The Kia XCeed urban crossover will be manufactured at the brand’s European production facility in Zilina, Slovakia alongside the Ceed five-door hatchback, Ceed Sportswagon, and ProCeed five-door shooting brake. Due on-sale across Europe in the third quarter of 2019, the newest member of the Ceed model family will be sold as standard with Kia’s industry-leading 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty.
Stylish, expressive and modern in design, the new Kia XCeed represents a sporty alternative to traditional SUVs. A product of the brand’s European design centre in Frankfurt, Germany, the creation of the Kia XCeed has taken place under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, Vice President of Design for Kia Motors Europe.
The new Kia XCeed is more emotional and dynamic in format and appearance than its taller rivals, while offering something different to the other models in the Ceed range. The only body panels carried over from its five-door hatchback sibling are the front doors.
In profile, the car’s relatively long bonnet flows into the A-pillars anchored aft of the front wheels, lending the car a sporty, swept-back silhouette. While the wheelbase remains the same as other models in the Ceed line-up (2,650 mm), the Kia XCeed’s front and rear overhangs are extended over the five-door hatchback model by 25 mm at the front (to 905 mm) and 60 mm at the rear (to 840 mm).
A steeply-angled fastback tailgate, and a rear ‘deck’ trailing edge which sits 60 mm higher than that of the Ceed five-door hatchback, enhances the CUV’s dynamic, coupé-like, cab-rearward appearance. The Kia XCeed sits on a choice of 16- or 18-inch machined aluminium alloy wheels, shod with high-grip 205/60 R16 or 235/45 R18 tyres.
The front and rear of the car also represent a departure from the ‘face’ of the conventional Ceed model family, differentiating the Kia XCeed from its stablemates. With an 1,826 mm body (26 mm wider than the Ceed five-door), the CUV presents a more assertive face, with a more prominent grille and larger lower air intake. The headlamps are newly-designed, with the Ceed’s ‘ice cube’ LED light signature sitting within a more angular shape, topped by a slim turn signal that flows back over the wheel arches.
At the rear, new tail-lights emit a slim, highly-technical LED light signature which, when viewed from certain angles, appears to spear forward into the shoulders of the car. The heavily-creased lines running horizontally across the tailgate and rear bumper give the car a wider, more stable posture.
The car’s elevated ride height and body also present the same robust image that attracts buyers to the other SUVs in Kia’s product portfolio. The Kia XCeed’s ground clearance is 174 mm on 16-inch wheels and 184 mm on 18-inch wheels, a rise of up to 42 mm over the Ceed five-door hatchback. Wheel arch and side sill cladding and silver roof rails lend the car a tougher, SUV-like presence, with the metallic valance in the rear bumper enhancing this effect.
The new model will be offered in a choice of up to 12 paint finishes, with a vibrant new Quantum Yellow shade that is unique to the CUV within the Ceed range.
Inside, the Kia XCeed carries over the contemporary cabin architecture of its Ceed stablemates, with a sculptured centre console oriented slightly towards the driver. With a lower hip point than a taller SUV, and raised ground clearance over a conventional hatchback, the Kia XCeed provides drivers with a sportier driving position allowing a better view of the road ahead (see ‘Packaging’ for more details).
A ‘floating’ touchscreen infotainment system stands proud of the dashboard, while the lower portion of the instrument panel provides a set of touch-sensitive buttons, dials and switches to control audio volume, heating and ventilation. Highly ergonomic in its layout and functionality, these controls have been designed to enable drivers to make quick changes to the cabin environment without taking their eyes off the road for any longer than necessary.
The interior is finished in sophisticated soft-touch materials throughout, with a satin chrome dashboard trim, presenting a refined, upscale ambience. Buyers can choose from a range of cloth, synthetic leather or genuine leather upholstery.
Unique to the Kia XCeed is a new yellow colour pack for the interior, with black upholstery contrasted with vibrant yellow stitching for seats and doors, yellow seat piping, and a blend of gloss black and metallic yellow highlights throughout the cabin.
The cabin and storage space of an SUV in a sportier, more compact body
The Kia XCeed is designed to achieve the cabin and storage space of an SUV in a sportier body with a more compact footprint. Sitting directly between the Ceed five-door hatchback and the Kia Sportage, the Kia XCeed still manages to provide comparable interior space and luggage capacity to Europe’s best-selling SUVs.
Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer at Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The sporty design and demeanour of the new Kia XCeed CUV makes it more innately desirable than many SUVs. Yet it offers this without compromising on versatility, with its intelligent packaging achieving impressive interior and luggage space.”
With a total length of 4,395 mm, the Kia XCeed is 85 mm longer than the Ceed five-door hatchback and 90 mm more compact than the Sportage. Its maximum roof height of 1,490 mm also means it stands 43 mm above the Ceed and 155 mm below the Sportage, providing drivers with a lower centre of gravity than its taller sibling and an elevated driving position over the conventional Ceed.
Based on the Ceed, one of the most spacious vehicles in the compact class, the Kia XCeed offers generous interior space for front and rear occupants. With the hip point for each seat raised by up to 42 mm over the Ceed, it is easier for occupants to step in or out. Meanwhile, the half-moon-shaped glass area and fastback roofline provide rear passengers with a brighter, airier ambience and more headroom than other rivals in the compact crossover class.
With the car’s longer rear overhang creating a longer boot, luggage capacity for the Kia XCeed is rated at 426 litres (VDA), 31 litres more than the Ceed and only slightly less than the best-selling compact SUV in Europe. With the rear seats folded down, luggage capacity grows to 1,378 litres. Versatility is also assured thanks to the available 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats, Smart Power Tailgate, and two-step boot floor that can be moved up or down to provide either more space or a hidden underfloor storage compartment.
Safety, connectivity and infotainment – XCeed is one of the most high-tech cars in its class
The Kia XCeed’s suite of advanced safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies make it one of the most high-tech, comprehensively-equipped cars in its class. The range of features are designed to make driving safer and less stressful and provide total ease of operation.
The Kia XCeed is among the first vehicles in Europe to offer the brand’s innovative UVO Connect telematics system, designed to bring driving into the digital era. UVO Connect links drivers to the world around by providing invaluable information via the in-car touchscreen and on their smartphone. Featuring Kia Live services and housed with an optional 10.25-inch TFT LCD widescreen, the system uses its own eSIM card to retrieve and update live data during a drive. This includes live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential on- and off-street parking (including price, location and parking availability). The second element of the UVO Connect diagnostic data about owners’ cars and the trips they take, enables drivers to send route directions to their car before a journey, and enables them to check the location of their vehicle at any time.
The optional 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation system features Bluetooth multi-connection as standard, enabling occupants to connect two mobile devices at once, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Its advanced split-screen functionality lets users control or monitor numerous vehicle features at the same time, customising the screen to display up to three applications simultaneously, among a series of available widgets. This enables the driver to have a single display (such as navigation) or combine different elements on-screen at the same time. This means the driver can follow navigation directions while passengers choose their favourite songs or check the weather forecast. An 8.0-inch audio display touchscreen system is also available depending on vehicle specification, offering Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and infotainment functionalities.
Other optional technologies designed to enhance the comfort and enjoyment of each journey include a JBL Premium audio system with Clari-Fi technology, dual-zone air-conditioning, heated electric folding door mirrors, heated steering wheel, heated windscreen, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.
The Kia XCeed will also be available with the brand’s first fully-digital 12.3-inch Supervision driver instrument cluster, designed to deliver information as clearly as possible. With a high-definition 1920×720-pixel display, the digital cluster replaces the conventional speedometer and tachometer dials found currently in the brand’s passenger cars. Its single, seamless display incorporates pin-sharp digital dials for vehicle and engine speeds. A multi-function display between the dials displays turn-by-turn navigation instructions, audio information, phone calls and contacts, and in-depth trip information, as well as vehicle diagnostics alerts, and pop-up notifications linked to the car’s various active safety and driver assist technologies. The new 12.3-inch Supervision instrument cluster is available as an option in the new Kia XCeed, depending on market and vehicle specification. It replaces the physical dials and 3.8-inch mono-LCD or 4.2-inch colour TFT LCD screens available with different specifications.
The Kia XCeed provides access to a wide range of active driver assist and safety technologies. These include Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind-spot Collision Warning, Forward Collision Warning with car and pedestrian detection, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning, Smart Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and High Beam Assist. The Kia XCeed’s Driver Attention Warning advises drivers to take a break if the system detects signs of fatigue. Finally, Lane Following Assist (LFA) is also available – Kia’s ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology which controls acceleration, braking and steering. LFA can track vehicles and road markings ahead to keep the car in-lane and a safe distance from any cars in front.
