All-new Kia XCeed is the Ceed’s crossover brother; it’s also the good looking brother

Just like every other mainstream manufacturer, Kia has launched a crossover based on its compact hatchback. Dubbed the XCeed, it is exactly what its name implies - a taller and slightly more off-road-capable version of Kia’s Ceed hatchback.

It is now the fourth available Ceed body style, after the regular hatchback, the Ceed Sportswagon, and the ProCeed shooting brake model. However, it doesn’t actually share any exterior body panels with any of them and, while the all the vehicles in the Ceed family were already pretty handsome, the new XCeed takes up a notch further. It’s even better to look at and you hardly notice it sits any higher off the ground.

The Kia XCeed is More Than Just a Raised Hatchback

The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn't Realize We Needed
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Kia really has exceeded expectations with the XCeed, which is not merely a raised version of the Ceed hatch with plastic body cladding around the lower part of the car. It does look like it is related to its Ceed brethren, but Kia’s designers have really outdone themselves in creating it. And I’ll begin talking about the back of the XCeed which to me resembles an all-time favorite, the Alfa Romeo Brera coupe.

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Overall, it’s more rakish to look at than any other Ceed model, with its steeply raked rear screen, teardrop greenhouse, and highly distinctive front end.

The XCeed’s headlights have a notch on their inner edge, and this is quite a striking design detail to my eyes. And it works well with the grille design.

Of the 12 available paint finishes, 11 are shared with other Ceed models. However, the color called Quantum Yellow (the color of the car in the batch of official photos) is unique to the XCeed.

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The XCeed’s wheelbase is identical to all other Ceed models at 2,650 millimeters (104.3 inches), but its front overhang is 25 millimeters (1 inch) longer, while the rear overhang is 60 millimeters (2.35 inches) longer compared to the hatch. The rear deck trailing edge is also 60 millimeters (2.35 inches) higher than on the hatch which, in combination with the fastback-style tailgate, “enhances the CUV’s dynamic, coupé-like, cab-rearward appearance,” according to the manufacturer. It’s also 26 millimeters (just over 1 inch) wider than the hatch and it also has 42 millimeters (1.6 inches) extra ground clearance.

The Kia XCeed’s interior is almost identical to the rest of the Ceed family

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While the XCeed’s exterior is noticeably different compared to other Ceed models, the interior doesn’t appear to be any different. There really appear to be no differences, but that’s not a bad thing because the Ceed’s interior was already really good. The design is excellent (clean and logically laid out) and it’s all quite sporty looking with the center console angled toward the driver, as well as contrasting elements finished in the same color as the body.

The main point of focus is the floating infotainment screen.

As standard, you get an 8-inch screen which can be enlarged to 10.25-inch at extra cost. A new feature that debuts on the XCeed is the brand’s first fully-digital gauge cluster, displayed on a 12.3-inch screen. Kia calls it the Supervision driver instrument cluster and it should have very clear graphics since its display resolution is 1920 x 720 pixels.

The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn't Realize We Needed
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Kia says that while the interior layout and design is pretty much the same as in any other Ceed, the fact that the XCeed sits higher off the ground makes access into the cabin easier and also improves forward visibility for the driver. But at the same time, its hip point is considerably lower than that of a conventional SUV, so the XCeed drives in a considerably sportier manner than an actual SUV.

Regarding carrying capacity, Kia says the XCeed has a maximum load volume of 426 liters (15 cubic feet) which is 31 liters (1 cubic foot) larger than what the hatch offers. However, the XCeed is no match for the Ceed Sportswagon’s 600-liter (21.2 cubic feet) trunk.

What powers the Kia XCeed?

The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn't Realize We Needed
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As you might have guessed, the XCeed shares its entire engine range with the rest of the Ceed range. You have a choice of three direct-injection T-GDi engines: a 1-liter that makes 118 horsepower (120 PS) and 172 Nm of torque, a 1.4-liter with 138 horsepower (140 PS) and 242 Nm and the most powerful engine is the same 1.6-liter that powers the Ceed GT - it makes 201 horsepower (204 PS) and 265 Nm of torque and it bestows the XCeed with hot hatch peformance with a naught to sixty time of under seven seconds.

Since the XCeed is a model designed for the European market, it can also be had with a diesel under its hood.

Kia offers the same 1.6-liter Smartstream four-cylinder in two states of tune: 113 horsepower (115 PS) and 134 horsepower (136 PS).

