KIA Cee'd


Debut: 2012
Maker: KIA
Predecessor: Cee'd (2007)


 Published on 6 Jun 2012
All rights reserved. 


Judging from looks alone, the new Kia Cee'd is easily a winner. It is stylish, elegant and, most important, feels as expensive as Volkswagen Golf. Such a vast improvement in taste and perceived quality should worry European mainstream manufacturers like Ford, Renault and Opel. It is evident that Hyundai-Kia group is determined to be seen as another Volkswagen, selling premium and classless vehicles instead of cut-price bargains. The earlier Hyundai i30 is one example, the new Cee'd is just another.

Turn to the interior, however, you will find the Kia is still trailing Volkswagen by a long way. The driver-oriented dashboard is fine to our taste, but it is overloaded with buttons and complicated with varying materials and decors. While most surfaces are soft-touch, there are still some places made of nasty hard plastics, especially on lower trim levels. This proves that Peter Schreyer's team has yet to mastermind the art of interior design.

Space isn't a problem. 2650 mm wheelbase gives it plenty of legroom front and rear. Cargo space is a respectable 380 liters, 40 liters up from the old car and more than those of Golf, Focus and Astra. The rear seat folds flat to load even more luggage.



Like the first generation, the new Cee'd is developed in Germany and built in Slovakia to supply European market exclusively. Its underpinning platform is evolved from the old car and shared with sister car Hyundai i30. Independent multi-link rear suspension should give it an edge over most rivals in handling and ride, as is the electrical power steering with 3 levels of assistance. The body shell is 45 percent torsionally stiffer than the old car, while drag coefficient is reduced to 0.30. Front and rear track have been widened by 17 and 32 mm respectively to aid cornering stability. Meanwhile, NVH level is reduced by using thicker windows, double door seals, improved engine mounts, stronger welding and increased use of sound insulation foams.

The engines are shared with i30, too. A 1.6GDI direct injection petrol engine produces 135 horses and 122 pound-foot of torque, propelling the car from rest to 60 mph in just over 9 seconds. It is smooth and frugal, if noisy at high rev. The 1.6CRDi turbo diesel is quieter and stronger in normal driving conditions, however, it is not as flexible as other diesel engines offered by European manufacturers, blame to a narrower power band. Still, it is the pick of the range. As for transmission, Hyundai group's 6-speed manual is slick and a joy to shift. A new DCT (dual-clutch transmission) developed jointly with Getrag but built by Hyundai itself is a bit slow to react. While Volkswagen's DSG guarantees faster acceleration, the Hyundai unit is the opposite, taking nearly an extra second to do 0-60 mph. This mean it is only a competent replacement for conventional automatic.


Out on open road, you will find the suspension setting Kia opted is probably too stiff, much more than Hyundai i30. This is deliberately done to deliver a sportier driving character, but unfortunately Kia fails to replicate the firm yet absorbent ride of the best European rivals. On standard 16-inch wheels, the ride is barely acceptable. On 17-inch wheels with low profile tires (which optimize looks), the ride is simply harsh over sharp bumps or broken pavements, and it generates too much noise on motorway. This makes us think Hyundai is probably right to choose a softer setting for its version.

Disappointingly, the stiff suspension does not lead to driving excitement. While body control and grip are decent, it is no match with Focus, Golf or Giulietta. Furthermore, the car fitted with diesel engine feels nose-heavy, understeering moderately and leaning forward under braking. The 3-mode electric power steering varies weighting without delivering feel. The engine lacks outright punch. In short, the new Cee'd is not much fun to drive. 5 years ago we were amazed by how close it matched its best European rivals. Now the latter have pulled away. What leaves is only an illusion of Volkswagen-matching quality. It looks good visually and on paper, but once you get some time to drive it, you will see it lacks the depth of talent of its best rivals.
Verdict:
 Published on 27 Mar 2013 All rights reserved. 
Pro_Cee'd


