Kia unveiled the production version of its new cee'd C-segment competitor in Paris on Thursday, and our Autoblog Spanish colleague Alberto provided us with these great shots.

Launching in December with a mind-boggling 20 models, Kia aims to offer Europe's C-segment buyers with an unprecedented range of choices to tailor their cee'd to meet their needs and desires. When all three cee'd body styles - five-door hatchback, five-door wagon and three-door hatchback - are available in December 2007, customers will be able to choose from more than 50 (!) different models, all in their choice of right- or left-hand drive.

Lots of pictures and the official press release after the jump!

Pro-cee'd concept (below)

Official Press Release:

Surprising all-new cee'd starts new era for Kia

Created especially for European consumers, the all-new Kia cee'd model, which makes its world premiere at the Mondial de L'Automobile in Paris this week, marks a major turning point in Kia's history. cee'd is the start of a new era. It is the first-ever Kia designed and manufactured in Europe, and will introduce a qualitative revolution for the brand as the highest standards of engineering and European-style aesthetics have been applied to every aspect of its exterior, interior, fixtures and fittings.

cee'd (pronounced 'seed') is a surprising new name for the latest all-new Kia. "cee'd is a short, dynamic and innovative name. It's unconventional, a name which breaks the automotive rules," explained Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President Kia Motors Europe. "A surprising name for a car destined to surprise our rivals and delight our customers. I'm sure the name will get people talking about Kia and will also be easy to remember. Finally, we wanted to introduce a fresh name in line with Kia's brand attributes – quality, trustworthy and dynamic," added Lievens.

Unquestionably, the Kia cee'd will be the brand's strongest-ever contender for C-segment honours when it goes on sale across Europe in December 2006. The 20-model cee'd range will offer consumers an unprecedented choice of engines, bodystyles, exterior colours, interior trims, colour-themes and options.

"With the new Kia cee'd we are presenting consumers in Europe with a very surprising family car, with excellent quality and performance, and a clean modern appearance," commented Jung-Moon Park, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors.

"Our Kia teams in Germany and Korea have designed the new cee'd to surpass the rising expectations of existing Kia customers and to attract European consumers who have not yet considered our brand. They have created a truly competitive vehicle that is stylish and practical, and marks the beginning of a whole new era for our corporation. I am sure that the new Kia cee'd will certainly have great appeal to people all across Europe, while clearly demonstrating our brand's Power to Surprise," concluded COO Park.

Maximum customer choice and vehicle sensuality

A genuine rival to the established C-segment class leaders, cee'd will power Kia into the main stream of Europe's most closely fought market sector. Rising to the challenge of becoming a top global player in the automotive industry, Kia has not only invested the talent and funding to create an all-new factory and produce an all-new model, it is also offering consumers an unprecedented level of choice.

Maximum customer choice is one of the core themes behind the introduction of cee'd which will be available with five engines, three trim/equipment levels, four interior concepts, five interior centre-stack styles, seven different trim fabrics and 12 exterior colours – in left- and right-hand drive – so Kia will be able to tailor the new model to the personal tastes of individual customers.

Another core theme for cee'd is sensuality. Taking full advantage of the opportunity to produce a new model targeted at a specific group of consumers, rather than a car required to have global appeal, Kia's design teams have created a car to 'satisfy all your senses.' They were determined that cee'd would be attractive to see, nice to touch, pleasant to smell and a joy to hear – from the sound of the door opening, to the muted engine at idle, sporty exhaust rasp under acceleration and to the multiple choice of audio entertainment.

High-performing audio entertainment

For the first time in a Kia vehicle, the top quality audio entertainment system is purpose-built for the cee'd, features RDS and delivers genuine high-performance sounds. Every cee'd car will have audio controls on the steering wheel.

As standard, all cee'd models will come with an RDS radio/single CD player, with MP3 compatibility, and four audio speakers. Both the EX and TX models will have USB and AUX iPod®* connections in the centre console, as Kia keeps pace with the latest in-car audio technology and targets younger consumers by enabling them to play their favourite music through the car's speakers.

Code name indicative of commitment to Europe

"Our new C-segment model was code named 'ED' during its development stages because it is a European Design created with European consumers in mind," comments Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President Kia Motors Europe.

"The cee'd production model's styling highlights that this car is tailored precisely to the C-Segment which is uniquely important in Europe. cee'd is truly a car designed in Europe, manufactured in Europe, to be marketed in Europe, to fulfil 100% of European customers' needs."
Kia's latest C-segment model, the cee'd will be produced at Kia's first-ever European manufacturing facility at Zilina in Slovakia. It will be marketed in Europe and the five-door launch models will be joined by a range of five-door station wagons and sporty three-door hatchback models from August and December 2007, respectively.

The 4.2-metre long cee'd has an unusually long wheelbase (2,650 mm) and will offer class-leading interior space, plus highly competitive levels of equipment and state-of-the-art active and passive safety. The range of five engines will include 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litre CVVT gasoline engines and an all-new 1.6-litre VGT diesel engine, plus a 2.0-litre VGT diesel engine from next summer.

Surprising production name for all-new Kia

"The latest Kia model is named cee'd for several reasons," explained SVP Jean-Charles Lievens. "The 'CE' symbolises that this model is made in the Community of Europe and the 'ED' indicates this car is a European Design. 'cee'd' represents the 'seed' for abundant growth in Kia sales that the new model will undoubtedly ensure."

