► Kia’s new C-segment SUV unveiled
► Plug-in hybrid version on the way
► First deliveries end of 2019
We’ve already had one compact SUV unveiled today, so why not make it a double with this – the Kia XCeed. The imaginatively named C-segment SUV is based on the same platform as the now apostropheless Ceed hatchback and aims to rival the Volkswagen T-Roc, Toyota C-HR and BMW X2.
Kia reckons it’s one of the most hi-tech cars in its class and indeed a plug-in hybrid option is due in early 2020, as well as more conventional mild-hybrid powertrains. A fully-digital dashboard display also makes its debut on a Kia production car, replacing traditional dials in the instrument binnacle.
How much does it differ from the Ceed?
On the outside at least, quite a bit. The wheelbase is the same as other models in the Ceed line-up, yet ground clearance is up by 42mm and it’s wider, too. Meanwhile, the wheelarches have been beefed up, plus there’s the requisite silver side sills and roof rails on show.
Each end of the XCeed also sees a brand-new lighter cluster design, with the ones at the rear jutting forward into the car’s shoulder line. It’s a likeable design that will XCeed many expectations (sorry, may as well get it out the way early), and moves beyond simply being a jacked up Ceed, instead looking like a proper, purpose-built SUV.
And the interior?
Unsurprisingly, it measures up a little more closely to what you’d get in a Ceed hatchback, but there are differences. For starters, the central infotainment screen is noticeably larger at 10.25-inches (optional, 8.0-inch as standard), while the fully digital instrument cluster craze has made its way over to Kia in 12.3-inch spec.
It replaces the typical analogue dials and allows users to customise the display to their preference, scrolling between information from sat-nav, media, phone and driving information. Connected telematics system, UVO, is also available and uses a simcard to retrieve information on local traffic, weather and parking availability.
You mentioned hybrid engines?
Yes, but they won’t be along just yet. For the moment, potential buyers will be able to choose from three petrol – 118bhp 1.0-litre, 138bhp 1.4 and 201bhp 1.6 – and two diesel – 113 and 134bhp 1.6-litre – engines. Each will be available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, aside from the manual-only 120bhp petrol.
Any impressions on practicality
There’s nothing particularly innovative or new in the way the bootspace is packaged (see Ford’s Puma for an example of that), but there’s enough of it at 426 litres with the rear seats in place, improving to 1,378 with them folded down. You also get 40:20:40 split folding rear seats to aid flexibility. Those sitting in the rear will find they’ve got ample headroom (even with the panoramic roof fitted) and legroom, plus the all-important Isofix points are super-easy to access.
When can I buy an XCeed and how much will it cost?
On sale from July 2019, the XCeed will cost from around £21k with deliveries beginning towards the end of the year.