Without a doubt one of the best looking, value-for-money brands on the market, Kia has experienced unprecedented growth around the world, particularly in Europe.
The Power to Surprise has never rung truer for the Korean company who has managed to become a global player in what is a very short amount of time.
As Kia continues to win over hearts and minds with a seemingly perfect blend of quality, well priced vehicles backed by, in some cases, class leading warranties, the introduction of new or refreshed models wonâ€™t be ending anytime soon.
Good news then for the popular ceeâ€™d model or Cerato, as itâ€™s badged in South Africa and other markets, which has had an update recently, with new exterior styling and revised powertrains.
A wider range of engines and transmissions will be available including Kia’s all new three-cylinder 1.0-litre ecoTurbo, although this engine has not been confirmed for inclusion in the South African line-up.
Initially the new cee’d/Cerato will be available in 5-door, 3-door and station wagon guise, bearing the Hatch, Pro_cee’d and Sportswagon nomenclature, with a sedan no doubt on the cards for later introduction. (Let’s hope Kia South Africa sees fit to bring the Sportswagon to our shores for those wanting more space without having to upgrade to SUV status.)
Buyers will have the option of a new ‘GT Line’ specification, offering buyers the sporty looks and dynamics of the GT models above and beyond the new visual updates to the hallmark ‘tiger-nose’ grille, sleek wraparound headlamps and integrated fog lamps.
Changes to the ‘face’ of the cee’d include a more angular and wider bumper, with chrome trim around the fog lamps, and a new oval-shaped grille mesh echoing many of the shapes and design forms on the front of the car.
A slight change to rear bumper and inclusion of LED rear lamps complete the rear of the car and stylish new 16- and 17-inch alloy wheel designs are also now available across the range.
Inside, the basic form of the cabin remains unchanged, but a number of subtle enhancements bring a more modern look and feel to the interior, with flashes of chrome around the instrument binnacle, driver-side, and central air vents and around the upper edge of the instrument panel.
The central dash is finished in a high quality, anti-scratch gloss black giving it a more premium look. Other updates include chrome highlights at the base of the gear-lever, on door handles, and to the temperature control dials on the dashboard, depending on trim level.
For the launch of the 2016 cee’d, Kia is introducing its all-new 1.0-litre ecoTurbo engine. This new downsized, three-cylinder power unit has been engineered to improve fuel consumption and emissions while offering strong, willing performance and immediate responses to driver input.
The new 1.0-litre turbocharged engine, developed in-house by Kia, features high-pressure direct injection system, advanced engine cooling and an integrated exhaust manifold for cleaner emissions and efficient packaging.
Available in European markets, the puny turbo-triple will be offered in two states of tune: 73kW and 87 kW both developing 172Nm of torque available from 1 500 to 4 000rpm.
A second new technology debut for Kia is the arrival of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which will be available exclusively on the higher powered CRDi diesel engine.
A key feature in most manufacturer’s arsenals, the dual-clutch gearbox ensures faster gear changes combined with lower operating costs and fuel consumption.
A range of safety systems will be available on the new Kia cee’d bringing it in-line with rival competition. Items such as Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF), which uses a camera to identify speed limit signs and display them beside the speedometer and on the navigation screen. Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) will be available as options, using sensors to monitor the side and rear of the cee’d for other vehicles in the driver’s blind spots and give the driver a visual or audible alert.
A new addition to the cee’d is a wide range of multimedia information services, housed under Kia Connected Services. Provided by TomTom, the new connectivity features include live traffic updates, speed camera locations and alerts, local search and weather forecasts.
This system will be linked to a more modern 7.0-inch central display.