Bold fresh challenge for C-segment sales

Although industry observers anticipate that the C-segment in Europe will shrink slightly in the next four years, Kia anticipates that demand for new cee'd will reach 100,000 units next year and rise to 150,000 units annually in Europe by 2008.

Customers in Europe will be able to choose from a line-up of 20 models, with three equipment levels (LX, EX and TX), five engines, with manual or automatic transmissions, and an extensive range of optional equipment.

"With so many multiple choices – taking engines, trim levels, interior colour themes and exterior colours into account – it will be possible for Kia to manufacture several thousand cee'd five-door hatchback models without duplicating a single car," enthused Jean-Charles Lievens.

All five engines will ultimately be available with all three cee'd body styles – five-door hatchback, five-door wagon (from August 2007) and three-door hatchback (from December 2007) creating a potential range of more than 50 different models. All models will be available in left- and right-hand drive.

New cee'd will be manufactured in Slovakia at Kia's all-new Zilina assembly plant which has the capacity to produce up to 150,000 examples of cee'd annually. Our market research has confirmed that the biggest markets for cee'd will be the traditional Big Five (Germany, UK, Spain, Italy and France), plus the rapidly expanding Russian market. With the vast choice of models and bodystyles, Kia will be making its first big sales push into Europe's fleet markets with the cee'd," added SVP Lievens.

20 models in 12 colours on sale from December 2006

The 20-strong Kia cee'd range will reach Kia dealer showrooms all across Europe from December 2006. The range will be available in a choice of 12 distinctive exterior colours, including two solids and ten metallics.
Solid colours So Red and Cassa White
Metallic colours Machine Silver, Black Pearl, Kompass Blue, Abyss Blue, Oil Blue, Mars Red, Piston Gray, Pewter Beige, Dakar Yellow and Hike Green.

The range of five-door hatchbacks is comprised of five LX models, eight EX models and seven TX models, with the 2-litre diesel EX and TX models available from July 2007. In some countries lower-power versions of the diesel and gasoline engines will be available to suit local taxation regulations.

In Europe, the new Kia cee'd will come with an extended warranty package.

"New cee'd will be Kia's best-ever challenger for C-segment honours in the European marketplace. It is going to look better, feel better, drive better and sell better. It is certain to revolutionise Kia's fortunes in this sector.

"cee'd really is a great car and the challenge for our dealer network will be getting people to test drive our newcomer. Once consumers have seen it, touched it and sampled its performance, they will surely be convinced that a decision to buy a Kia cee'd is indeed the right choice. We have a range of exciting marketing campaigns and promotions planned for the autumn and will reveal details of these nearer that time," concluded Jean-Charles Lievens.

Kia cee'd – 20-model line up for European Market*

1.6-litre CRDi VGT
LX manual EX manual TX manual

2.0-litre CRDi VGT**
----- EX 6-sp manual TX 6-sp manual

1.4-litre DOHC CVVT
LX manual EX manual -----

1.6-litre DOHC CVVT
LX manual EX manual TX manual
LX automatic EX automatic TX automatic

2.0-litre DOHC CVVT
----- EX manual TX manual
----- EX automatic TX automatic

* Model line-up may vary country-to-country, depending on local market requirements. Please check with your local Kia PR.
** Available from July 2007.


Strong forms and a broad stance for distinctive cee'd

Styled by a dedicated multi-national Kia design team in Germany, assisted by a design team in Korea, the new Kia cee'd is exclusively tailored to meet the requirements of the European C-segment and the tastes of European consumers.

cee'd has a 'tough not rough' appearance, combining strongly solid forms with sensitively flowing lines, jewel-like detailing and a broad stance. It's a design that points towards the future elements of Kia's evolving design language – and those elements are a reflection of similar features first revealed in the Kia concept vehicle, of the same name, revealed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

"We wanted to make cee'd as beautiful, as exquisitely detailed and precisely executed as possible," enthused Miklos Kovacs, Chief Designer ED programme, Kia R&D Centre, Russelsheim, Germany. "Kia set us several goals – to create a modern, distinctive, harmoniously balanced C-segment contender, to introduce the starting point for the new design DNA for Kia and to highlight that this car is a truly European design, a car designed in Europe, made in Europe, to fulfil 100% of European customer needs."

The cee'd has several of the core design elements of two earlier Kia cars – the Sorento SUV and Picanto small car. The cee'd surfaces are bold, the shoulders strong, with a good stance and feeling of solidity. Sorento has this solidity, but also some very flowing lines, from the grille and headlamps, over the bonnet and into the A-pillars.

With cee'd, the major flow-line runs from low on the nose spoiler, around the grille, over the bonnet, up the A-pillar, along the roof-rail, down the C-pillar and around the rear light clusters and into the bumper – enveloping the whole car.

"European car buyers are especially sensitive to vehicle proportions and can tell when a vehicle looks 'right' – but it is a gut feeling. What is important with proportion is creating a 'game of tension' and cee'd has a relatively long front to create more tension between front and rear. Through the clearly perceived quality of cee'd we want to establish a certain design standard for Kia to communicate to the outside world that we truly understand what quality is all about," added Kovacs.

