the Ceed have been tuned to elevate the Ceed over its predecessor in terms of dynamism and driver engagement. The new fully-independent suspension system will provide drivers with more agile and immediate handling responses, complemented by revised spring and damper rates and a faster steering rack. 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 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, producing 118bhp, as well as an all-new 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit. Replacing the earlier 1.6-litre GDi engine, the ‘Kappa’ 1.4-litre T-GDi engine produces 138bhp, four 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.
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 ‘Smartstream’ 1.6-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) unit uses Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology to regulate emissions. The lower powered engine produces 114bhp and 280Nm of torque when paired with a manual gearbox or 300Nm of torque when fitted with seven-speed auto Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) and is available with an ECO Pack on manual gearbox derivatives. Fitted with the ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi engine, the Ceed’s carbon dioxide emissions are designed to be as low as 99g/km using the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), when converted to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
Mated exclusively to ‘GT-Line’ specification, the 134bhp edition of the 1.6-litre CRDi engine develops 280Nm of torque and is combined with a six-speed manual gearbox.
On Ceed’s fitted with the ECO pack, an Active Air Flap opens and closes 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.
Every engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while the 1.4-litre T-GDi and 114bhp 1.6-litre CRDi engines are also available with Kia’s seven-speed auto Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT).
When the first cee'd ‘GT’ and pro_cee'd ‘GT’ were revealed in 2013, they were powered by a newly-developed 1.6-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine. Downsized, turbocharged and quick to respond to driver inputs across the rev range, the new engine came to define the car's effortless approach to power delivery in all conditions. The Kia Ceed ‘GT’ retains this approach, with a 1.6-litre T-GDi engine that has been updated for the new model.
Producing 201bhp at a 6,000rpm peak, the 1.6-litre T-GDi engine continues to provide effortless acceleration and easily-accessible torque. The engine's maximum torque of 265Nm is available across a wide 1,500-to-4,500 rpm rev range. The result is an engine which delivers as much of its performance as possible across all driving conditions.
New ‘GT-Line’ variants takes inspiration from the performance flagship Ceed ‘GT’
The Ceed ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ exterior introduces a range of distinct ‘GT’-inspired design features. These include a satin chrome and gloss black 'tiger-nose' grille surround, unique 17-inch (‘GT-Line’) or 18-inch (‘GT-Line S’) 'GT-Line' alloy wheels, and newly designed front and rear bumpers which echo those of the Ceed ‘GT’. The fog lamp surround also incorporates horizontal metallic 'blades', similar to those found on the new ‘GT’ models and the Kia Stinger. The range of Kia Ceed ‘GT-Line’ variants is available in a choice of six paint finishes.
Inside, Ceed ‘GT-Line’ variants distinguish themselves with a series of changes designed to introduce a sportier ambience to the cabin. The grey roof lining of the Ceed is replaced with black cloth to cocoon occupants, and the door sills feature metallic scuff plates. 'GT-Line' variants are fitted with a sporty D-shaped steering wheel as standard, and – for models equipped with Kia's dual-clutch auto transmission – drivers can change gear with metallic steering wheel paddles.
The Kia Ceed ‘GT-Line’ is fitted with new sports seats for front passengers, featuring larger side bolsters than those found in conventional Ceed models and are trimmed in black cloth and light grey faux leather, while ‘GT-Line S’ versions feature black leather and faux suede upholstery with grey stitching.
GT offers unique performance-inspired design with standard 18-inch wheels
The Ceed ‘GT’ features a sporty exterior design to differentiate it visually from other models in the Ceed range. Where the design of the Ceed range is characterised by its blend of taut creases and curvaceous sheet metal, the ‘GT’ variant presents a more athletic proposition than conventional versions of the car.