The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn't Realize We Needed
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All engines come hooked up to a standard six-speed manual gearbox and all but the smallest gasoline mill can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. No all-wheel drive option will be offered, but Kia says that mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions will join the range at a later date.

The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn't Realize We Needed
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The Kia XCeed has plenty of tech

The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn't Realize We Needed
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The first piece of tech that needs mentioning is one that isn’t shared with the rest of the Ceed range.

Kia has fitted the XCeed with new hydraulic rebound stoppers that come as standard on all models. They’re only fitted to the front, but Kia says it not only makes the ride more compliant over rough surfaces (and it can absorb big bumps better than without the system) but “it also contributes towards more responsive steering and improved overall body control while reducing noise from the suspension over bumps.” It is also worth mentioning that the XCeed is slightly softer-sprung than other Ceeds, by 7 percent on the front and 4 percent on the rear.

The rest is standard Ceed fare. The XCeed has a Drive Mode Select button that changes the car’s behavior from sporty to economical. There’s also a wide range of standard an available driver assistance systems that include:

  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Blind-spot Collision Warning
  • Forward Collision Warning with car and pedestrian detection
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Warning
  • Smart Parking Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • High Beam Assist
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Lane Following Assist
The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn't Realize We Needed
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The latter is Kia’s level 2 autonomous driving system that can take over steering, acceleration, and braking and “can track vehicles and road markings ahead to keep the car in-lane and a safe distance from any cars in front.”

Kia says the XCeed is one of the first vehicles in its lineup to offer its new and improved UVO Connect telematics system.

It relies on its own SIM card to provide the driver with live information regarding traffic, weather, nearby points of interest as well as potential parking possibilities. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are only available on cars equipped with the larger of the two infotainment screens.

When does the Kia XCeed go on sale?

The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn't Realize We Needed
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Kia intends for the XCeed to hit showrooms in the third quarter of 2019. Keep in mind that it is a model destined exclusively for the Old Continent, made in Kia’s Slovakian plant. And, as most modern Kias, it comes with a 7-year or 150,000 km (90,000-mile) warranty at no extra cost.

Further reading

2019 Kia Ceed GT Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Kia Ceed GT.

2019 Kia ProCeed Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia ProCeed.

2017 Kia Proceed Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Proceed Concept.

2018 Kia Ceed Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Ceed.

Kia offers more choice in the C-segment than any other car manufacturer
Kia XCeed provides a sporty alternative to larger traditional SUV models
Comparable cabin and luggage space to an SUV in a more compact body
One of the most high-tech cars in its class with a range of in-car features
Engages drivers with unique handling set-up and provides more comfortable, assured ride thanks to new hydraulic rebound stoppers
Powered by turbocharged engines; Plug-in Hybrid powertrain to follow
On-sale exclusively in Europe in Q3 2019 with 7-Year, 100,000-mile warranty; UK on-sale date to be confirmed in due course
The all-new Kia XCeed is a new urban crossover utility vehicle (CUV) from Kia Motors which combines compact SUV practicality with the sporty packaging and engaging handling of a hatchback.

A sporty alternative to traditional SUVs, the new CUV nevertheless offers comparable levels of space for occupants and luggage. The Kia XCeed engages drivers with its sporty handling and a comfortable, assured ride, while providing a more commanding view of the road ahead than a conventional hatchback.

The XCeed’s suite of advanced safety, connectivity and infotainment features make it one of the most high-tech cars in the CUV class. Powered by a range of fast-revving, turbocharged engines, it is also one of the most efficient.

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Kia XCeed addresses the growing desire for cars which offer more emotion and dynamism than an SUV, both in terms of the way a car looks and drives. Yet these customers don’t want to lose the practicality that a larger car offers them. Our new CUV meets these needs, with a distinctive and modern design wrapped around a spacious, versatile body. Merging the strengths of both hatchback and SUV, the Kia XCeed offers something refreshing and different for European consumers.”

Herrera adds: “This latest addition to the Kia portfolio takes the Ceed model family in a bold new direction, showing the breadth of Kia’s imagination and ambition in the compact family car segment. The C-segment, is the second largest class in the European market, and, thanks to a broadening range of body types, is set to take on greater importance in the years ahead. The expanded Ceed range now offers buyers more choice in this class than any other manufacturer.”

The Kia XCeed urban crossover will be manufactured at the brand’s European production facility in Zilina, Slovakia alongside the Ceed five-door hatchback, Ceed Sportswagon, and ProCeed five-door shooting brake. Due on-sale across Europe in the third quarter of 2019, the newest member of the Ceed model family will be sold as standard with Kia’s industry-leading 7-Year, 100,000-mile warranty. UK on-sale date, specification and pricing will be confirmed in due course.