Aerodynamics devised in world-class wind tunnel

Final look of the production-ready cee'd was developed from European designs in Kia's world-class full-size aero-acoustic wind tunnel at the Namyang R&D Centre in Korea. The cee'd has a smooth exterior, with elegant detailing and no unnecessary features, which results in significantly improved aerodynamics. The 4235 mm long five-door hatchback has highly competitive drag and lift coefficients. Its aerodynamic drag figure is Cd 0.33 (bettering Golf and Focus) while its lift coefficient figure (Cl 0.01) is a class-best result. A low lift coefficient enhances vehicle stability at high speeds.

Kia's aerodynamics experts paid particular attention to four areas – reducing drag by lowering the car by 10 mm (without harming ride quality), creating cleaner airflow beneath the vehicle (by fitting an under tray behind the rear axle), optimising flow around the nose (by adding a full-width bumper lip) and guiding airflow past the tyres by fitting deflectors ahead of each tyre.

Consumer clinics give model 'approval'

During the development phase of creating new cee'd, Kia has held consumer clinics in the major European markets for men and women in their 30s, perhaps with one or two small children – the primary target group for cee'd in its five-door hatchback form.

The exterior of cee'd was described as 'sporty and dynamic without being aggressive, with a strong profile and solid rear view.' Woman talked of the car being 'a compact, harmonious and well balanced design, with undertones of quality and reliability.'

The interior was viewed as 'easy to enter/exit, roomy and comfortable, spacious in the rear, with a clean and clear design, high in perceived quality, with a solid feel and a particular appeal to men.'

High-tech structure and manufacturing processes

Beneath its stylish exterior, Kia's new cee'd employs an all-new chassis platform and all-new suspension systems, manufactured in an all-new facility. The bodyshell has been engineered to achieve exceptionally high torsional stiffness, 42 Hz, which delivers a host of benefits in terms of durability, refinement, safety, handling and ride quality.

While the all-new bodyshell that Kia has engineered for the cee'd is both stronger and stiffer than the previous Kia C-segment models, there was an inevitable weight gain, but this has been minimised. The body-in-white uses a high percentage of high tensile-strength steel (67%) for structurally critical components (to save weight and to increase torsional stiffness), while more than 87% of the bodyshell is made from anti-corrosion steel.

To enhance the cee'd bodyshell's ability to resist corrosion, the traditional Dip Painting method of electro-coating, where the production line of cars are simply lowered into the processing tank, is abandoned. For cee'd, a new Rotation Dipping Painting method is employed which takes each bodyshell and rotates it through a forward somersault while immersed in the tank, ensuring the optimum coating thickness on every surface, throughout the entire shell.

To redress the cee'd weight gain and boost fuel economy, a 'diet-programme' was also conducted on the major components as well as the bodyshell, so engines, transmissions and suspension systems were all closely scrutinised to identify areas where weight could be shed without compromising component integrity or durability. Adopting a technique also used on other modern Kia cars, hydroforming manufacturing techniques were used to create a stronger, lighter front sub-frame which weighs 2.5 kg less than a pressed steel version.

Finite element analysis was performed to conduct simulated crash testing and to arrive at the optimal structural design. Kia's engineers created a final cee'd bodyshell that surpasses its design goals and dramatically outperforms the previous model in terms of resistance to both twisting forces (torsional rigidity) and longitudinal bending forces (flexural rigidity).

Note: for full details of the new Kia Zilina plant in Slovakia and its innovative manufacturing processes, please see separate release.


Crafted to satisfy every buyer's every sense

The style, execution, quality, fit and finish of the new Kia cee'd interior has been designed and developed to the highest standards to fully demonstrate the brand's growing 'power to surprise' before a European audience. Kia's senior executives are now certain that when customers first open the door and step into cee'd they are going to be deeply impressed.

"The interior design of cee'd is so good that potential customers will experience 'love at second sight' when they open the doors," enthuses David Labrosse, Manager Product Planning, Kia R&D Centre, Russelsheim. "cee'd presents customers with more closely matched materials, more soft-touch surfaces and more high quality fabrics made in Europe to suit local tastes. cee'd will give Kia buyers multiple choices and empower them to create their own interiors, their own world and their own atmosphere."

The cee'd front door hinges feature three 'detentes' – the last position an extra-wide 70 degrees, as one of the key design briefs for Kia's new C-segment challenger was to ensure easy of entry and excellent access both front and rear, plus class-best rear legroom.

The modern, clean design theme that characterises the exterior of Kia cee'd is replicated throughout the interior, which continues the new model's theme of offering maximum consumer choice. "Not only will the cee'd be available with three trim/equipment levels, it will also present customers with the opportunity to choose between four interior concepts, five centre stack styles and seven different fabrics – depending on model," comments Ms. Dominique Raye, Design Manager Colour & Trim, Kia European Design Centre.

The four interior concepts are Basic, Rainbow (in Blue or Blush), Classic and Sporty. The centre stack can be finished in Black, Silver, Blue, Blush or Aluminium paint. The interior trim choices include: five fabrics – Grey, Blue, Blush (with wave pattern), Classic (with chevron pattern), Sporty (with the woven material replicating a tyre tread pattern) and two leathers, Grey and Black.

