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Kia Ceed (2018): driving report, price, market launch (2018)

Geneva Motor Show 2020
Subscriptions & booklets
  • body, interior
  • Motors and chassis
  • Prices and market launch
  • Kia Ceed in the driving report (new)
  • Conclusion

D he VW up! has its exclamation mark, the Mercedes A-Class its hyphen and the Kia Cee’d has the apostrophe. Nobody really understood its meaning. Maybe that's why it disappeared, the new one is now only called 'Ceed'. For the sake of simplicity, as Kia says. And there are other things that are new in the platform brother of the Hyundai i30.

Wolfgang Groeger-Meier
The wheelbase remains the same (2.65 meters), whereby the front overhang is reduced by two centimeters and the rear overhang increased by two centimeters.

The Ceed grows 20 millimeters in width to 1.80 meters, but crouches 23 millimeters deeper and thus comes to a height of 1.45 meters. The wheelbase remains the same (2.65 meters), with the front overhang reduced by two centimeters and the rear overhang increased by two centimeters.

With the two centimeters lower body and tighter lines, the new Ceed actually looks sportier and slimmer than its predecessor. The radiator grille or the 'tiger nose', as Kia calls it, is more massive and gives the entire range of models including the Sportage, Picanto, Venga and Co. a family face.LED daytime running lights are standard on the Ceed, and for the first time also on the taillights. LED headlights are on the option list.

Steering wheel heating and air-conditioned front seats in the Ceed

Wolfgang Groeger -Meier
In the highest equipment line, there is little hard plastic to be seen at first glance.

The interior is Kia-moderately simple, that is, straightforward. At first glance, there is little hard plastic to be seen, although the vehicle on display was also equipped with the highest equipment line. What this line will be called is still unclear, until now it was called the Platinum Edition. In the predominantly black cockpit, a few bright accents in a matt chrome look catch the eye, such as the door handles, the lower steering wheel spoke or the decorative frames around the ventilation nozzles and the automatic selector lever. A JBL sound system is available for a surcharge.

With the screen landscape in the dashboard, Kia is also rather conservative in the Ceed: Instead of following the general trend towards countless screens merging into one another, there is between the tachometer on the left and Speedometer on the right a small screen that shows the on-board computer. On the dashboard above the center console there is a touchscreen, five to eight inches in size depending on the equipment variant.

Practical quick selection buttons directly under the monitor lead to submenus such as 'Media', 'Nav' or 'Setup' with one click . Right below this are the control buttons for the air conditioning, which, depending on the equipment variant, now also include symbols for the ventilation of the front seats in addition to seat and steering wheel heating. A heated windscreen is also available for a surcharge.

The Ceed steering wheel has fewer buttons than before

Even if the seat ventilation function could not be tested during the seat test, it has a checkered pattern textured leather seats comfortable. The medium-high side bolsters provide sufficient support on the first “seat” without constricting.

The rather slim leather steering wheel now has “only” twelve buttons instead of the previous 14. Six are on each side and within easy reach . With them telephone functions, volume and voice controlSelect (left) and on-board computer and assistance systems (right).

Amazon's Alexa not on board

Incidentally, the voice control of the connected smartphone, which can be accessed via Apple Carplay or Android Auto, serves as the voice assistant can be activated in the vehicle. Small disappointment for technology fans: Amazon's Alexa is not yet at the start in the Ceed. A more powerful processor should make the infotainment in the Ceed run faster and more reliably.

Wolfgang Groeger -Meier
The two outer seats in the rear are also equipped with seat heating for an extra charge

The rear has separate ventilation and seat heating on the two outer seats. As always, small people have a lot of space, with passengers over 1.80 meters the headroom could be limited.

Practical: a double cup holder is integrated in the armrest. The rear seat can be folded down at a ratio of 60:40.

However, the upholstery prevents a flat overall surface. The trunk has a double loading floor and holds 15 liters more than its predecessor (395 liters in total). The Ceed exceeds the current Golf VII by 15 liters.

Wolfgang Groeger-Meier
The trunk has a volume of 395 liters, the back seat of the Ceed can be folded down at a ratio of 60:40.

