Published on July 15th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin0
Facelifted Kia Ceed Nets Sharper Styling And More Tech
The Ceed gets a modest nip-and-tuck to remain competitive in the tight Euro C-segment market.
While not a thing over here in Asia, the Ceed is however Kia’s bread and butter in Europe. That is because this modest compact car (which has since spawned crossover and shooting brake variations) is in fact the South Korean automaker’s best-selling model over there, accounting for 28% of its total sales in the old continent.
In light of renewed opposition from the likes of VW and Peugeot with the respective launches of the new Golf Mk8 and 308 though, Kia has since recently decided to give the third-generation Ceed family a modest nip-and-tuck. All in order to keep this now 3 year old design fresh and relevant, within the increasingly competitive European C-segment market.
Kicking things off with the major changes first of this facelift and starting on the outside, Kia has heavily restyled the front of the Ceed to give it a more aggressive face. The larger and more prominent gloss black tiger-nose grille is perhaps mainly responsible for this angrier frontal aesthetic, though the restyled LED headlight clusters and reshaped bumpers (with larger intakes connected to the wheel arches) does also indeed further add to it.
Continuing on what is new up front, the facelifted Ceed also nets a rather large version of Kia’s new emblem on its nose. The new emblem is featured prominently on its tailgate too, which is flanked by a pair of restyled taillights with no fewer than 48 honeycomb-shaped elements covered with smoked glass in the GT-Line or flagship GT variants.
If that isn’t perhaps eye-catching enough already however, Kia has also added four vibrant body colours to the facelifted Ceed lineup: Experience Green, Yucca Steel Grey, Machined Bronze, and Lemon Splash. Other exterior updates that were made includes a slightly restyled rear bumper, as well as new set of 17- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs.
Moving on inside the revamped Ceed meanwhile, the usual material and upholstery updates are complemented by the availability of a larger 10.25-inch central infotainment touchscreen and updated 12.3-inch fully-digital driver’s display. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto has also since been added as standard, while its extensive list of optional extras now include an 8-speaker JBL Premium audio system, heated front and rear seats as well as a panoramic sunroof.
Now as for what lies under the bonnet of the updated Ceed, its powertrain options remain the same as what has been updated late last year. What this equates to though is still the choice of well over a dozen engines (which includes plug-in hybrid, mild-hybrid, petrol, bi-fuel LPG, and diesel-drinking power plants) that sends its power to the front wheels through one of three gearbox options: a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, a 6-speed manual gearbox or a clutch-by-wire intelligent manual transmission (iMT).
Rounding up the new features with this updated Ceed will be its heavily revised safety suite, which now nets the ability to be more proactive in the event of an imminent accident. Its blindspot warning system for instance can apparently now steer the car away if it detects an impending crash, while its rear cross-traffic alert system can now also step in if emergency braking is required.
The Ceed is set to go on sale in Europe come the fourth quarter of this year, with production still to take place at Kia’s Slovakian plant in Zilina. Prices have yet to be officially announced yet, but it is likely to be not be much more as its reasonably priced pre-facelift counterparts.
PRESS RELEASE: Kia’s best-selling Ceed range has received bold and contemporary enhancements for 2021, including dynamic and athletic design accents. The five-door hatchback, sports wagon estate and shooting brake versions will reveal an entirely redesigned front-end, sporty updates to the rear, restyled alloys and refreshed body colours and interior when the new models go on sale at the beginning of Q4. In response to customer and industry trends, the range will also be available with new powertrains and transmissions.
Kia offers one of the most comprehensive C-segment line-ups on the market, and Ceed’s enduring presence in the Kia range highlights the model’s outstanding customer appeal and reputation. Long recognized for its key role in establishing the Korean brand in Europe, the Ceed range was Kia’s first car designed, engineered and built in Europe specifically to appeal to European tastes. Now contributing to 28% of Kia’s European market share, the Ceed range remains a strong contender across all segments in Europe and stands confidently alongside many best-selling brands that have dominated this segment for decades.
