The latest body style built on the Kia Ceed’s chassis has been revealed at the firm’s European HQ in Frankfurt and we were there to see it.
The XCeed is a soft roader aimed at a niche part of the compact family car market. The decision to build an urban SUV or CUV as Kia calls it was inevitable with strong buyer demand for high rise motoring. In the flesh the XCeed is more a crossover than chunky SUV with only a few rugged design elements on show like plastic cladding on the wheel arches and high profile tyres.
Ground clearance is 174mm on 16 inch wheels or 184 on the smarter looking 18 inch alloys. At 4,395 mm, the Kia XCeed is 85mm longer than the Ceed five-door hatchback and 90mm shorter than the Sportage SUV. Its 43 mm taller than the Ceed and 155mm shorter than the Sportage. The XCeed’s front and rear styling has an added level of sophistication on what is a rather conventional hatchback form. The new design breaks away from Kia’s famed tiger nose styling and this helps the car stand out from its siblings. The XCeed will fill a niche between the smaller Stonic crossover and Sportage and should handle better than both. The XCeed boasts a lower centre of gravity than Sportage and this should make the drive more dynamic. The new car also gets hydraulic bump stops to help the suspension cope with rougher surfaces, but other than that it’s a clearly a styling exercise to help keep customers writhing the brand should they tire of Kia’s showroom lineup. The car shares the same wheelbase as the hatch but is slightly longer overall. Boot space is 426 litres expandable to 1,378litres. The extra length, contrary to SUV rules, is found in the front and rear overhangs that are longer than the hatch.
The XCeed starts production in Zilina, Slovinia in August and will be sold exclusively in the European market. All engine offerings will be turbocharged and include petrol 1 litre manual, 1.4 and 1.6 manual and automatic. Diesel power uses a 1.6CRDi with two power outputs with manual or auto gearbox options. Emission and fuel consumption figures will be announced nearer launch and all engines will meet Euro 6d TEMP standard. A PHEV plug in petrol hybrid will follow in early 2020 and will also be offered in the Ceed Sportswagon estate.
Emillio Herrera, COO Kia motors Europe says: “This latest edition of the Ceed family takes in a bold new direction, showing the breath of Kia’s imagination and ambition in the compact family car segment.”