Wolfgang Groeger-Meier
The more powerful engines of the Ceed can also be combined with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

The series is a six-speed manual transmission, the turbocharged 1.4 liter gasoline engine and both diesel variants are also available in conjunction with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Kia took over the transmission from the Hyundai i30. Those who choose the dual clutch transmission also have a Drive Mode System on board that differentiates between a normal and a sporty driving mode. This also influences the characteristics of the throttle response and steering.

A purely electric version of the Ceed is not planned for the time being, explained Michael Cole, CEO of Kia Europe. The Koreans want to bring the compact in the coming year, however, as a mild hybrid (48 volts) on the market. A plug-in hybrid is also being considered. So far, Kia has offered the Soul EV as a purely electric car, and this year the Niro come with an electric drive.

Wolfgang Groeger-Meier
Many assistance systems are standard in the Ceed, and for the first time there is an optional traffic jam assistant that enables autonomous driving at level 2.

Also available on request is the new traffic jam assistant, which the Koreans are offering for the first time in the new Ceed. This should enable autonomous driving on Level 2 enable by recognizing lane markings and staying in the lane. The system is also based on the traffic ahead, accelerates, brakes and steers independently between 0 and 130 km /h. The driver still has to monitor these processes.

Further optional assistance systems for the Ceed are an adaptive cruise control, blind spot assistant, cross traffic warning, pedestrian detection and a parking assistant for parallel and cross parking.

Eco Pack from Kia ensures more economical consumption

Also available is an 'Eco Pack', the air flaps in the radiator grille can only be opened when needed. This should ensure optimized consumption. An expanded underbody paneling and a body that has been lowered by five millimeters should ensure better aerodynamics. Michelin tires with low rolling resistance are also included in the “Eco Pack”.

Much more dynamic than its predecessor: the new Kia Ceed.

There are several reasons for this change to the agile front-wheel drive. The new K2 platform including a stiffer body, plus many detailed changes to the chassis - including new bushings for handlebars and shock absorbers, modified spring rates, and other stabilizers. As before, however, Kia is screwing McPherson struts in the front and a multi-link axle under the car at the rear. But the tighter tuning is not at the expense of comfort. It is true that the occupants do notice how good or bad the asphalt is, but rough bumps are taken away by the sufficiently sensitive suspension.

The most powerful engine in the Ceed is currently the new 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engine with 140 hp.

Engines that enjoy working

The engine range cannot offer such an increase in dynamics, at least at the start of sales. The most powerful engine is currently the new 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engine with 140 hp. It replaces 1.6GDI vacuum cleaner with 135 hp and offers significantly more torque (242 instead of 165 Nm) at a much lower speed (from 1,500 instead of 4,850 rpm). The turbocharged four-cylinder pleases the Ceed with good manners, grabs a lot from the bottom and climbs the speed ladder motivated, but is no quiet step despite good insulation. Also with a petrol particle filter is the 120 hp one-liter three-cylinder turbo, which lively goes to extremes and subjectively drives the Ceed hardly less quickly than the four-cylinder, but naturally sounds different. This also applies to the new 1.6-liter diesel engine, with audible nailing only creeping into the ears of the occupants in a milder form as long as the engine is not yet at operating temperature. Otherwise, in the driven version with 136 hp, it also helps the Ceed to achieve brisk performance and supports the dynamic character of the Kia with no diesel-typical liveliness.

According to editor Peter Wolkenstein, the new Kia Ceed removes the worst weaknesses of its predecessor.

Partially autonomous Driving for a surcharge

All engines in the new Ceed meet the Euro 6d temp limit values, and all are equipped with an easily and precisely shiftable six-speed gearbox as standard. The seven-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT), previously only available with a diesel engine, will be available for the two most powerful engines in the future, i.e. for the first time also for a gasoline engine (1.4 T-GDI). The driver has to do without shift paddles on the steering wheel, but the desire for manual intervention does not arise too often. Usually the transmission unobtrusively shifts into the right gear at the right time. A sport mode that can be activated at the push of a button is on board, in which the transmission shifts down earlier and the steering assistance is reduced. If you choose the DCT, you can order the Ceed as the first model from Kia with traffic jam assistant including adaptive cruise control and active lane departure warning - and leave the Ceed to brake, stop, accelerate and steer largely in rush hour traffic. When you try it out for the first time, it works quite well.


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