As with every Kia car sold in Europe, the CUV is equipped as standard with Vehicle Stability Management. This aids stability when braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control if it detects a loss of traction.
Engaging drivers with sporty handling and a comfortable, assured ride
The brand’s European engineering teams were tasked with honing the suspension and steering of the new Kia XCeed to deliver a mature ride and engaging handling character in all conditions. Subjected to a dedicated development regime, the new car has been driven across a wider range of road surfaces than any previous European-developed Kia vehicle.
Prototypes have been validated in all weather conditions, on alpine passes and high-speed motorways, in bustling city centres, and along narrow country lanes. With testing taking place in Germany, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and a host of other nations, the handling character of the new Ceed crossover is truly European.
The new Kia XCeed will offer drivers a unique ride and handling character, with its own suspension tuning and componentry not found in other Ceed models. Despite its elevated ride height, the XCeed will be more engaging to drive than a typical family SUV due to its bespoke suspension tuning, more compact exterior dimensions, lower centre of gravity and reduced overall mass.
Uniquely in the Ceed model line-up, the Kia XCeed features hydraulic rebound stoppers, fitted as standard to the front axle of all models. The rubber bump-stop floats in hydraulic fluid within the shock absorbers, providing a highly compliant ride over poor surfaces. The car has been designed to absorb even large suspension shocks with a smooth and progressive response, preventing the body from bouncing as the suspension settles itself after rapid compression. It also contributes towards more responsive steering and improved overall body control, while reducing noise from the suspension over bumps.
With the exception of the new hydraulic rebound stoppers, the hardware of the new model’s fully-independent suspension remains identical to that of the Ceed hatchback, ProCeed shooting brake and Ceed Sportswagon. However, with ground clearance elevated by up to 42 mm over the standard Ceed (depending on wheel size), Kia’s engineers have softened the front and rear spring rates by 7% and 4% respectively to deliver greater comfort and stability in all conditions. Cruising comfort is also enhanced by the adoption of a new dynamic damper for the rear cross-member, further quelling road noise and structural vibrations.
The steering hardware remains unchanged over the Ceed, though the electronic control unit (ECU) governing the power steering motor has been retuned to deliver a quicker initial response to the driver’s steering inputs. The result is that drivers can enjoy similarly quick steering responses and comparable levels of body roll to the standard Ceed five-door hatchback. The level of assistance provided by the power steering motor has also been boosted, delivering subtly lighter overall steering to reduce driver fatigue on longer journeys and at low speeds.
Matched to a choice of 16- or 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels and Michelin (16-inch) or Continental SportContact 5 (18-inch) tyres, the Kia XCeed offers drivers high levels of grip and an engaging and progressive handling character.
Kia’s Drive Mode Select system enables drivers to adjust steering weight, throttle pedal responses, and, for models equipped with double-clutch transmissions, gear shift responses. With a choice of ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes, drivers can select Sport mode to subtly enhance acceleration response times and adapt the steering to offer additional weight and more decisive responses to driver inputs. Normal mode enables the driver to maximise the potential for greater fuel efficiency and realise the Kia XCeed’s relaxed cruising gait.
Powered by a range of turbocharged engines – with plug-in variant to follow
The Kia XCeed is powered by a range of fast-revving, turbocharged engines, giving buyers several choices to meet every driving need.
Three turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDi) engines are on offer. The three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDi engine produces 120 ps and 172 Nm torque, while the four-cylinder 1.4-litre T-GDi engine produces 140 ps and 242 Nm torque. The high-power 1.6-litre T-GDi engine found in the Ceed GT and ProCeed GT is also available, as the most powerful in the XCeed line-up. With a 204 ps power output and 265 Nm torque across a broad range of engine speeds, the muscular 1.6-litre T-GDi engine perfectly matches the car’s ability to thrive in a variety of driving situations.
The Kia XCeed is also available with a choice of two Smartstream power units – the cleanest diesel engines ever produced by the brand, and the most fuel efficient in the range. The 1.6-litre Smartstream engine is offered with either 115 ps or 136 ps.
Except for the 1.0-litre T-GDi, all engines can be paired with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed double-clutch transmissions. The 1.0-litre engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Idle Stop & Go is fitted as standard to all models.
As with other models in the brand’s product portfolio, low-emissions electrified powertrains, including 48V mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, will be launched into the Kia XCeed range later in early 2020.