Bold and contemporary design: A rejuvenated exterior creates a sense of vitality
From the outside, the rejuvenated exterior speaks of vitality, creating a contemporary and dynamic stance. A completely redesigned front-end features Kia’s new logo, a simplified graphic of the company name that reflects the ethos ‘movement that inspires’. Special attention has been given to make each variant (entry-level, PHEV, GT-line and GT) more unique and distinct from each other.
The iconic tiger-nose grille, which makes the Ceed a recognizable Kia, is upgraded to a black gloss finish with satin chrome upper and lower wing-shaped garnish for a sleek and modern appearance. PHEV models feature a closed grille with a striking finish in contrasting colours. To the sides, two large side air intakes shoot through the front bumper creating the sportier look. The ‘wing’ inspired theme repeats in other elements of the front redesign, such as the satin chrome trim on the lower air intake grille and the sweeping side garnish which extends into the front wheel arch. On the rear, to highlight the simplicity of the new Kia badge, the surface between the LED combi lamps has been smoothed out to accommodate the sleek new brand emblem. The PHEV features a new emblem more in keeping with the brand’s recently updated branding and corporate logo A new glossy black diffuser is added to the sporty rear bumper, which also echoes the satin chrome finish seen at the front of the car.
New full LED headlamps have been introduced on all Ceed models and variants featuring daytime running lights for added road presence and safety. Three arrow shaped modules surround an integrated LED fog light and high/low beam modules. These daytime running lights (DLR) also act as the Ceed’s turn signals. The five-door hatch GT-Line and GT variants gain newly designed LED combination lamps comprised of 48 honeycomb shaped modules surrounded by a red frame. The multi-functional modules are positioned into five rows, covered with tinted glass. The LEDs on certain rows light up sequentially when the driver uses the turn signals to indicate an upcoming turn.
The side view reveals eye-catching new alloy designs across all variants in the line-up. Six striking styles are now available, three of which have been launched for the first time with this latest update:16-inch alloys finished in silver for baseline models; glossy black 17-inch alloy rims available exclusively on the GT-Line; and super sporty 18-inch alloys with red accents for GT trim.
The GT trim will turn heads thanks to some bespoke and intricate design upgrades, including vibrant red accents at the front, side and rear accentuating the car’s sporting prowess. The signature tiger-nose grille on this range-topping model is formed from two-shot injection moulding to create a distinctive glossy black and red finish with dark chrome upper and lower trim. To the front, the GT’s bumper displays a glossy black air intake grille with a specially developed ‘GT red’ trim at each end of the air intake grille. The sporty rear diffuser is accented by round dual exhaust tips and the distinctive new GT red trim. The GT now sits proudly atop 18-inch dark metal alloys in a dedicated GT design with a red wheel cap unique to this trim.
To further enhance the exterior updates, an array of 13 body colours are available to choose from to suit all customer tastes. Four of these stunning colours are new to the range, including Machined Bronze, Lemon Splash, Yucca Steel Gray and Experience Green.
An interior that is modern, premium and state-of-the-art
Onboard the updated Ceed, the driver is instantly welcomed by chic interior décor, sophisticated soothing colours, tactile materials and a layout designed to put all occupants at ease. The panoramic sunroof provides a connection to nature and creates the space needed to feel inspired.
Seating is available in nine upholstery finishes, four of which are new with this upgrade. Choices include the black suede leather bucket seats with contrasting edge stitching in grey on GT-line and signature red on GT models. GT-line and GT trims benefit from a newly designed gear knob for a modern look while automatic transmission versions get an added touch of luxury with a perforated leather gear knob for an improved tactile experience. All automatic transmission versions come with a glossy black PRND display panel.