At the front, the Ceed ‘GT’ has a new front bumper design, incorporating larger air intakes and gloss black trim along the base. Like the standard Ceed, the ‘GT’ features a modern interpretation of Kia's four-lamp 'ice-cube' LED daytime running lights, integrated into the main headlamp unit. Kia's tiger-nose grille is also adapted for the new model, with a dark chrome surround and a subtle 'GT' logo. The honeycomb grille pattern is also embedded with subtle red highlights.
In profile, it is finished with a glossy chrome window surround and features more substantial side sills, finished in gloss black and red. The standard 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels feature a new castellated centre cap finished in red, and house red brake calipers. At 135mm, the ride height is reduced by 5mm over other Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon variants, making it appear more planted on the road and reducing the overall centre of gravity.
Unique ‘GT’ bumpers at the rear complement those found at the front, housing a subtle gloss black rear diffuser, as well as 'GT' badging. A small roof spoiler helps channel air cleanly off the top of the car.
Sports-focused interior with everyday versatility
The Ceed ‘GT’ features a series of changes to its cabin to separate it from ‘non-GT’ models in the Ceed family line-up, with a sportier interior ambience.
The ‘GT’ variant is built around the same ergonomic cabin architecture as other models in the Ceed line-up. Surfaces are finished in high-quality soft-touch materials and metallic trim, while the dashboard is angled towards the driver, making it easier to use on the move. At the centre of the dashboard is Kia's 'floating' touchscreen infotainment system – 8.0-inches wide – with audio and heating and ventilation controls situated below.
A black roofliner, enveloping and cocooning occupants, replaces the grey cloth found in standard Ceed models. Every ‘GT’ variant features a D-shaped steering wheel bearing the 'GT' logo, as well as aluminium driver pedals. The Ceed ‘GT’ is equipped with Kia's dual-clutch auto transmission feature new stainless steel shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
Front passengers in the Ceed ‘GT’ are held in place by Kia's new sports seats. Created exclusively for the model, these seats provide larger, firmer side and thigh bolsters compared to the original cee'd ‘GT’. Seats are trimmed in black leather and faux suede and finished with red stitching and a red-stitched 'GT' logo in the seat back.
For many drivers, a performance hatchback has to be able to fit seamlessly into their daily lives – for many owners, it may be the only car they have access to. Practicality is therefore essential – and the Ceed ‘GT’ is more practical than most, featuring the same large 395-litre boot as ‘non-GT’ variants of the Ceed. Its low boot lip is 87mm lower compared to the previous-generation model, making it easier to load and unload heavy or bulky items. 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. 60:40 split-fold rear seats are fitted as standard.
Technological innovation to enhance enjoyment
Innovation sits at the heart of the Kia Ceed, which will become the most high-tech car in its class. The cabin features a wide range of new technologies to enhance comfort and convenience for occupants. The ‘floating’ infotainment system is available as a 7.0-inch touchscreen audio system, or an 8.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system. Standard technologies include full Bluetooth® smartphone integration, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone compatibility. A powerful JBL® Premium sound system with Clari-Fi music restoration and a wireless smartphone charger is standard on the ‘First Edition’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models.
A Drive Mode Select system with Normal and Sport modes will enable owners to tailor their driving experience on models fitted with the DCT transmission. 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, while ‘Sport’ 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.
On the outside, the Ceed is fitted with newly-designed ‘ice cube’ style LED daytime running lights (DRLs) as standard. Previously, these were only featured on sportier models, embedded into the front bumper – the ‘ice cube’ DRLs are now integrated into the headlamp units on every variant in the range. Full LED headlamps are standard on ‘Blue Edition’, ‘First Edition’, ‘GT-Line S’ and ‘GT’ grades.
Advanced safety and driver assistance systems
In addition to the car’s six standard airbags, advanced driver assistance technologies further enhance occupant protection, using active safety systems to mitigate the risk of collisions. Standard safety technologies include High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist - City (FCA). Pedestrian detection is available on all manual versions from ‘3’ grades and upwards and as part of an optional Advanced Driving Assistance Pack (ADAP) on ‘2’ and ‘Blue Edition’ and DCT versions of ‘3’ and ‘GT-Line’.