For the lighter colour-ways a policy of fitting darker upper surfaces and lighter lower surfaces is followed in order to prevent unwanted reflections, while maximising the sense of interior space.

Driver-focused cockpit and controls

Although the C-segment is a strongly family-oriented sector, the cee'd driver will enjoy the feeling of a 'compact and sporty' cockpit with its thick-rimmed, three-spoke steering wheel, sporty three-dial instrument cluster beneath a tightly curved cowling and centre stack angled towards the driver.

All the controls are ergonomically designed to place them within easy reach of the driver's hands and the overall layout has true elegance. Great attention has been given to the feel of how all the controls function so that even the most minor of switches has an appropriately tactile and satisfying quality when operated.

The instrument cluster has a 'high-tech' appearance, with the large central speedometer flanked by a rev-counter (to the left) and water temperature and fuel gauges to the right. The dial graphics are detailed, precise and clear, while the 'high-tech' look is enhanced by the use of red-orange illumination for the dials, audio equipment and switch gear.

For cee'd, Kia has adopted European-style steering column stalks with the control for the windscreen wipers on the right and turn indicators on the left.

A panel of switches on the driver's door armrest allows control of the electric front and rear windows and the two electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. The driver and passenger windows have an auto up and down feature with safety sensors for added convenience on EX and TX versions.

'Floating' style centre stack

The stylish centre stack is a key visual feature of the interior design and can be ordered with one of five different finishes. Designed so that it appears to 'float' beside the driver, it features equipment arranged in logical, horizontal layers with the information centre above the tailor-made RDS audio system supplied by Siemens, which tops a strip of minor switches (including central locking and hazard flasher) and the heating/ventilation controls. Unusually, the stack is flanked by four large air vents – rather than the more commonly found two.

The centre stack sweeps down to meet the floor console which houses an oddments tray (with USB and AUX iPod®* connections on EX and TX trims), gear selector and hand-brake lever, twin cup-holders and large-capacity storage box topped by a padded armrest.
*iPod is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

Seating for five in spacious comfort

The cee'd front seats are semi-bucket design with reclining backrests operated by a knurled rotary control. These multi-adjustable seats have wider cushions and backrests to offer superior support with generous proportions to accommodate drivers and passengers of all shapes and sizes. Adjustable lumbar support is available on both driver and passenger seats, which are supplied by Johnson & Controls.

All cee'd models are fitted with a 60/40 split rear seat cushion and backrest. To increase luggage space, the cushions tip forwards and the backrests fold complete flat, aligning neatly with the trunk floor. Slots to store the detachable rear head restraints when the seats are folded, are provided in the underside of the cushions.

Both LX and EX models feature a woven cloth seat upholstery, while TX models have part-leather seats and can be ordered with an even more luxurious ambience, thanks to full leather trim – available as an option on TX and EX models.

All five seats have manually adjustable head restraints and three-point seatbelts as standard. Integrated 'active' head restraints will be standard on both the front seats of EX and TX models, marking the first time this technology has been applied to the C1-segment. During a rear impact, the integrated 'active' head restraints move forwards to reduce the risk of whiplash injuries to the neck or back.

More space for people or luggage

Thanks to its long wheelbase and ample body width, new cee'd offers highly competitive interior space for its market segment. Interior length is a best-in-class 1880 mm, from base of windscreen to base of backlight, while head, leg and shoulder room are all generous, matching or beating the most spacious class rivals.

The new cee'd model offers the following interior space, by seat row:
Front Rear
Head room 1020 mm 980 mm
Leg room 1105 mm 900 mm
Shoulder room 1410 mm 1385 mm

Behind the rear seats, skilful packing design has ensured that cee'd has a large and practically shaped luggage compartment. With the rear seats upright, maximum capacity is a competitive 340 litres (VDA measuring method), with maximum measurements of 820 mm (floor length), 1,040 mm (floor width) and 558 mm (height to parcel shelf). With the rear seats folded, luggage capacity is boosted to 1300 litres.


Matching the 'best-in-class' for NVH performance

Kia's cee'd engineering teams at the company's R&D Centre in Russelsheim have been dedicated to creating a new C-segment challenger that achieves significant reductions in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) for this class.

The latest Kia newcomer matches or beats the NVH levels of most competitive vehicles in its segment, thanks to achieving major improvements throughout the vehicle.

"Thanks to its much greater twisting (torsional) and bending (flexural) rigidity, the cee'd bodyshell delivers enhanced resistance to distortion and results in a significantly stronger structure," comments Jun-Moo Her, Senior Engineer, Kia R&D Centre, Korea. "The torsional stiffness of cee'd is 42 Hz, 27.2% stiffer than the Ford Focus, and better than the low-to-mid 30 Hz scores for potential rival cars from Opel and Renault."

The new bodyshell gave Kia designers an excellent base on which to achieve impressive reductions in NVH – as well as providing improved occupant crash protection, and a firm foundation for the fully independent suspension.

As development progressed, Kia engineers used computer-aided structural analysis to identified key areas of the cee'd that required special attention. They focused their NVH-reduction push on minimising vibrations, both at source and by extra dampening, over a wide range of frequencies. Each panel of the cee'd body shell was scrutinised to identify areas which could be modified to reduce noise generation at source.