The Ceed interior now blends a modern style in look and feel with premium functionality and state-of-the-art technology. A large 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen is paired with a 10.25-inch screen to further enhance driver interaction with the vehicle. Every aspect of the interior overhaul has been designed with useability in mind such as the electronic parking brake switch and other features based around the ‘easy to use, easy to see’ principle which underlies the design inside the cabin.
Immersive user experience: Upgraded Ceed benefits from the latest connectivity and convenience tech
Kia has invested much time and expertise into creating an inspirational, stress-free and optimal user experience for all travelling inside the new Ceed.
The door lock of the new Ceed is controlled via a Smart Key, and the engine is started or stopped at the press of a button. Two driver profiles can be programmed into the power adjusted memory driver’s seat to always ensure maximum comfort and convenience. The infotainment navigation screen is paired to a JBL Premium eight-speaker sound system with Bluetooth streaming to create seamless connectivity between people and devices. On Sportswagon and ProCeed models, added convenience features enhance interactions day-to-day, such as folding the second row seats at the touch of a button or the smart power tailgate which detects the presence of the smart key and will open the tailgate if the person carrying the key remains behind the vehicle.
Every aspect of passenger comfort and convenience has also been considered in the Ceed interior refresh. Heated and ventilated front seats plus heated rear seats provide soothing comfort on colder days, while the high-tech dual-zone auto air conditioning keeps the cabin cool in the height of summer.
Connectivity that inspires
People view their car as an extension of their interconnected lifestyle and expect various technologies to be available at the click of a button. Connectivity in the upgraded Ceed is about more than just telematics, Kia wants the driver to feel connected to the drive, to other passengers and road users around them.
The driver is immediately greeted by a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster with improved graphics, a choice of calming colourways and four themes to customize the instrument cluster, including one which changes in line with the current weather conditions and the time of day. Sitting aside this instrument screen is a frameless 10.25-inch centrally mounted display with infotainment, navigation and telematics connectivity features.
Also included in the latest facelift across the range is software allowing users to connect remotely with their car via the Kia Connect smartphone app and use various onboard features to improve interaction and understanding of the vehicle. New connectivity features for the Ceed line-up include improved functionality for Bluetooth search via voice recognition, third party calendar link with navigation, valet mode to monitor the vehicle’s location when others are driving, and all-important last mile navigation with augmented reality. Ceed Sportswagon plug-in hybrid EV hosts additional convenience features made possible via inspirational connectivity tech such as the ability to start or stop battery charging remotely.
A new ‘User Profile Transfer’ feature enables users to back up their in-vehicle Kia Connect preferences via the cloud and transfer settings from one vehicle to the next. This is designed for customers who often switch between different Kia Connect equipped cars, such as fleet drivers who use pool cars, or families with more than one Kia Connect equipped vehicle in their household.
Occupants can use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay by wirelessly connecting their smartphone to the eight-inch audio screen to project their phone’s display for an improved onboard experience and shared enjoyment. To maintain connectivity on the go, rear passengers are presented with a USB charging port in the centre console.
The very latest ADAS developments
The rejuvenated Ceed range offers class-leading levels of safety, driving convenience and parking technologies thanks to its enhanced suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). They help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, protecting occupants and other road users on every journey.
Safety features have been improved, such as the previous blind-spot warning, which is replaced by an active avoidance technology. When operating the turning signal to change lanes, if there is a risk of collision with a rear side vehicle, the new Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) will provide a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, BCA actively controls the vehicle to help avoid a collision.
Driver Attention Warning (DAW+) has been updated to include leading vehicle departure alert tech, which provides a visual alert on the screen to inform the driver that the vehicle in front is driving away, such as at traffic lights or in slow-moving traffic.
Other ADAS features that continue to be available on the Ceed range include: Forward collision-avoidance assist (FCA), which detects not only cars and pedestrians but also cyclists; Lane Keep Assist; Intelligent Speed Limit Warning; Manual Speed Limit Assist and High Beam Assist. Kia’s ‘see better and be seen’ ethos has informed the intricate new design of the daytime running LED headlamps with integrated LED fog lamps. Five-door hatch versions also gain sequential turn signals in the new rear LEDs unique to certain variants.