A sporty, urban alternative to the traditional SUV
Stylish, expressive and modern in design, the Kia XCeed represents a sporty alternative to traditional SUVs. A product of the brand’s European design centre in Frankfurt, Germany, the creation of the Kia XCeed has taken place under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, Vice President of Design for Kia Motors Europe.

The Kia XCeed is more emotional and dynamic in format and appearance than its taller rivals, while offering something different to the other models in the Ceed range. The only body panels carried over from its five-door hatchback sibling are the front doors.

In profile, the car’s relatively long bonnet flows into the A-pillars anchored aft of the front wheels, lending the car a sporty, swept-back silhouette. While the wheelbase remains the same as other models in the Ceed line-up (2,650 mm), the Kia XCeed’s front and rear overhangs are extended over the five-door hatchback model by 25 mm at the front (to 905 mm) and 60 mm at the rear (to 840 mm).

A steeply-angled fastback tailgate, and a rear ‘deck’ trailing edge which sits 60 mm higher than that of the Ceed five-door hatchback, enhances the CUV’s dynamic, coupé-like, cab-rearward appearance. The Kia XCeed sits on a choice of 16- or 18-inch machined aluminium alloy wheels, shod with high-grip 205/60 R16 or 235/45 R18 tyres.

The front and rear of the car also represent a departure from the ‘face’ of the conventional Ceed model family, differentiating the Kia XCeed from its stablemates. With a 1,826 mm body (26 mm wider than the Ceed five-door), the CUV presents a more assertive face, with a more prominent grille and larger lower air intake. The headlamps are newly-designed, with the Ceed’s ‘ice cube’ LED light signature sitting within a more angular shape, topped by a slim turn signal that flows back over the wheel arches.

At the rear, new tail-lights emit a slim, highly-technical LED light signature which, when viewed from certain angles, appears to spear forward into the shoulders of the car. The heavily-creased lines running horizontally across the tailgate and rear bumper give the car a wider, more stable posture.

The car’s elevated ride height and body also present the same robust image that attracts buyers to the other SUVs in Kia’s product portfolio. The Kia XCeed’s ground clearance is 174 mm on 16-inch wheels and 184 mm on 18-inch wheels, a rise of up to 42 mm over the Ceed five-door hatchback. Wheel arch and side sill cladding and silver roof rails lend the car a tougher, SUV-like presence, with the metallic valance in the rear bumper enhancing this effect.

The new model will be offered in a choice of up to 12 paint finishes, with a vibrant new Quantum Yellow shade that is unique to the CUV within the Ceed range.

Inside, the Kia XCeed carries over the contemporary cabin architecture of its Ceed stablemates, with a sculptured centre console oriented slightly towards the driver. With a lower hip point than a taller SUV, and raised ground clearance over a conventional hatchback, the Kia XCeed provides drivers with a sportier driving position allowing a better view of the road ahead.

A ‘floating’ touchscreen infotainment system stands proud of the dashboard, while the lower portion of the instrument panel provides a set of touch-sensitive buttons, dials and switches to control audio volume, heating and ventilation. Highly ergonomic in its layout and functionality, these controls have been designed to enable drivers to make quick changes to the cabin environment without taking their eyes off the road for any longer than necessary.

The interior is finished in sophisticated soft-touch materials throughout, with a satin chrome dashboard trim, presenting a refined, upscale ambience. Depending on grade, buyers can choose from a range of cloth, synthetic leather or genuine leather upholstery.

Unique to the Kia XCeed is a new yellow colour pack for the interior, with black upholstery contrasted with vibrant yellow stitching for seats and doors, yellow seat piping, and a blend of gloss black and metallic yellow highlights throughout the cabin.

The cabin and storage space of an SUV in a sportier, more compact body
The Kia XCeed is designed to achieve the cabin and storage space of an SUV in a sportier body with a more compact footprint. Sitting directly between the Ceed five-door hatchback and the Kia Sportage, the Kia XCeed still manages to provide comparable interior space and luggage capacity to Europe’s best-selling SUVs.

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer at Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The sporty design and demeanour of the new Kia XCeed CUV makes it more innately desirable than many SUVs. Yet it offers this without compromising on versatility, with its intelligent packaging achieving impressive interior and luggage space.”