Hollow sections of the shell, especially in the A, B and C-pillars, were injected with sound-proofing foam, while isolation pads, made in new advanced materials, were placed in key locations.

A significant reduction in the transmission of road noise was achieved by the use of a front sub-frame to support the engine, transmission, suspension and steering, and a rear sub-frame for mounting the rear suspension, also had many positive effects on NVH.

The hydro-formed front sub-frame effectively removes the direct connection between the moving parts of both the powertrain and suspension and the cabin, greatly reducing the transmission of vibrations from these sources to the vehicle occupants.

As part of the 'reducing NVH at source' programme, the overall design of cee'd suspension minimises loads and stresses passed into the body structure. Special attention was given to the rear suspension design with the adoption of separate shock absorbers and coil springs, to reduce the transmission of tyre-generated road noise and to enhance NVH suppression to the benefit of the rear seat occupants.

Aerodynamically the Kia cee'd is a smooth, slippery and efficient car with a Cd of just 0.33 and consequently low levels of wind noise, aided by the fitting of multi-layer rubber seals around the doors and tailgate and one-piece weather strips around all windows.

Intensive testing all across Europe

As part of the preparations for introducing this 'landmark' model in Kia's history, a fleet of disguised ED prototypes has been put through an intensive programme of testing and development all across Europe.

In total, this fleet had driven more than 1 million kilometres before the cee'd world premiere at the Paris Show. Dedicated test teams were tasked with evaluating and improving powertrain performance, devising the final steering and suspension set-ups (for optimised control, feel, ride and handing, on European-type roads), and fine-tuning the NVH frequencies throughout the car.

Special road testing of other ED prototypes was undertaken, jointly with two specialist German companies, which concentrated on evolving the 'ideal' exhaust sound. The test team's aim was to develop an exhaust system which generated a 'European Sound' quality with optimum appeal to C-segment customers. The resulting system allows a powerful low frequency sound to be heard during initial acceleration, but blocks high frequency sounds during other stages of driving.

Overall, the ED road test programme has been the most comprehensive and intensive ever conducted by Kia. The brakes and running gear test team drove more than 14,000 kilometres in mountainous areas of Spain and Austria, while the durability team has covered more than 200,000 kilometres in a single prototype ED.

The unprecedented commitment to improving the new C-segment model's refinement and durability is a further indication of Kia's determination that cee'd will constitute a 'qualitative revolution' for the brand.


Standard equipment generosity taken to new heights

Kia has a thoroughly well deserved reputation for delivering vehicles that feature generous equipment levels for their particular market segment and price range. The new cee'd 20-model range takes that generosity to new heights and presents C-segment customers in Europe with a top quality, abundantly equipped vehicle as standard, offering excellent value for money at each trim level, plus a wide range of optional equipment.

"Most previous Kia models have been available with a choice of just two equipment levels and a small number of factory-fitted options," explained Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President, Kia Motors Europe. "Now cee'd changes that policy in a dramatic way – introducing three equipment levels, plus four interior concepts, five interior colour-schemes, 12 exterior colours and a much wider range of optional extras – so that each customer can create a genuinely 'personalised' vehicle to best suit their needs and tastes."

Much wider range of choices with three equipment levels

Standard equipment for the five LX models includes: front, side and curtain airbags, speed-sensing automatic door locks, head restraints and three-point seats belts for all five occupants, central locking, electric front windows, four-speaker audio system and audio controls on the steering wheel, and integrated information cluster with trip computer.

Buyers of the eight EX models benefit from 28 items of additional or upgraded equipment including: electric door mirrors, projection front fog lamps, manual air-conditioning, keyless entry and anti-theft alarm, integrated 'active' head restraints for the front seats plus adjustable lumbar support, centre console with storage and armrest, twin front tweeter speakers and USB, AUX and iPod®* connections.
*iPod is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

Customers for the seven range-topping TX models will enjoy a cee'd that is also equipped with 16-inch alloys wheels, ESP and BAS, fully automatic air-conditioning, leather pack interior (see details below), electric rear windows with auto up/down and safety sensors and a rear centre armrest – plus the six additional items, listed below.

Sophisticated selection of options

It is anticipated that many cee'd owners will find the options list attractive and will select extra equipment for their new cars. Kia will offer a choice of five styles of alloy wheel, ten metallic exterior colours, solar glass and rain-expelling 'hydrophobic' glass by Saint-Gobain, powered sunroof with safety sensor, three-stage front seats warmers, integrated Sat-Nav and in-dash 6-CD changer, plus Leather and Sport 'packs' and a range of 'Rainbow' and 'Classic' interior trim choices – see Comfort & Convenience chapter for full details.

High-performing audio entertainment

For the first time in a Kia vehicle, the top quality audio entertainment system is purpose-built for the cee'd, is specifically tailored to fit the new centre console design, features RDS and delivers genuine high-performance sounds. Every cee'd car will have audio controls on the steering wheel.

As standard, all cee'd models come with an RDS radio/single CD player with MP3 compatibility and speed rated volume control by Siemens, and four audio speakers supplied by Bosch (Blaupunkt) – one in each door, while both the EX and TX models gain two front tweeters, plus USB and AUX iPod®* connections in the centre console, as Kia keeps pace with the latest in-car audio technology.

