Kia Xceeds expectations

03 July 2019

KIA is to introduce a small SUV that it will refer to as a CUV, which means crossover utility vehicle, as a rival to the likes of the North East-made Nissan Qashqai and Infiniti QX30.

Designed and built in Europe, due here before the end of the year, and endowed with an industry-leading seven-year guarantee, it will be the latest landmark in Kia’s remarkable success story.

The company’s unrivalled reputation for rock-solid build quality, absolute reliability and affordable prices are lauded as being among the main reasons for the current European woes of arch-rival Ford.

Now Kia is to introduce a direct competitor for one of Ford’s best sellers, and it is based on the South Korean company’s most successful model, the Focus-bashing compact Ceed.

Called the Xceed, it is due to go on sale here soon in standard petrol and diesel form, with a plug-in hybrid in the pipeline.

Likely to cost from about £20,000, it lines up alongside the existing Ceed hatchback, estate and shooting brake, and will sell midway between the Stonic and Sportage.

Some may even call it a Ceed on steroids, with bulges and blisters in all the right places, an increased ride height and easier access.

Inside there is virtually every electronic and technological aid ever devised – either standard or offered as optional extras – as is the case with the raft of safety equipment provided.

Luggage space is up by 30 litres over the Ceed hatch, increasing to 1,380 litres with the rear seats folded flat, which is slightly less than a Mercedes GLA.

Initially there will be a choice of three petrol and two diesel options, with a mild-hybrid due next year.

In the meantime there is a 120bhp three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 140bhp four-cylinder 1.4-litre unit, plus a

sportier 200bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine from the Ceed GT.

The two oil burners offer outputs of 115bhp and 135bhp from their four-cylinder 1.6-litre engines mated to six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions.

Kia says that the scheduled on-sale date for the rest of Europe is the third quarter of this year, with its actual UK arrival yet to be announced.