ADAS technologies that provide convenience to the driver have also been added with the latest enhancements across the Ceed range. Lane Follow Assist (LFA) can now be activated independently from the Smart Cruise Control (SCC) which enables Kia to offer LFA on manual transmission versions as well. In past models, stepping on the brake pedal deactivated the SCC, and consequently, the LFA was also deactivated. With this new reconfiguration, LFA can be used more often and in various driving situations where cruise control may not be needed.
Parking maneuvers are also enhanced with the addition of Rear-View Monitor (RVM) with a switch to display the rear tailgate camera. When reversing into a parking space, RVM displays an image of the space to assist with parking. This has now been developed to provide an additional view via the 1.0 mega-pixel camera should there be a need to attach a trailer to the Ceed. Additionally, the RVM now has a switch that can be activated while driving to allow the driver to see, via the camera, what might be approaching from behind. After parking the vehicle, the Safe Exit Warning (SEW) system can alert users if an approaching vehicle is detected by the open door.
The warning for rear cross-traffic has also been upgraded to assistive technology. Rear cross-traffic Collision-avoidance assist (RCCA) will detect if there is a risk with an oncoming vehicle to the left or right and provide a warning. After the warning, if the risk continues, RCCA automatically assists with emergency braking to prevent an incident from occurring.
Advanced powertrains: New powertrains combine performance with refinement and efficiency
The new Ceed range offers buyers a fully comprehensive choice of powertrain configurations, including a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and mild-hybrid engines (MHEV), with horsepower ranging from 100PS to 204PS. Ceed customers are also presented with a choice of turbo charged petrol and diesel engines, the 1.0 and 1.5 liter petrol and the 1.6 liter diesel, powertrains all benefitting from Kia’s Smartstream technology.
The Smartstream engine technology incorporates Kia’s Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) engine technology to optimize performance. CVVT also serves to improve fuel efficiency alongside the Low-Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (LP EGR), which returns some of the hot gases produced by the engine to the combustion chamber to reduce pumping losses and improve fuel economy.
The new 1.5 liter T-GDi engine is produced in Kia’s Slovakia plant – also home to the production of the Ceed family. This new Smartstream engine, which replaces the previous 1.4 liter T-GDi, is paired either to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT) or a 6-speed manual transmission (6MT) and delivers 160PS while offering reduced emissions. The new 1.5T engine is also available as MHEV while diesel Ceed, delivering 136PS, is only available as a mild-hybrid that can be paired with either the intelligent manual transmission (iMT) or 7DCT transmissions.
The latest updates to Ceed also introduce MHEV and DCT technology to the 1.0 turbo charged petrol engine for the first time, to provide customers with the option of further reducing powertrain emissions. The adoption of MHEV technology improved fuel efficiency and performance.
PHEV models make use of the 1.6 GDi petrol engine which delivers 141PS and is paired to a six-speed dual clutch transmission. This powertrain comes with an 8.9kWh battery pack providing a zero-emission electric only range perfect for the city of 57km on a single charge.
Top of the range GT models are presented with an exclusive 1.6 liter T-GDi engine with a unique sound. The petrol engine is mated to the 7DCT and delivers a huge 204PS.
The experience behind the wheel can be further tailored to suit the driver’s mood and road conditions via paddle-shift levers and three drive modes: Eco, Comfort and Sport modes. The GT Sports drive mode is specifically tuned to the needs of the GT driver’s expectations.
The iMT ‘clutch-by-wire’ system contributes to the MHEV system’s enhanced fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions while retaining the driver engagement of a conventional manual gearbox.
Ceed models are also available with the standard six-speed manual transmission and the highly desired double-clutch transmission.
The renewed Ceed family will go into production at Kia’s European manufacturing plant in Zilina, Slovakia, this August and will be available across Europe by Q4.