A first for any Kia sold in Europe, the Ceed is available with Lane Following Assist (LFA). Fitted as standard to ‘First Edition’ and ‘GT-Line S’ DCT models, Lane Following Assist detects road markings to help keep the Ceed in the centre of its lane on the motorway, and controls acceleration, braking and steering. The system uses external sensors to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, operating between 0 and 81mph.
Additional technologies on ‘First Edition’ and ‘GT-Line S’ grades include Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Smart Parking Assist System (SPAS) and pedestrian recognition with haptic steering wheel warnings for the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) system. Every Ceed is equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), ensuring stability when braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) if it detects a loss of traction.
All versions of the Ceed are comprehensively equipped and feature an extensive package of comfort, convenience and safety items which becomes progressively more luxurious with every step up the range.
Grade ‘2’ are fitted with many features that are usually a cost option on rivals, including cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, an alarm system, front wiper de-icer, electric windows all-round and automatic headlight control. Other features include 16-inch alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts, front fog lights, projection headlights and cornering lights, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors in body colour, a high gloss black front grille, chrome window surrounds and LED rear lights. Moving inside, there’s black premium cloth seat trim, a leather trimmed steering wheel, gearshift and hand brake and a rear centre armrest. An seven-inch touchscreen audio display is provided, along with a reversing camera system with dynamic guidelines, DAB radio, Bluetooth® with voice recognition and music streaming Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone compatibility with voice control. Safety has been given a high priority with Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist – City (FCA) all included as standard.
The ‘Blue Edition’ grade is a special version of the Ceed available from launch and is paired with the 1.4 T-GDi engine. It is finished in the all-new Ceed premium launch colour, Blue Flame. It features all the equipment of the ‘2’ grade and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, rear parking sensors and LED bi-function headlights and cornering lights. Inside the Ceed ‘Blue Edition’, it comes kitted out with black cloth seat trim with black faux leather bolsters, aluminium pedals and a USB fast charger in the front centre console. In addition, an eight-inch touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and traffic messaging channel is standard, along with Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® Live. Customers opting for the seven-speed auto Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) version also have the benefit of drive mode select.
Grade ‘3’ builds on the comprehensive equipment levels you’ll find on grade ‘2’, with the addition of 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and rain sensing front wipers, in addition to black cloth seat trim with black faux leather bolsters and power lumbar support for the front seats. An eight-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with European mapping and traffic messaging channel is provided alongside Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® Live. Other equipment includes dual-zone automatic air conditioning, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and rear parking sensors, in addition to a 4.2-inch supervision colour cluster display, a USB fast charger in the front centre console and a dual-tone horn. The central fascia is in high gloss black, while the interior door handles have a chrome finish. Manual gearbox variants have the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) system upgraded to include pedestrian detection.
The ‘First Edition’ grade sits at the top-of-the Ceed range and is the model of choice for technology fans. A Smart Park Assist System (SPAS) integrates front and rear parking sensors with the ability to automatically park in parallel or perpendicular spaces, while smart cruise control with stop and go functionality and a Drive Mode Selector are featured when the seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) is chosen. There are black leather seats with contrast grey stitching, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outer rear seats and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory. A wide electric tilt and slide sunroof with automatic roll blind also comes fitted to ‘First Edition’ grade, along with LED bi-function headlights and cornering lights, an electronic parking brake, heated steering wheel, aluminium pedals, smart entry system with engine start/stop button and an eight-speaker JBL® premium sound system with wireless mobile phone charger. Extra safety systems include Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Following Assist (LFA) is available on DCT models only.
‘GT-Line’ variants have a lengthy list of equipment as standard, including 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, front projection headlights, LED daytime running lights both front and rear, front fog lights, rain sensing front wipers, front wiper de-icer, automatic headlight control, electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lights, exterior front door handle illumination and LED rear lights. The ‘tiger nose’ front grille is finished in high gloss black with satin chrome, with matching high gloss black door mirrors and side sill mouldings. The air intake has a lower lip with black accent, and the rear spoiler is body coloured with high gloss black trim.
