Kia XCeed revealed
Built in Europe and exclusively sold in Europe, the XCeed will launch in Q3 of this year with a seven-year, 150,000km warranty.
Although it is built alongside them, the new Kia XCeed shares almost nothing in terms of body panels with the other members of the Ceed family; only the crossover's front doors are the same as on the five-door hatchback. A swooping silhouette is designed to minimise the XCeed's size, although it has the same 2,650mm wheelbase as other Ceeds. Overall, the XCeed is 85mm longer than the Ceed hatch, 26mm wider, 43mm taller and blessed with a 42mm-higher hip point, aiding ingress and egress. Boot capacity is rated at 426 litres, an increase of 31 litres over the Ceed.
Traditional Kia signifiers, like the 'tiger-nose' grille and 'ice-cube' LED light signatures, make it onto the XCeed, which sits on a choice of 16- or 18-inch alloy wheels. Rear lights are LED clusters, while wheel-arch and side-sill cladding teams up with silver roof rails to reinforce the SUV-like ethos of the XCeed. Customers have a choice of 12 exterior paint colours, including the exclusive-to-XCeed Quantum Yellow pictured here.
Kia says there are lots of soft-touch materials inside, while the driving position is said to be higher than a hatch, lower than an SUV. The dash architecture from a Ceed is largely carried over, complete with a floating 10.25-inch touchscreen for the UVO Connect infotainment system, while a Yellow Colour Pack allows for black upholstery to be contrasted by yellow stitching, yellow seat piping and gloss black/yellow highlights throughout the cabin.
Options will include a JBL Premium audio system with Clari-Fi technology, dual-zone climate control, heated and electric folding door mirrors, a heated steering wheel, a heated windscreen and heated and ventilated seats (front) with heated seats in the rear. The XCeed will also be the first Kia with a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, in a high-def 1920x720-pixel display. Irish specifications have yet to be confirmed.
Motive power will come from an entirely turbocharged range of petrol and diesel engines, with 48-volt mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid XCeed models following in 2020. At launch, the petrol cars (all badged T-GDi) use a three-cylinder 1.0-litre unit with 120hp/172Nm, a four-cylinder 1.4 with 140hp/242Nm and then the engine from the Ceed and Proceed models - a 204hp/265Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit. On the other side of the fuel fence, Smartstream is the name for Kia's cleanest and most efficient turbodiesels yet; a solitary 1.6-litre four-cylinder motor is offered in the XCeed, with either 115- or 136hp. Gearbox choices will be a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, with the 1.0 T-GDi being the only one that can't be optioned with the latter. Drive goes to the front wheels for now, with no mention of all-wheel-drive XCeeds.
Kia says its European development team was tasked with 'honing the suspension and steering of the XCeed to deliver a mature ride and engaging handling character in all conditions.' As all the shakedown stuff has taken place on our continent, it's likely the XCeed should drive well as a result, especially as it's fitted with hydraulic rebound stoppers on the front suspension - a feature unique to the crossover in the Ceed family. These are designed to smooth out the ride quality, even on the bumpiest of surfaces. Softer spring rates go with the XCeed's 42mm of extra ground clearance over a Ceed, down seven and four per cent front and rear respectively. Steering is electromechanical and Kia's Drive Mode Select will allow the crossover to be shifted through various settings.
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