The USB (Universal Serial Bus) enables the uploading of data from an external device into the car's audio system. The AUX socket allows an auxiliary device, such as a Minidisc or DVD player, to be linked into the car's audio to play through the vehicle speakers. The iPod®* connection lets cee'd owners play their favourite music through the car's speakers.

Audio upgrades, available on all three trim levels, include an in-dash 6-CD changer and turn-by-turn integrated satellite navigation system with pan-Europe Map-CD supplied by Navetec. All models are fitted with a roof-mounted antenna.

All-new diesel and high-power gasoline engines

For its all-new cee'd, Kia is offering customers a choice of five engines, ranging in power output from 90 to 140 ps, including an all-new, highly responsive 1.6-litre diesel engine designed, engineered and manufactured in Europe especially for use in this important newcomer, to further boost its appeal for C-segment car buyers.

Consumers are presented with a range of two diesel engines, three gasoline engine (all five are Euro4 compliant), five-speed or six-speed manual gearboxes and four-speed automatic transmissions, tailored to each engine's characteristics – depending on model.

"Like every other aspect of new Kia cee'd, the theme of 'consumers multiple-choice' continues with the power trains," comments Dr. Seog-Jae Lee, General Manager, Powertrain Engineering, Kia R&D Centre, Russelsheim. "Buyers will be able to select the combination of engine/transmission that best suits their motoring habits and lifestyle. Almost half of cee'd buyers (48%) are expected to order diesel-powered cars, while 95% of buyers will specify manual transmission."

All five engines available in the Kia cee'd feature technical innovations that deliver real benefits to the customer, while requiring less maintenance and feature enhanced durability. Those customer benefits include more power and torque without incurring higher fuel consumption, smoother running with lower vibrations and quieter operation.

Some of the cee'd engines will be available in certain markets with lowered maximum power to suit local taxation requirements, though their robust torque outputs are largely maintained for good drivability.

Higher power, lower consumption diesel

Made at Kia's new facility in Slovakia, the all-new 1.6-litre CRDi four cylinder 16-valve diesel engine features a steel alloy block and an aluminium cylinder head, with a second-generation high-pressure common-rail fuel injection system. It is fitted with an electrically actuated advanced variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) to ensure lively performance and clean emissions. Its power and torque figures are highly competitive – 115 ps (84.6 kW) and 255.2 Nm (26.0 kg.m), respectively. This engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission and is expected to be the most popular engine choice among cee'd customers.

Consumers demanding higher performance can specify Kia's improved, Korean-built 2.0-litre CRDi diesel engine that is also fitted in New Carens. This SOHC 16-valve CRDi unit also features second-generation common-rail technology, plus a VGT to generate 140 ps (103 kW) at 4,000 rpm and 305 Nm (31 kg.m) of torque from just 2000 rpm. The manual transmission fitted with this engine features six speeds.

For local taxation reasons, a 'lower-power' version of both diesel engines will be offered in some markets. The low 1.6 produces 90 ps (66.2 kW) and 235.6 Nm (24.0 kg.m), while the low 2.0 gives 135 ps (99.3 kW) with the same 305 Nm (31 kg.m) of torque as the high-power unit.

Choice of three gasoline engines

cee'd can also be ordered with three class-competitive 16-valve gasoline engines – well proven Kia power units, further developed for use in this new model, and all fitted with performance-boosting continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and upgraded electronic multi-point fuel injection.

All three engines (1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 litres) are supplied with a five-speed manual transmission as standard, while the 1.6 and 2.0 units can be ordered with a four-speed automatic gearbox.

The 1.4-litre engine creates a maximum power output of 109 ps (80.2 kW) at 6200 rpm, with 137.4 Nm (14.0 kg.m) of torque. The 1.6-litre unit produces 122 ps (89.7 kW) at 6200 rpm and 154.1 Nm (15.7 kg.m) of torque.

For the ultimate gasoline cee'd performance, Kia's compact DOHC 1975cc gasoline engine generates a maximum of 140ps (103 kW) at 6,000 rpm, and 184 Nm (18.8 kg.m) of torque at 4,750 rpm (in this application).

As with the diesel engines, for local taxation reasons, a 'lower-power' version of some gasoline engines will be offered in some markets.

Smooth-shifting gears, plus automatic option

Although manual transmission will be the standard equipment on cee'd, two gasoline models (the 1.6 and 2.0 versions) will be available with automatic transmission as an extra-cost option, although only 5-to-6% of sales are expected to be automatics.

The cee'd automatic is a four-speed gearbox, featuring an electronic controller, which monitors a range of parameters including acceleration, deceleration, engine speed and road speed, ensuring safe gear changes with excellent shift quality, and also adapts the transmission's characteristics to suit an individual's driving style.

Both the five-speed and six-speed manual transmissions incorporate several innovations, including triple axis gear train and multiple-cone synchroniser (on first and second gear), for faster, smoother gear shifts.

A new safety mechanism for selecting reverse gear (now located to the left and forward of 1st gear) is fitted and drivers must pull up a spring-loaded safety collar on the gear lever before reverse can be engaged.

Targeting 'segment-best' ride, handling and braking

Kia's European chassis engineers based in Germany were determined to make the new cee'd among the 'segment-best' for ride and handling, targeting the Ford Focus and VW Golf as the models to match or beat as Kia's new chassis and running gear were designed and developed.

