Name-wise, Kia has dropped the somewhat baffling apostrophe for the latest iteration – cee'd is now Ceed which, incidentally refers to "Community of Europe, with European Design." As such, it's designed by Kia's European team out of Frankfurt and will be built at the company's production facility in Slovakia, with production slated to begin in May ahead of a Q2 release in Europe.
The exterior design has been sharpened with straighter body lines, lower front air intakes, new LED daytime running lights and slightly wider and lower stance than its predecessor. There's also a choice of 16- or 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels over the standard 15-inch steel numbers, plus an optional ECO Pack that includes an Active Air Flap to optimize engine cooling.
Under the hood there will be several engines on offer, ranging from a 1.0-liter T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine producing around 120 hp to a 1.4 liter turbo making around 140 hp. There's also two diesel options using Kia's new U3 engine – a 1.6 liter CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) unit with an output of either 115 or 136 hp.
According to Kia, the new diesel engine also delivers a reduction in emissions: "Ceed's carbon dioxide emissions are expected to fall below 110 g/km on the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), when converted to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC)."
These engines will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission or, in the case of the 1.4 liter turbo and the 1.6 liter diesel, customers can go with a seven-speed double-clutch set up. All of this will ride on a newly developed fully-independent suspension system that promises cleaner cornering and stability on the open road.
The expanded suite of driver assist smarts includes Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning plus Lane Following Assist, a level 2 autonomy feature that can monitor other vehicles and road markings, then controls acceleration, braking and steering accordingly.
Inside, there's more headroom for front passengers and luggage space is improved with a larger, 395-liter (104-gal) trunk. Infotainment is controlled via a 5.0- or 7.0-inch touchscreen, or an 8.0-inch unit that also handles navigation, while tunes are funneled through a JBL Premium sound system and Bluetooth smartphone integration is bolstered by the availability of wireless charging. And in a final nod to its European market, the Ceed also gets the option of a heated windshield.
The public will get its first look at the Ceed in Geneva next month, along with an as yet unspecified second body type, which we're hoping might take its cues from the impressive Proceed Concept shown in Frankfurt last year.
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