Kia Rio cee'd

Kia’s triumphant trio

16 March 2018

KIA is to upgrade three of its most important models during coming months, including its best-selling Ceed range, which moves even more upmarket in terms of quality and equipment.

The upgraded models also include the Optima, which virtually doubled sales here last year, helped partly by the addition of new Sportswagon, plug-in hybrid and image-boosting GT versions.

Now there are two more important improvements in the guise of a pair of new engines comprising a 1.6-litre diesel and a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol unit.

The oil burner replaces the slightly larger 1.7-litre unit yet is more efficient and still produces 135bhp, whilst the petrol option achieves a power output of 180bhp.

Also included in the petrol line-up are a non-turbo 2.0-litre with 160bhp and a powerful 245bhp two-litre turbo.

Visually there are revised bumper designs, new LED tail-lamps and a revised headlamp and fog lamp design. The grille is now finished in bright chrome and for the Optima GT Line and high-performance Optima GT there are new LED fog lamps, 18-inch aluminium alloy wheel designs, and gloss black mirror caps, side sills and air intake grille. The GT Line models also get new dual twin exhausts, while the Optima GT is fitted with chrome twin exhaust tips.

There are similar upgrades for the new Rio GT Line with a gloss-black and chrome grille, new 17-inch alloy wheels, and ice cube LED fog lamps echoing those of the cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT. The exterior is finished with twin exhaust tips, LED daytime running lights, chrome window trim, a gloss black roof spoiler and sill highlights.

The Rio GT Line is powered by a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, with either 100bhp or 120bhp and a manual transmission.

Later this year the more powerful version will also be offered with a seven-speed automatic transmission, and there will be 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol options with the GT Line specifications.

In the case of the new European-built Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon one of the most significant improvements is the switch away from the absurd former name of cee’d.

The 2018 Ceeds are lower and wider than the current cars and get a raft of subtle design enhancements plus a range of advanced driver aids.

These include a new driver attention warning system which combats distracted or drowsy driving by monitoring a number of inputs from the vehicle and driver. Other features include high beam assist, lane keeping assist and forward collision warning with forward collision-avoidance assist.

The new Ceed hatchback will go on sale here in summer, with Sportswagon models following during autumn.

They will continue to offer Kia’s industry-leading seven-year, 100,000 mile warranty, which rival manufacturers seem curiously reluctant to attempt to match.