Today we attended the launch of the new Kia Cee’d at Barberstown Castle in Co. Kildare. The revised Cee’d gets a number of interior and exterior upgrades including a new GT line specification. Changes are not purely cosmetic however, as ride and handling has also been improved, a brand new 3 cylinder 1.0 petrol engine has been added and there is an option of a new 7-speed DCT automatic transmission.
When it comes to aesthetics in its segment, the Kia Cee’d has always been an attractive option and while remaining largely unchanged, it is still one of the more dynamic looking hatches in the market. It retains the recognisable ‘Tiger Nose’ front grille with changes being made to the front bumper to make it more angular and aggressive complete with chrome detailing around the fog lights. Similar design cues have been applied to the rear bumper with rear LED lights being added as standard, new rear reflectors and a choice of new 16 or 17 inch alloy wheels to choose from. The ‘GT line’ adds to the appearance even further giving it all of the look and appeal of its Kia Cee’d GT hot hatch sibling.
The first test of the day was the all new 1.0 T-GDi 3 cylinder petrol engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox finished in the new ‘GT line’ specification. The sportier kit enhances the stance of the car, while the larger wheels and daytime running lights housed at either side of the front bumper add to its presence. Sitting in, the sport style seats are a little softer than anticipated but offer a good level comfort and bolstered support. Turning the key, the new 1.0 litre petrol is remarkably quiet at idle, even on the outside. Setting off in first you can hear that familiar 3 cylinder rev come to into play. Move from first to second and further up the gears, it’s quick to reign those revs in and instantly becomes more refined. The new petrol engine produces a respectable 120bhp and 171Nm of torque. It may be the most potent unit, but it manages its performance well as you work your way up through the 6-speed manual and always feels adequately powered. The new 6-speed manual feels fluid and enjoyable to use.
Performance aside, the new 1.0 litre petrol engine boasts some impressive credentials. Its claimed fuel economy figures of 4.9l/100km (60mpg) and C02 emissions at just 109g/km. With 1.4 and 1.6 GDI petrol engines also available within the range, the 1.0 T-GDi is likely to be the star of the show and for those consumers now considering a swap back to petrol power, the timing appears to be very good. There are also the 1.4 and 1.6 CRDi diesels available with economy of 4.2 and 4.0l/100km respectively. So those happy to remain with their diesel Kia’s are well catered for.
Ride comfort is good and the revised Cee’ds handling remains composed at normal B road speeds. We didn’t get the chance to take it on the motorway but considering its composure on the best of back roads Kildare could throw at it, it’s likely to be a comfortable cruiser. The changes that have been made underneath include considerable changes to the front and back suspension units.
We are likely to learn more about the new Kia Cee’d when we get to spend more time with it sometime in the future, where we hope to test the new 1.6 diesel and automatic transmission. Prices start from €20,650 for the 1.0 Litre T-GDi ‘GT line’ as shown. The mid-life changes are good timing from Kia making the five door Cee’d and three door Procee’d considerable contenders in the C segment for 2016.
For more information visit kia.ie