Inside the sporty appearance is defined by black cloth and light grey faux leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated leather trimmed D-cut steering wheel with grey stitching, dual automatic air conditioning, all-round electric windows with front auto up and down functionality, cruise control with speed limiter, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and engine start/stop button with smart entry system. Both the driver and front passenger have a seat height adjuster, together with power lumbar support. The steering wheel features both tilt and telescopic adjustment, the headlining is in black and the front console garnish and door trim are finished in black high gloss trim. Both the fascia trim and interior door handles are satin chrome, and the pedals stand out thanks to the sporty stainless-steel appearance. Paddle Shifters are fitted to DCT versions, as is a Drive Mode Select system, offering the choice of Normal and Sport driving characteristics.
The rear seats fold down in a 60:40 fashion, there’s a dual height luggage area floor with parcel shelf to hide luggage and valuables, and all ‘GT-Line’ models variants come fitted with a temporary space saver spare wheel as standard. A USB fast charger are provided on the front centre console and are illuminated to make it easier to use at night. Cupholders are additionally provided in the rear armrest for added convenience for rear seat occupants, as well as at the front, in the centre console with cupholders.
As standard, the Ceed ‘GT-Line’ comes with a six-speaker audio system, with DAB radio and MP3 compatibility and USB and AUX ports for connection of a media device. Bluetooth® with voice recognition and music streaming is provided, too, along with Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM for easy smartphone connection. An 8.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with European mapping and traffic messaging channel (TMC), as well as Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® Live is included, and is combined with a 4.2-inch colour supervision cluster display and trip computer. A reversing camera with dynamic guidelines is integrated into the centre fascia screen, as well the fitment of rear parking sensors.
The Ceed is comprehensively kitted out with both active and passive safety devices, including Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), High-Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA). Pedestrain detection is available as standard on manual versions of the ‘GT-Line’. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist System (BAS) are included on all versions, with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). All versions come with six airbags, with the ability to switch the front passenger airbag off when carrying a baby in a car seat. ISOFIX child seat top tethers and anchor fixings are provided for the rear outer chairs.
Move up to ‘GT-Line S’ specification and the alloy wheels are enlarged to 18-inches with grey centre caps and the headlights are upgraded to LED with bi-functionality. A wide sunroof with tilt/slide functions and an automatic electric sunblind is included, the driver’s seat features 10-way power adjustment with memory functionality, and the upholstery is upgraded to black leather and faux suede with grey stitching. Heated outer rear seats, smart cruise control with stop and go are both included with ‘GT-Line S’ trim.
Particularly handy in an urban environment is Smart Park Assist System (SPAS), which allows the car to park automatically in a parallel, perpendicular or reverse scenario, and also includes the fitment of front parking sensors. Upgrades to the audio setup include a JBL® premium sound system with a pair of additional speakers, as well as wireless mobile phone charging.
Additional active safety features include Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with both city and pedestrian detection and Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF).
At the top-of-the-range, the Ceed ‘GT’ features most of the equipment that you’ll find with the ‘GT-Line’ versions, with the addition of 18-inch alloy wheels with red centre caps, a high gloss black and chrome ‘tiger nose’ grille with red insert, an air intake with a red accent on the lower lip, high gloss red side sill mouldings, red brake calipers and an uprated rear bumper with diffuser and dual exhausts. The sporty exterior look is completed by the fitment of LED bi-function headlights.
The cabin is uprated with black leather and faux suede upholstery with red stitching and faux leather door centre trim. The seats, door cards and steering wheel all feature red contrasting stitching to deliver a sporting ambience, while a GT Performance mode has been added to the 4.2-inch colour supervision cluster display. Completing the list of additional equipment is a Smart Park Assist System (SPAS).