New cee'd is fitted with fully independent suspension systems, both front and rear, designed to deliver crisp, responsive handling and a supple, comfortable ride on European roads.

Although cee'd employs the same subframe-mounted McPherson Strut (front) and Kia's 'in-wheel multi-link' (rear) suspension layouts as several other Kia models, the subframe design and the systems are completely re-invented for the brand's latest C-segment car.

"Kia did not benchmark the VW Golf exclusively when setting out to design cee'd with a clean sheet of paper," commented Michael Lugert, Manager Vehicle Evaluation, Kia R&D Centre, Russelsheim. "Naturally, we closely examined the most popular models in the C-segment, including the Opel Astra, Peugeot 307 and Renault Megane, as well as the Ford and VW.

"Early in our new car's evolution, Kia decided to develop the cee'd chassis and running gear using Michelin tyres exclusively, so that our engineers could fine-tune the new model's characteristics precisely for a specific type of tyre compound and construction," added Lugert.

Stiff bodyshell creates firm foundation for supple suspension

The stiffer bodyshell of cee'd, together with the car's generous wheelbase (2650 mm) and track dimensions, create a solid foundation for mounting the new suspension systems and have inherent benefits for the new model's agility, ride and handling – as well as for its refinement, active and passive safety. The subframe mounting bushes have been fine-tuned for European roads to maintain precise suspension geometry integrity, while retaining sufficient compliance to ensure a comfortable ride and to meet Kia's improved NVH design brief.

At the front, the redesigned McPherson Struts are mounted above broader-based lower arms for optimum handling stability and improved ride. These struts also weigh less and have co-axial coil springs, offset for smoother operation. The front suspension geometry features an increased negative camber angle (-0.5 degrees) for greater cornering stability under all conditions. The anti-roll bar is mounted directly onto each shock absorber, to maximise its effectiveness – a practice adopted on most modern Kia vehicles.

At the rear, the cee'd employs a compact transverse sub-frame to support a multi-link system with dual upper transverse arms and long lower leading arms. Skillful engineering has resulted in a significant percentage of the components being accommodated either within the road wheels or very closely packaged alongside the wheel – hence the Kia's name for the system, 'in-wheel multi-link'. For improved ride quality, the shock absorbers and coil springs are mounted separately. The rear camber angle is also negative, at -1.0 degrees.

This complex and sophisticated rear suspension design delivers more precise control over changes in wheel attitude, with geometry that minimises both body roll and wheel camber changes – enhancing ride comfort, maximising tyre grip and ensuring even tyre wear. The design also ensures minimum intrusion into the vehicle bodyshell, for maximum rear seat room and trunk space.

For optimal body control and damping performance, Nitrogen gas-filled shock absorbers are standard fit, at both the front and rear.

Kia's precise MDPS 'electric' power steering

To save fuel and deliver responsive handling in everyday driving, the new cee'd has Kia's latest MDPS (motor driven power steering) system. This electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering has relatively high gearing, requiring just 2.69 turns of the wheel from lock-to-lock. Kia engineers have developed a system with the optimum balance between low-effort parking, responsive turn-in for enthusiastic country road motoring, and reduced sensitivity for motorway driving. The new system gives a fuel saving of 3% compared to conventional hydraulic assistance and the turning circle for new cee'd is 10.34 metres.

Powerful braking for rapid stopping

The Kia cee'd has a power-assisted all-disc braking system which delivers excellent stopping power that is highly competitive in the C-segment. The large diameter 280 mm ventilated front discs and solid 262 mm rear discs, are backed-up by four-channel, four-sensor ABS with EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), which is standard fit for all cee'd models.

Available as part of the ESP package, BAS (emergency Brake Assist System), senses when a driver is making an emergency stop and applies maximum braking effort. It is standard equipment (with ESP) on cee'd TX models and optional on others. The standard braking system delivers powerful, secure and stable braking performance with consistent pedal feel.

Extensive brake testing with cee'd prototypes was conducted by Kia engineers covering more than 14,000 kilometers in hot and high mountainous areas of Spain and Austria. As well as evaluating and developing the braking system's outright abilities, the Kia engineers concentrated on creating braking performance with a short pedal stroke and quick response, in line with European drivers' preferences. From 100 kph the production model cee'd comes to a complete stop in just 39.7 metres.

The parking brake lever activates separate disc brakes on both rear wheels.

Multiple choices for wheels, all with Premium Michelin tyres

The standard wheels for LX and EX cee'd models will be 15-inch diameter 5.5J wide steel wheels with full-cover plastic trims. LX models will be equipped with 185/65 R15 tyres, while EX models feature fatter 195/65 section tryes. Range-topping cee'd TX models will have 16-inch, 6.0J alloy wheels and 205/55 R16 tyres as standard.

In most European countries, cee'd models will be offered with a wide choice of optional wheels and tyres, including 16-inch steel wheels and five designs of 16-inch and 17-inch alloys. The 16-inch diameter wheels will be fitted with 205/55 tyres, while the 17-inch wheels will have 225/45 section tyres.

All cee'd models come with a steel space-saver spare wheel – located in the trunk floor well.