With a total length of 4,395 mm, the Kia XCeed is 85 mm longer than the Ceed five-door hatchback and 90 mm more compact than the Sportage. Its maximum roof height of 1,490 mm also means it stands 43 mm above the Ceed and 155 mm below the Sportage, providing drivers with a lower centre of gravity than its taller sibling and an elevated driving position over the conventional Ceed.

Based on the Ceed, one of the most spacious vehicles in the compact class, the Kia XCeed offers generous interior space for front and rear occupants. With the hip point for each seat raised by up to 42 mm over the Ceed, it is easier for occupants to step in or out. Meanwhile, the half-moon-shaped glass area and fastback roofline provide rear passengers with a brighter, airier ambience and more headroom than other rivals in the compact crossover class.

With the car’s longer rear overhang creating a longer boot, luggage capacity for the Kia XCeed is rated at 426 litres (VDA), 31 litres more than the Ceed and only slightly less than the best-selling compact SUV in Europe. With the rear seats folded down, luggage capacity grows to 1,378 litres. Versatility is also assured thanks to the available 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats, Smart Power Tailgate, and two-step boot floor that can be moved up or down to provide either more space or a hidden underfloor storage compartment.

Safety, connectivity and infotainment – XCeed is one of the most high-tech cars in its class
The Kia XCeed’s suite of advanced safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies make it one of the most high-tech, comprehensively-equipped cars in its class. The range of features are designed to make driving safer and less stressful and provide total ease of operation.

The Kia XCeed is among the first vehicles in Europe to offer the brand’s innovative UVO Connect telematics system, designed to bring driving into the digital era. UVO Connect links drivers to the world around by providing invaluable information via the in-car touchscreen and on their smartphone. Featuring Kia Live services and housed with an optional 10.25-inch TFT LCD widescreen, the system uses its own eSIM card to retrieve and update live data during a drive. This includes live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential on- and off-street parking (including price, location and parking availability). The second element of the UVO Connect diagnostic data about owners’ cars and the trips they take, enables drivers to send route directions to their car before a journey, and enables them to check the location of their vehicle at any time.

The optional 10.25-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system features Bluetooth® multi-connection as standard, enabling occupants to connect two mobile devices at once, as well as Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. Its advanced split-screen functionality lets users control or monitor numerous vehicle features at the same time, customising the screen to display up to three applications simultaneously, among a series of available widgets. This enables the driver to have a single display (such as navigation) or combine different elements on-screen at the same time. This means the driver can follow navigation directions while passengers choose their favourite songs or check the weather forecast. An 8.0-inch audio display touchscreen system is also available depending on vehicle specification, offering Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay™ and infotainment functionalities.

Other optional technologies designed to enhance the comfort and enjoyment of each journey include a JBL Premium audio system with Clari-Fi technology, dual-zone air-conditioning, heated electric folding door mirrors, heated steering wheel, heated windscreen, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

The Kia XCeed will also be available with the brand’s first fully-digital 12.3-inch Supervision driver instrument cluster, designed to deliver information as clearly as possible. With a high-definition 1920x720-pixel display, the digital cluster replaces the conventional speedometer and tachometer dials found currently in the brand’s passenger cars. Its single, seamless display incorporates pin-sharp digital dials for vehicle and engine speeds. A multi-function display between the dials displays turn-by-turn navigation instructions, audio information, phone calls and contacts, and in-depth trip information, as well as vehicle diagnostics alerts, and pop-up notifications linked to the car’s various active safety and driver assist technologies. The new 12.3-inch Supervision instrument cluster is available as an option in the Kia XCeed, depending on market and vehicle specification. It replaces the physical dials and 3.8-inch mono-LCD or 4.2-inch colour TFT LCD screens available with different specifications.

The Kia XCeed provides access to a wide range of active driver assist and safety technologies. These include Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind-spot Collision Warning, Forward Collision Warning with car and pedestrian detection, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning, Smart Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and High Beam Assist. The Kia XCeed’s Driver Attention Warning advises drivers to take a break if the system detects signs of fatigue. Finally, Lane Following Assist (LFA) is also available which controls acceleration, braking and steering. LFA can track vehicles and road markings ahead to keep the car in-lane and a safe distance from any cars in front.

As with every Kia car sold in Europe, the CUV is equipped as standard with Vehicle Stability Management. This aids stability when braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control if it detects a loss of traction.

Engaging drivers with sporty handling and a comfortable, assured ride
The brand’s European engineering teams were tasked with honing the suspension and steering of the Kia XCeed to deliver a mature ride and engaging handling character in all conditions. Subjected to a dedicated development regime, the new car has been driven across a wider range of road surfaces than any previous European-developed Kia vehicle.