Kia Proceed looks really stylish. Its proportion is rakish, its styling features are flashy, and it is adequately distinguished from its 5-door sister, Cee'd. In terms of design, it is a match to Volkswagen Scirocco, if not quite the level of Opel Astra GTC. Unfortunately, such a beautiful sculpture is not backed up by an adequate mechanical package. Underneath the body shell sits the same underpinnings as Cee'd. While front and rear tracks are claimed to be slightly wider, the suspension setting is no sportier than the 5-door. The engines and transmissions are also carried over intact. This mean the car is more about refinement, space and frugality than driving thrills. Its handling lacks sharpness. Its steering feels dull. Its 135 hp 1.6 GDI engine lacks both eagerness and punch. Performance is modest – 0-60 mph takes more than 9 seconds. Not just slow, there is little reward to push the car hard. Therefore, this is actually a 3-door family car rather than a hot hatch. From this view, its sporty look is purely deceiving.
Verdict:
 Published on 8 Jul 2013 All rights reserved. 
Pro_Cee'd GT


Until now, Hyundai-Kia group has yet to produce a credible hot hatch. Last year, we had high expectation on Hyundai Veloster Turbo but it turned out to be a big disappointment, blame to a sluggish engine and mediocre tires. Now Kia put the same 1.6 GDI turbo engine into its Pro_Cee'd GT. Will it repeat the same failure? Fortunately, with a better basis and smarter tuning, it finally gets right.

The Cee'd is inherently a better basis for a hot hatch. Not only its exterior design is far more tasteful – all agree it is stylish, while the Veloster is over the top – it is also gifted with a classier multi-link suspension at the rear instead of its sister's torsion-beam axle. In the transformation to GT, Kia tweaked its styling to be sportier and upgraded its interior with delicious Recaro buckets, metal pedals and stitched leather wheel. Under the bonnet, the 1.6 GDI twin-scroll turbo engine might look the same on paper with figures like 204 hp and 195 lbft, but its ECU has been remapped for the European market, curing much of the sluggish throttle response. The power delivery is more refined, although it still displays some turbo lag at low rpm and a reluctant manner to rev towards 6000 rpm. This mean it is not as sweet as the 1.6 turbo of Mini JCW or Peugeot 208 GTI, let alone the 2.0 turbo of hotter rivals. Performance figures also reflect this: 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds rests in the territory of "warm hatch" rather than "hot hatch".



No, the Cee'd GT is not a hot hatch like Megane RS265 and Focus ST. It is considerably cheaper and less aggressive. In many ways it is closer in nature to 208 GTI and Seat Leon FR. Its handling isn't the sharpest, but it is not dull either. Thanks to the sophisticated suspension and its setup done by Kia's European R&D HQ in Germany, its handling and ride are well judged. It is more supple than most hot hatches on back roads, while body control and grip are still decent. The chassis also displays a certain degree of adjustability in corners if you lift off throttle. The only major flaw is the electric power steering, which is light and numb on the straight ahead. Some may demand more powerful brakes, but considering its drivers are not as hardcore as Renaultsport, Ford's or OPC's, it is not strictly necessary.

Judging by the dynamic aspect alone, the Cee'd GT would not catch anyone's attention. However, figuring in its good looks, classy interior upgrade, a lower price tag and extra warranty, accompanied with its highly usable space and ride comfort, you will find it a credible choice. American buyers of Veloster Turbo must be jealous.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Cee'd 1.6GDi
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4310 / 1780 / 1470 mm
2650 mm
Inline-4
1591 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
VIM
DI
135 hp
122 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
205/55R16
1193 kg
121 mph (c)
9.3 (c)
-
Cee'd 1.6CRDi
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4310 / 1780 / 1470 mm
2650 mm
Inline-4, diesel
1582 cc
DOHC 16 valves
VTG turbo
CDI
128 hp
192 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
205/55R16
1300 kg
122 mph (c)
10.2 (c)
-
Pro_Cee'd 1.6GDi
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4310 / 1780 / 1430 mm
2650 mm
Inline-4
1591 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
VIM
DI
135 hp
122 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
205/55R16
1192 kg
121 mph (c)
9.3 (c)
-




Performance tested by: -





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Pro_Cee'd GT
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4310 / 1780 / 1430 mm
2650 mm
Inline-4
1591 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
204 hp
195 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
225/40R18
1284 kg
143 mph (c)
7.4 (c)
-


















































Performance tested by: -




AutoZine Rating

Cee'd


Pro_Cee'd


Pro_Cee'd GT



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