Six airbags as standard, boost cee'd safety

Kia's engineers have worked hard to ensure that new cee'd is one of the safest cars in the C-segment and has the highest levels of active and passive safety, to fully satisfy the ever increasing consumer expectations about this aspect of car design.

"New cee'd has many stress-reducing features to help maintain driver alertness, plus its active safety features, such as its stable handling, precise steering, and powerful (ABS and EBD assisted) braking system results in drivers of this Kia model being fully equipped to avoid potential accident situations and to cope with the hazards of everyday motoring," commented Tae-Soo Chi, Chief Engineer, Kia R&D Centre, Korea.

Active safety boosted by ESP and BAS

The cee'd TX model is equipped with ESP (electronic stability program) as standard, while buyers of both LX and EX models can order ESP as an option. This system comes together with TCS (all-speed traction control) and BAS (emergency brake assistance).

ESP monitors the car's track and adjusts the engine's throttle or applies one or more of the brakes, to reduce under-steer or over-steer and return the car to the
course intended by the driver. The ESP system is fully automatic and operates at all times. The system offers a multitude of benefits. It can improve stability under heavy braking, restore directional control during a potential skid, enhance grip in wet and icy conditions, and ensure superior traction during hard acceleration.

Every cee'd model has a powerful all-disc braking system fitted as standard, featuring an ABS anti-lock braking system with EBD electronic brake force distribution.

Three available options will boost active safety even further. A TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system) will trigger an instrument cluster display indicating which tyre is punctured or has low pressure. Innovative 'hydrophobic' glass will be an option for all door glass. It is water repellent and enhances safety by encouraging rain to flow away quickly, leaving the driver with improved visibility.

Kia's Back-Warning System (a rear parking aid), has four sensors and is also available as an option on EX and TX models. It enhances safety during low-speed manoeuvres. The system gives the driver an audible alert when reversing towards an obstruction. The intensity of the warning increases as the car gets closer to the person, animal or object.

Top class passive safety for maximum protection

If a collision becomes unavoidable, new Kia cee'd is engineered to safeguard the occupants with a range of passive safety measures as standard – like other modern Kia products – starting with a robust bodyshell.

State-of-the-art computer-aided design was employed by Kia engineers, together with 'closed loop' engineering techniques, to create a strong, stiff cee'd bodyshell structure. Featuring high-strength steel in key areas, the bodyshell is designed with 'crumple zones' to deform in a controlled manner under impact forces to offer occupants good protection in front, side, rear and roll-over accidents.

The all-steel bodyshell features a hollow tube bracing behind the lower dashboard, reinforced cowling mountings at the A-pillar junction, a stronger B-pillar with tougher side sills, and larger side-impact beams in both front and rear doors with reinforced mountings, as part of an integrated system to offer occupants high levels of protection.

To help reduce accident repair costs and insurance premiums, the two main longitudinal chassis members at the front of the car feature a deformable 'crash box' behind the bumper backbeam.

The cee'd 4.23 metre long, 1.79 metre wide bodyshell is engineered to comply with Kia's internal test methods similar to EuroNCAP crash tests, to provide a 5-Star protection, when measured by EuroNCAP test methods (matching the majority of C-segment hatchback vehicles).

Six airbags, integrated 'active' head restraints and new knee bolster

Every cee'd will be equipped with dual front airbags, front side airbags and full-length curtain airbags, protecting the occupants in both seat rows – as standard.

Side airbags are fitted in the outer edges the front seats, their deployment controlled by sensors in the central B-Pillars. In the event of a side impact, these airbags protect occupants from head, arm and torso injuries.

Curtain airbags, located in the roof side header rails, deploy during a side impact or rollover and are designed to protect both front and rear seat occupants from head and neck injuries.

Simultaneous with an airbag inflation, as all safety systems work together to provide full passenger protection, a signal is relayed to the other airbags and to the seatbelt pre-tensioners, activating them if appropriate. The passenger side front airbag features an on-off switch so it can be deactivated if children occupy that seat.

On both EX and TX models, both front seats are equipped with an integrated 'active' head restraint as standard. This head restraint moves forwards and upwards during a rear impact collision to protect the seat occupant from whiplash neck and back injuries. The system is available on LX models as an optional extra.

All cee'd are fitted with adjustable head restraints and three-point seatbelts for five occupants. The front seatbelt top mounting points are height-adjustable for greater security and a more comfortable fit, and the front seatbelts have pre-tensioners and load limiters to reduce the risk of injuries from the seatbelt itself. The lower dashboard features a knee bolster and impact pad to reduce the risk of leg injuries.

The rear side doors of cee'd are fitted with child safety locks and two ISOFIX anchor points are fitted in the back row seats for the attachment of child safety seats.

Security and peace of mind

In the modern world, vehicle security is an important aspect of personal safety and new cee'd is comprehensively equipped to resist thieves. Central locking with all-door override is standard on all models, with speed-sensing automatic locking. Keyless entry and an anti-theft alarm and dash-top security lamp are standard on EX and TX models.

Every cee'd engine is fitted with an advanced electronic immobiliser that was developed in tandem with Thatcham Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre in the UK, and targets a top-level anti-theft protection rating, and every model has a battery saver which switches off any interior or exterior lights that have been left on after the engine has been turned-off, preventing draining of the battery.

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