Prototypes have been validated in all weather conditions, on alpine passes and high-speed motorways, in bustling city centres, and along narrow country lanes. With testing taking place in Germany, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and a host of other nations, the handling character of the new Ceed crossover is truly European.

The Kia XCeed will offer drivers a unique ride and handling character, with its own suspension tuning and componentry not found in other Ceed models. Despite its elevated ride height, the XCeed will be more engaging to drive than a typical family SUV due to its bespoke suspension tuning, more compact exterior dimensions, lower centre of gravity and reduced overall mass.

Uniquely in the Ceed model line-up, the Kia XCeed features hydraulic rebound stoppers, fitted as standard to the front axle of all models. The rubber bump-stop floats in hydraulic fluid within the shock absorbers, providing a highly compliant ride over poor surfaces. The car has been designed to absorb even large suspension shocks with a smooth and progressive response, preventing the body from bouncing as the suspension settles itself after rapid compression. It also contributes towards more responsive steering and improved overall body control, while reducing noise from the suspension over bumps.

With the exception of the new hydraulic rebound stoppers, the hardware of the new model’s fully-independent suspension remains identical to that of the Ceed hatchback, ProCeed shooting brake and Ceed Sportswagon. However, with ground clearance elevated by up to 42 mm over the standard Ceed (depending on wheel size), Kia’s engineers have softened the front and rear spring rates by seven per cent and four per cent respectively to deliver greater comfort and stability in all conditions. Cruising comfort is also enhanced by the adoption of a new dynamic damper for the rear cross-member, further quelling road noise and structural vibrations.

The steering hardware remains unchanged over the Ceed, though the electronic control unit (ECU) governing the power steering motor has been retuned to deliver a quicker initial response to the driver’s steering inputs. The result is that drivers can enjoy similarly quick steering responses and comparable levels of body roll to the standard Ceed five-door hatchback. The level of assistance provided by the power steering motor has also been boosted, delivering subtly lighter overall steering to reduce driver fatigue on longer journeys and at low speeds.

Matched to a choice of 16- or 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels and Michelin (16-inch) or Continental SportContact 5 (18-inch) tyres, the Kia XCeed offers drivers high levels of grip and an engaging and progressive handling character.

Kia’s Drive Mode Select system enables drivers to adjust steering weight, throttle pedal responses, and, for models equipped with dual-clutch transmissions, gear shift responses. With a choice of ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes, drivers can select Sport mode to subtly enhance acceleration response times and adapt the steering to offer additional weight and more decisive responses to driver inputs. Normal mode enables the driver to maximise the potential for greater fuel efficiency and realise the Kia XCeed’s relaxed cruising gait.

Powered by a range of turbocharged engines – with plug-in variant to follow
The Kia XCeed is powered by a range of fast-revving, turbocharged engines, giving buyers several choices to meet every driving need.

Three Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection (T-GDi) engines are on offer. The three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDi engine produces 120 ps and 172 Nm torque, while the four-cylinder 1.4-litre T-GDi engine produces 140 ps and 242 Nm torque. The high-power 1.6-litre T-GDi engine found in the Ceed GT and ProCeed GT is also available, as the most powerful in the XCeed line-up. With a 204 ps power output and 265 Nm torque across a broad range of engine speeds, the muscular 1.6-litre T-GDi engine perfectly matches the car’s ability to thrive in a variety of driving situations.

The Kia XCeed is also available with a choice of two Smartstream power units – the cleanest diesel engines ever produced by the brand, and the most fuel efficient in the range. The 1.6-litre Smartstream engine is offered with either 115 ps or 136 ps.

Except for the 1.0-litre T-GDi, all engines can be paired with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions. The 1.0-litre engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Idle Stop & Go is fitted as standard to all models.

As with other models in the brand’s product portfolio, low-emissions electrified powertrains, including 48V mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, will be launched into the Kia XCeed range later in early 2020.

Built in Europe, for Europe
Production of the all-new Kia XCeed will commence this August at Kia’s Žilina manufacturing facility in Slovakia, on the same production line as the Kia Ceed hatchback, Ceed Sportswagon and ProCeed shooting brake. Created exclusively for Europe, deliveries of the Kia XCeed in Europe will commence later in the third quarter of 2019. UK on-sale date will be confirmed in due course. Every model will be covered by the company’s unique 7-Year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard.

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